Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Silver Chair

Title: The Silver Chair
Author: C.S. Lewis
Published: 1953

I'm slowly working my way through C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. I say slowly, not because I'm reading the individual books slowly, but because I'm not reading them consecutively. Mostly, I pick one up when I don't have another book readily available for me to read. At some point during the course of last year, I read the first three: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Apparently, there's some argument over the order in which these books should be read. For some reason, at some point, people decided it would be a good idea to read them in Narnian chronological order. But I prefer to read them in the order in which they were published. That makes this book 4, not book 6 (even though the paperback set I have lists this as book 6). I don't get why it's so important. For me, I think it's just personal preference.

Anyway, of the four Chronicles that I've read thus far, this is my least favorite. Maybe it's because none of the original children appear. The Pevensie siblings are all gone from the story at this point, leaving us with their cousin, Eustace Scrubb (what a horrible name) and his new friend from school, Jill Pole. A lot of the book seems to be told from Jill's perspective since this is her first trip to Narnia.

When running from some school bullies, Eustace and Jill find themselves in Aslan's country on the far side of the sea. Aslan sends them both to Narnia with a quest: to find the elderly King Caspian's long lost son, Prince Rilian. Caspian is the same Caspian as seen in the previous two novels, in case you weren't really following along. Anyway, Rilian had been missing for ten years after riding off to the north to take out the snake that had killed his mother (who was briefly seen in Dawn Treader). So Aslan sent the two kids from the real world to go and find the Prince so there would be a proper king in Narnia when Caspian passed away. Adventures ensue and the Prince is saved. And there was much rejoicing in the land.

Not sure what it is about this installment that I didn't particularly care for. It isn't that it's a bad book. In fact, the scenes toward the end, when our heroes confront the antagonist, the Queen of the Underland, there are a lot of those Christian allusions that C.S. Lewis is famous for. I'm just saying, over all, I still like the first one better.

And now I need another book to read. It'll either be The Horse and His Boy or some other book if I can find one that I don't necessarily have to buy.


  1. I love all of the Narnia books, but my two favorites are the first and Dawn Treader. The Silver Chair does drag a bit, but Puddleglum is delightful!

  2. I'm not a fan of The Silver Chair. When I've read the series straight through, I've sometimes skipped this book entirely. I also don't like the first half or so of The Last Battle. But the end of that (and the series) makes up for it.

  3. I so agree. I'm one of the ones who feels too strongly about book order--reading them in their original order of course. It's my least favorite too, but it's like having a least favorite ice cream. They're all so good.