Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Bother!" said Edmund, "I've left my new torch in Narnia."

I can't count the number of times I've read this book, but it grows dearer to me with each reading. Like rediscovering a gem I'd half-forgotten. That's the beauty of Narnia.

In Prince Caspian, the book follows Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy as they are called back to Narnia, this time from the blowing of Susan's magic horn by the desperate Prince Caspian as he fights alongside the Old Narnians against his Uncle Miraz. One of the best aspects of this book is how the timeline is so inventively written. We learn about Caspian, but only halfway through the book, after the children are called from England and have no idea why they are in Narnia. It's a fantastic and clever design and one more writers should use. Playing with the timeline, when done right, makes a story much more interesting.

It's possible that people can read about Narnia without understanding the complexity of its allegory. But where's the fun in missing half the point? C. S. Lewis knew how to be faithful to his beliefs in his writing without cramming it down anyone's throat. As a Christian, I know who Aslan represents, and his interactions with the children when they disappoint him, still so filled with love, is telling of Christ's interactions with his children. It's beautiful and I think it's profound in how Lucy is the only one who first sees Aslan in Prince Caspian. Perhaps because she was looking for him. It's a beautiful book, one I read to my sister before she could read chapter books, and one I hope to read to my children should the Lord bless me in that way.

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  1. The Chronicles of Narnia are such great books! Great review! The quote you shared at the beginning makes me laugh every time! I really need to read them again.

    By the way, I found your blog through the Femnista contributor blog list. I really enjoyed your article on Holmes and Watson. Shamefully, I haven't read the stories, but now I intend to do so! =)

    1. Lizzie, I'm delighted to meet you and even more thrilled that my article inspired you to give Doyle's work a try! The movies and television shows for Holmes are fun, but nothing quite matches the brilliance of the original work!

      It's funny, but I didn't really want to read Prince Caspian (it was for Book BINGO), but the moment I started it, I was completely captivated. I'd forgotten the brilliance of Narnia and now I'm half-tempted to read the rest of them!

    2. I'm sure you're right, I'm usually a staunch "the-book-is-better-than-the-movie" book-lover, but for some reason, I have never yet read the "Sherlock" stories. I'm looking forward to it now!

      Narnia is a wonderful place. I sometimes forget that they're so much more than "just" children's books. They may be written in a way that children can easily enjoy, but they are definitely stories worth reading for all ages! =)

    3. You might want to start with the short stories for Holmes, though. I love the novels, but A Study in Scarlet is difficult and complicated to wade through, although fascinating, so you might consider starting with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes short stories instead. Or just reading the very, very beginning of Study to experience Holmes and Watson's first meeting. I can't recommend the short stories highly enough!

      I literally couldn't put Prince Caspian down when I was reading it. It was a bit like reliving my childhood only through adult eyes and I loved every moment of it. What do you think of the recent films? I honestly cannot stand them! They especially massacred the last two! Lewis would have never approved of Susan and Lucy fighting in a battle, not in a million years.

    4. I'll be sure to check out the short stories! I'm not afraid of wading through a book, though, unless it's worse than The Lord of the Rings. I tried to read them, and gave up somewhere in the middle of "Two Towers."

      Oh, I had such high hopes for the new Narnia movies! I agree, they particularly ruined the last two. I honestly don't remember much about the movies except that I was very disappointed. The Susan/Caspian romance addition and the green mist from "Voyage" are the two bits that I remember as most annoying. In which movie did Susan and Lucy fight in a battle??

    5. Awww, not a Rings fan! I admit, the books are loooooong, but I love them anyway. Of course, my intro to Tolkien was The Hobbit so if you haven't read that one, I recommend it. Much shorter and more concise.

      Susan and Lucy fought in a battle in Prince Caspian. They also had that weird siege of Miraz's castle that was headed up by Susan and one of the boys. I think I was in such a blind rage through the whole thing that I remember next to nothing except what frustrated me. I know the old versions of the movies from the 80s are considered bad, but at least they got the story right.

    6. Well, I was kind of young when I tried to read them. I did enjoy The Hobbit greatly. I like Bilbo a lot more than Frodo. ;)

      Oh my goodness, I had forgotten all about that, but now that you describe it, I remember. I really don't remember much about Prince Caspian except that I felt the entire movie was almost completely ruined and I didn't care to watch it ever again. Aw, I loved the old movies from the 80's! I'm scared to watch them again because of how I might perceive them now that I'm all "grown-up" but I remember enjoying them very much as a kid.


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