The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Publication Date: First published in 1950 this edition published by Harper Collins Publishers in 2002
Recommended Age Group: Ages 10 and up
Summary: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia. It takes place when the characters in the first book have aged and moved on with their lives. This books main characters are four children all siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. They stay with Digory Kirke when he is an old man and go exploring around his house one day. Lucy goes into the wardrobe first because she sees the fur coats and wants to go in and feel them. While she is in there she notices that there is no back to the closet and that it goes on into a wood. She meets Mr. Tumnus who is a faun, half beast and half man. They have a nice encounter and they have tea together but then Mr. Tumnus starts to cry and tells Lucy that he promised that he would turn any humans in if he found them. However, he and Lucy decided to keep it secret. Edmund is the next to enter the Wardrobe and he does it during a game of hide and seek. When he goes through however, he meets the White Witch. She is the Queen from the first book. The White Witch bribes Edmund with treats to tell her things. She tells him to bring his brother and sisters back to her castle next time they enter Narnia. Eventually they do all go in together and they learn of Mr. Tumnus being captured and the evil of the White Witch. They meet up with a He-Beaver and follow him to his home where he tells them all about the problems of Narnia and the curse that the queen, the White Witch, has put on the land. He tells them that only Aslan, a great Lion, will be able to break this curse. Meanwhile Edmund sneaks off to go and tell the White Witch that he is back with his siblings. She is upset that he hasn’t brought them with him and treats him quite poorly. Edmund then decides that he has made the wrong choice in choosing to betray his family. He is saved when Aslan comes and learns of his captivity and sends a rescue team. The Witch feels betrayed and demands to be able to slay Edmund for his actions. Aslan agrees to trade his life for Edmunds knowing that an innocent life given for another would save Narnia and break the White Witch’s curse. There is a great battle, which Peter leads, that ensures the White Witch’s removal. The four children reign in Narnia for many years and one day go back by the forest with the lamppost and back through the wardrobe and are once again children.
Personal Notes: I liked this book just as much as I did the first one. A lot of people think that this one is supposed to be first and The Magician’s Nephew is second but this is not the way Lewis intended it. Plus I think they make a lot more sense this way because you find out what Narnia is, how it was made and the origins of everything. I would recommend this book to anyone. It was a fun read. They have recently made it into a movie but I really find that you miss something and have a different experience when watching a movie verses reading the book.
Other reviews available:
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis