C.S. Lewis is a classic children's fantasy story set during World War II. Four siblings (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) are sent to the country to escape the bombing of London, and the house where they are to be living is owned by an old and eccentric professor. There are many rooms to explore, all full of fascinating and mysterious things. While exploring the house, the children come across a room that is empty except for a large, wooden wardrobe. Lucy soon discovers that this wardrobe is a kind of doorway into another world: Narnia.
She meets a faun not long after entering, and after becoming friends with him, she finds that if she doesn't leave quickly, she will become the prisoner of the White Witch, the dictator-queen. Of course, when she gets back through the wardrobe and tells her siblings about the wood she found through the wardrobe, none of them believe her; it's not until later, when they all find themselves forced to hide in the wardrobe together from the professor's housekeeper, that they see for themselves that she was telling the truth (although Edmund had actually got into Narnia once as well, and met Lucy on his way out, but he's kind of a dick, so he lied to Peter and Susan about it).
The real adventure starts when they all go to visit Lucy's friend, the faun, only to find that he has been arrested for not turning Lucy in to the witch. They agree (Edmund not really so much) that it's only right to try and help Mr Tumnus if they can, since it was because of Lucy that he was arrested in the first place.
I can't even count how many times I've read this book. The entire series is great, and I never get tired of reading each of the books. Because of the movie that came out back in 2005, this is probably the most well-known of the series. I like the Pevensie children (except Edmund not so much at first, since he's kind of a little d-bag); they aren't exactly the most complex characters you will ever come across, but that doesn't make them awful or too boring. Sometimes I get a little annoyed with how goody-goody they seem, because that just does not feel very real, but they are children living during one of the worst times in modern history, so maybe they're just trying to make the best of things as well as they can.
You don't really get a very good feel for the other characters in the book, I think, except maybe Mr and Mrs Beaver, and of course Aslan and the Witch. I like the Beavers well enough, but I'm not about to start a fandom or anything. Honestly, I think one of my favorite of the Talking Beasts in this book is the lion Aslan frees from the Witch's courtyard toward the end; he is so eager and so proud when Aslan includes him in the phrase "us lions" while giving instructions for meeting up with the rest of their army. It's cute. Granted, not the best time to run about telling everyone about it, since there is a lot to be done in very little time, but still.
And speaking of Aslan, he is pretty fierce and fabulous. After having seen the movie adaptation a number of times, I only hear Liam Neeson's voice in my head when reading dialogue in the books now, but I am perfectly okay with that.
It's pretty obvious that these books are allegorical. Even if you don't know who C.S. Lewis is, I think it probably doesn't take a genius to figure out the religious representation throughout this book (and the others). I don't follow a Judeo-Christian path, personally, and I have no problem reading this; it's not at all preachy, or so obviously Christian that it reads like a rewritten Bible story or something. So, regardless of your own religious affiliation (or if you aren't religious at all), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an excellent choice if you want to sit down for a couple of hours for a fun, light story of magic and adventure.
Series Info: What came before this book? What's next?
The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Magician's Nephew (Book 1: Chronological/Book 6: Publication Order)
* The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Book 2: Chronological/Book 1: Publication Order)
- The Horse and His Boy (Book 3: Chronological/ Book 5: Publication Order)
Film Adaptations:The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (1988)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
See what others are saying about it, or buy it now:
Better World Books
Click to check out my progress on the challenges this book applies to!