I am reposting my 2013 review of the Silver Chair because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $1.99.
Summary: More allegorical than many of the Narnia books, Eustace and Jill, with the help of Puddleglum, must find Prince Rilian.
After finishing the new biography of CS Lewis last week I decided that I wanted to read or re-read many of Lewis’ books.
I started with the Silver Chair because it was the story line that I remembered least of the Narnia books. I knew it was Eustace and Jill and that they searched for the Prince. I remembered a Witch, but that was about it.
It has been such a long time since I have read most of the Narnia books that I forget that they really are children’s books. I read this very quickly.
The Silver Chair is more allegorical than several other books. Lewis takes on bullying at school and makes fun of the new school systems. (Having read the biography of Lewis, he hated his boarding school and was likely the target of bullying himself.)
Aslan comes at the beginning of this story. He gives Jill specific instructions that she is to memorize and repeat to herelf before she goes to sleep and when she wakes up. Jill, of course, gets distracted and does not do this and misses several of the signs which causes problems. This is clearly related to our inability to learn the words of God and follow them.
In a crucial scene at toward the end of the book there is a discussion with the Witch where she is trying to confuse the characters with a combination of magic and reason. The Witch tries to insist that Narnia does not exist, that just like they are basing the idea of the sun on the lamp (they are underground so cannot see the sun), they are basing the idea of a lion on a very big cat. There is neither a Sun or Aslan. God is just a projection.
When I read the Magician’s Nephew on kindle, I did not remember the beautiful drawings. They may have been there, but I was not struck by them as much as in this book. Maybe it is just that McGrath spent time talking about them in his biography, but they really are good. If you read the kindle version on a tablet, they are in full color, but on my Paperwhite, they are just the line drawings that I remember from the paperbacks that I read as a child.
- CS Lewis: A Life by Alister McGrath
- Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (Movie/Book Review)
- Jack: A Life of CS Lewis by George Sayer
- The Lion’s World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia by Rowan Williams
- The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis
- Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer by CS Lewis
- Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by CS Lewis