The Magician’s Nephew

Posted on August 22, 2011 by

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If not the most important of Lewis’ Chronicles, The Magician’s Nephew is probably one of the most informative. It fills in gaps and questions we have about the land of Narnia, its origins, and some of the important characters we will meet in other books.

By publication order, The Magician’s Nephew is actually the last of the books. It’s really essential reading to understand The Last Battle (the only book in the series it precedes), but it also answers questions for us about The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – and also the rest of the world of Narnia while we are at it.

I’ll interrupt myself for a moment to mention that there is a fair amount of dispute amongst Narnian fans as to in which order the books ought to be read. Many purists insist that the books ought to be read in the order which they were written. In that case The Magician’s Nephew would be the penultimate (second-to-last) book that we read.

Other sticklers for continuity prefer to read them in internal chronological order – the order in which the events in the book actually take place. While there are plenty of good reasons either way, Lewis himself preferred the books be read in chronological order. Personally, I think there are advantages to both, but this year I decided to do it chronologically.

 The Magician’s Nephew covers the creation of Narnia, introduces us to Jadis (The White Witch, of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe infamy), Aslan, and the future Professor Kirk. Along the way we also get some important lessons in responsibility and personal accountability – not to mention a rollicking good story.

The next few posts in this series will be a compilation of some of the thoughts I jotted down while reading through The Magician’s Nephew. These will be posted every couple of days. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to pick up your own copy of The Magician’s Nephew and read along with me.

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