Tag Archive | Chronicles of Narnia

Review: The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader” (The Chronicles of Narnia, #3) by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

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Lucy and Edmund, with their dreadful cousin Eustace, get magically pulled into a painting of a ship at sea. That ship is the Dawn Treader, and on board is Caspian, King of Narnia. He and his companions, including Reepicheep, the valiant warrior mouse, are searching for seven lost lords of Narnia, and their voyage will take them to the edge of the world. Their adventures include being captured by slave traders, a much-too-close encounter with a dragon, and visits to many enchanted islands, including the place where dreams come true.

Note: I love this series to pieces so this is more of my thoughts than a review.

Let’s start with great first lines: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader” starts with Edmund and Lucy Pevensie going to stay with their aunt, uncle and their annoying son, Eustace. Eustace…is originally characterized as a snotty little asshole that was training up to become a psychopath. He liked dead bugs. *ew* Eustace also enjoys harassing people, hurting feelings, tattle-telling and embarrassing others. Not. Fun. So when Lucy and Edmund are pulled into Narnia (and to the Dawn Treader), Eustace comes with them – bad qualities included. I wonder, sometimes, about Eustace. What was Eustace’s purpose and why do we [the reader] get him instead of Peter and Susan?

King Caspian has set out on a long voyage after getting Narnia settled nicely. Caspian is (heroically?) searching for seven Lords of his land that his dictator Uncle Miraz sent off to sail the world. I always wondered how a King with no Queen and no progeny could do something this irresponsible but, hey…*shrug*
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Review: Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2) by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian

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The four Pevensies help Caspian battle Miraz and ascend his rightful throne.

NARNIA…the land between the lamp-post and the castle of Cair Paravel, where animals talk, where magical things happen…and where the adventure begins.

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are returning to boarding school when they are summoned from the dreary train station (by Susan’s own magic horn) to return to the land of Narnia-the land where they had ruled as kings and queens and where their help is desperately needed.

A prince fights for his crown. A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.

I love the Narnia series and I’ve read it many, many times. Whenever I read this series, I always read it in original publication order – as it should be.

It’s hard to review books you love so this is more like…a smattering of a review combined with my general thoughts and feelings.

Prince Caspian introduces one of my favorite characters: the talking mouse Reepicheep. Reepicheep is fierce and I love him to pieces. When I first read this series, I was taken with Reepicheep and with every re-read I realize what a wonderful character he is! The bravery, loyalty and honor along with the slight arrogance make Reepicheep a very human character.
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Review: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke’s house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who’s reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

This edition follows the original numbering scheme. Recent publishers have renumbered the volumes so they are ordered chronologically.

I have read this book (and series) so many times that there is no way to count. I’ve owned all the books on multiple occasions and in multiple formats – my current format is a trade paperback omnibus edition. I truly believe this is a book that is a such a treat for the eyes that all should have the opportunity to read it at least once. The book was written for children and it does read that way…but this is not a “childish” book (or series) in any sense of the word.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (as well as the entire Narnia Chronicles) is definitely a Christian allegory but it’s written in a very…non preachy way. Most young children who read this book are unlikely to recognize the Christian elements. I remember reading this series several times as a child (as well as watching the BBC movies*, which I love and own) and it took me quite some time (as well as age) before I started to notice the Christian elements. I think that is one of the things that makes this book so beloved: even if you’ve never heard the story of Jesus you can thoroughly enjoy this book.
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Flights of Fantasy: January 2014 Books of the Month

I join tons of bookclubs. Tons. A lot of these bookclubs have one or more books per month for the members to read.

I am a member of 9 book clubs. Of those 9 book clubs there are 18 books scheduled for me to read in January 2014. Eighteen. That is NOT going to happen, lol.

It’s highly unlikely that I will read…even a quarter of these books, lol. If we’re being 100% honest, I might get through…two. I hate assigned reading.

So, here’s the January Flights of Fantasy group reads and my early decision on reading them.

 

the bookScience FictionThe Book (nope, will not read)

It begins, “Don’t read The Book.” All information, past and present, is controlled by The Book, a handheld digital reading device that exists in a paperless, sustainable, dystopian future that looks shockingly similar to our own. Among the multitude of Book lovers, we find Holden Clifford, a simple sprinkler fitter who is content with his small life. Through his favorite story, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden discovers an inconsistency between the digital version and a rare paper page, preserved in the form of “recycled” wallpaper in the bathroom of his favorite Chicago bar, The Library. His quest for answers leads him quickly beyond the page to discover a secret library of books and a man named Winston who explains the subtle, potent censorship of every story ever written. Equipped with excerpts from unedited novels, alongside a group of like-minded readers called the Ex Libris, Holden dedicates himself to freeing the world from the grip of the Publishing House. His heroic mission draws him hastily into a dangerous scheme to overthrow the Editors of The Book and save the last remnant of printed words left on the earth. As his mission unfolds and a haunting reality about the government’s capacity to outwit the minds of the public begins to reveal itself, Holden is forced to accept that the only way to succeed may be to sacrifice himself and the one thing they love more than life – books.

 
the lion the witch and the wardrobe
Young Adult (YA)
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, #1) – yes, will read

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke’s house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who’s reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

This edition follows the original numbering scheme. Recent publishers have renumbered the volumes so they are ordered chronologically.

 
steelheart
Fantasy
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – might read

There are no heroes.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

 
swan song
Horror
Swan Song (nope, will not read)

“We’re about to cross the point of no return. God help us; we’re flying in the dark and we don’t know where the hell we’re going.”

Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen—from the President of the United States to the homeless on the streets of New York City—will fight for survival.

Swan Songis Robert McCammon’s prescient and “shocking” (John Saul) vision of a post- Apocalyptic nation, a grand epic of terror and, ultimately, renewal.In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth’s last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity: Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets . . . Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station . . . And Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan’s gifts. But the ancient force behind earth’s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself…

 

Books for January 2014 (so far)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Steelheart (possible)

The Gods of Dream by Daniel Arenson

teh gods of dream

Visited Narnia and Middle Earth? Now escape into Dream.

THE GODS OF DREAM — a fantasy novel by Daniel Arenson

What are dreams? Some think they are figments of our mind. But what if they were wisps of a distant, magical world… a world you could visit?

Twins Cade and Tasha discover Dream, the land dreams come from. It is a realm of misty forests, of verdant mountains, of mysterious gods who send dreams into our sleep. Cade and Tasha seek solace there; they are refugees, scarred and haunted with memories of war. In Dream, they can forget their past, escape the world, and find joy.

Phobetor, the god of Nightmare, was outcast from Dream. Now he seeks to destroy it. He sends his monsters into Dream, and Cade and Tasha find their sanctuary threatened, dying. To save it, the twins must overcome their past, journey into the heart of Nightmare, and face Phobetor himself.

Discover a world of light and darkness, of hope and fear, of dreams and nightmares.

I really can’t review this book very well so I am not giving it a star rating.

I did not like the writing – the prose felt choppy. The descriptive language was great in some instances and downright atrocious in others.

The characterization felt…forced and it gave me a…decided lack of empathy towards the characters. I didn’t feel sympathetic towards the main characters at all and I know I should – the constant references towards the incident that scarred the twins but is never explained was rather annoying.

The dialogue felt choppy and immature…and I’m feeling that this should have been structured towards YA/MG crowd rather than adults (with the exception of the gross descriptions of Nightmare and the sex that goes with it. *shudder*).

And just to be honest – The butterfly winged kittens through me for a major loop… and dammit! Sir Grendel??! *face palm* Not the name you want to invoke when being even remotely serious. The moment I saw that I was taken completely out of the book (again).

I don’t know…maybe I didn’t have the correct mindset for this one. I was expecting something closer to Narnia (my all-time favorite) and I saw the Narnia inspiration (talking hawks and human children fated to save the land) but… it’s a solid DNF for me. I’m kinda upset about this because I really wanted to like this book.

DNF