List price: £5.50|
Average customer rating:
4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0370009266
Manufacturer : Bodley Head Children's Books|
Release data : December, 1955
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Every good story has a backstory. So in "The Magician's Nephew," C.S. Lewis backpedalled to tell us the story of how Narnia began, the origin of the White Witch, and various other little questions that popped up over the course of his Narnia series. The result is a tense, slightly comic prequel that neatly ties up the various loose threads.
Two London schoolchildren, Polly and Digory, meet and befriend one another, despite Digory's misery over his mother's fatal illness. But they fall prey to Digory's arrogant uncle Andrew -- Andrew has created some magical rings that transport the wearer to another world, and he wants the two as guinea pigs. Polly and Digory only narrowly manage to return from a dying world.
But they had an unwelcome passenger -- Jadis, an imperious sorceress who plans to take over the world. Polly and Digory are appalled at what has happened, and try to find some way of transporting Jadis elsewhere, using the magical rings. But when they do, they find themselves encountering a world that is just being created, by a strange lion -- the world of Narnia.
The Narnia stories are getting more attention in the months before the movie is released. And though it's unknown whether "The Magician's Nephew" is going to be on the silver screen, it's a valuable read for movie-watchers and readers alike. Basically, if "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" raised any questions, then this can answer them.
"The Magician's Nephew" serves as a neat way of explaining some very weird occurrances -- where did that lamppost come from? Or the Narnian humans? Just where did the White Witch come from, since she doesn't seem to fit in Narnia's springtime utopia? This book pretty much tells it all, as well as providing a character -- Digory -- who is a quiet but important presence fifty years later.
But "The Magician's Nephew" isn't just a way of dealing with loose threads. It's also an entertaining story, full of strange magic and eerie dead worlds. But Lewis also includes some comedy, when Jadis is running amuck all over London, or when Narnian animals try to plant and water Uncle Andrew. Lewis does get a bit hamhanded with the allegory of Jadis and an apple, but the fast, tense storyline makes up for that.
"The Magician's Nephew" is not just a prequel to the rest of the Narnia series, but an entertaining fantasy novel in its own right. Definitely a must-read for fantasy fans.
A Magical Magician
Have you got 2 rings that can take you into a different world?
Polly and Digory have. This story is about 2 children that put a yellow ring onto their finger and can go into another world. This world is called Narnia. Digory goes and finds Polly and takes a green ring with him which can take them back to their own world. Then they travel to a different world and meet a cruel queen. Will they escape with their lives?
My favourite character is Digory because he gets into mysterious situations and he's very brave.
My favourite part is when Polly wants the ring, Uncle Andrew gives it to her and she disappears into another world because it is full of suspense.
I would recommend this book to 7-12 year olds who like adventure stories because it is about children of their age going into different world's and it's very strange
Irratating but necessary
I have read all seven chronicles of narnia and this prequel to the lion the witch and the wardrobe is my least favourite of the lot. For me it is too full of stuffy description which tries far too hard to describe how Narnia came into being. For me Lewis has tryed to fit in a book describing how this land began, but never had a true passion for it and it does show. The action, when compared to the likes of the last battle, is slow and when an important event does happen it does not have the same resonance that one would hope for from a novelist of Lewis's calibre. The entire novel is based around the central characters of Polly and Diggory (The professor in the lion the witch and the wardrobe). It focusses on these two discovering a set of rings in Diggory's uncles room which end up transporting them into Narnia.
Although slow and bogged down with description the book is not without its merits. For one, to truly understand the nature of Lewis's narnia it is essential to resd this book. It describes the story of Jadis (The white witch) who ends up returning with Polly and Diggory to London whereupon she wreaks havoc. However, my personal reason for ever wanting to read this book was in order that I can read the part where Aslan breathes the life back into Narnia. This is where Lewis is at his best (See also my review of the last battle) and he is at his most intense as a novelist.
All in all I dislike this book, I feel that after you have read it once it should be put away leaving you free to concentrate your attentions on the other, far superior, books in the series. As my title does suggest though, to truly understand the nature of Narnia this book is essential reading.