The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
*Warning – may contain spoilers*
First published: 1955
Edition: Paperback as part of a box set
Blurb: The whole adventure begins when Digory and Polly find themselves in eccentric Uncle Andrew’s secret study. But when Uncle Andrew tricks Polly into touching the magic ring, she vanishes into the Other World. Digory is aghast, and determines immediately to go in search of her. Not only does he find Polly but together they listen to Aslan’s song as he creates the enchanted world of Narnia, full of sun, trees, flowers, grass and animals.
History of my copy: The Chronicles of Narnia has been one of those series that I have always wanted to read for a very long time, but I just never got around to picking them up. At a car boot sale, a man was selling nearly his entire book collection as he was moving to Canada and didn’t want the cost of transporting them all. I ended up getting the 1990 box set for £2.50.
Plot: I will admit that I was initially thrown by this book. When I started the Chronicles of Narnia, I expected the story I was familiar with (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), but obviously this book chronicles the beginning and creation of Narnia by Aslan, which took me a little while to realise. So, this book follows Digory and Polly as they are tricked into the Woods Between Worlds by Digory’s Uncle. Ending up in another world, Charn, they accidently awaken the evil Jadis. She flees, later becoming the White Witch, and Digory ends up helping Aslan, and subsequently creates a wardrobe out of magical wood…
Setting: One thing that Lewis does particularly well, and I feel like he is renowned for, is his scene setting. The imagery in this book, and I imagine in the rest of the series, is very vivid and it feels as if you are truly there.
Characters: One criticism I do have with this book is that none of the characters were particularly interesting. I didn’t feel attached, or even any dislike, to any of the characters and now, a little while after reading the book, I can’t even remember anything remarkable about any of them.
To read or not to read: Don’t read. Unless you are a huge Narnia fan, I don’t really recommend it. This book did nothing for me, apart from perhaps giving a little insight into the creation of Narnia.