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"wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight"

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I've had all seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia sitting on my bookshelf, neatly collecting dust between the spines, for many many years. Every time I would glance at them I would think to myself: "I should just sit down and read all of those someday..." But someday never seemed to come, and the books remained in their little box set. 

Of course I already knew the stories of all the Narnia books. But I had yet to read them all on my own. The stories had all been given to me secondhand. My mom read a couple to me and my sisters when we were young, and I've seen the movies multiple times. I wanted to read them for myself to develop my own personal, untainted thoughts on the popular series.

It wasn't until I was stressed beyond belief that I started to crave a children's book. I wanted something that would lift my spirits, and something that wouldn't take much effort to read and get into. After scanning my shelves for options, The Chronicles of Narnia seemed like the best choice. 

I know there's a mild controversy among readers as to which order is the best to read Narnia. I decided this time to simply read them in the order starting with The Magician's Nephew and ending with The Last Battle. If I ever pick them up again, I'll try to read them in publication order so that I can begin to form an opinion on the matter. For now, however, I'm sticking with the order they're presented as.

Reading these books as an adult was a very different experience than I expected it to be. They still read like children's books, with plots that are easy to follow, characters that are somewhat childish, and writing that isn't too complicated. I found, though, that while they were entertaining, there's so much more to these books than a simple children's fairytale story.

I truly enjoyed reading all of the books in the series. All very short, very quick reads, each like a little treat. They all had special parts or themes that have stuck with me since I finished them. My personal favorites, however, were The Silver ChairThe Last BattleThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and The Magician's Nephew, in that order. While the other three were still good, they didn't quite touch me in the same way those four did.

As I was reading, I was struck again and again by just how deep these books could get. There were times, especially in the last two books, that I found myself pausing to think about a particular passage or to underline a quote that I thought was profound. Theology and Biblical lessons are woven so tightly within the story in a way that could only be done by C.S. Lewis. From the birth of Narnia, to its rebirth; the speech given by Puddleglum as he resists the manipulations of the witch; Eustace and Edmund's redemption stories; and, of course, the iconic scene of Aslan dying on the stone table.

I strongly believe that Aslan is one of the absolute best illustrations of the character of Christ ever written in literature. "He is not a tame lion."

I will always regret the fact that I never read all of these books when I was younger. But I do feel that I have understood them, and have received so much more from reading them as an adult than I ever could before. They were a lot more than I expected them to be, and I'm sad to see that my journey in Narnia has come to an end.
"I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia." --Puddleglum

11 comments

  1. I love the Narnia books! Several of them were read to me in school as a child, and imagery and plot points from them sat in the back of my mind for years until I was about 11 or 12. Then I found the boxed set at a yard sale, bought it, and finally read them all. I feel like the Narnia series has influenced by thoughts about God and Heaven and Christianity more than anything else, other than the Bible. The Silver Chair is my favorite too. :) I'm definitely overdue a reread!

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    1. That's how it was for me too. I knew the stories, I had just never read them all for myself in order with a fresh pair of eyes. I was definitely surprised by how influential they were as I was reading them.

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  2. I've read a couple of the Narnia books, and I adored them! Did you know that C. S Lewis based the landscape of Narnia off his home country of Ireland? I thought that was really interesting.

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    1. That's super cool! I can see that though, since his descriptions of Narnia are so detailed and personal. Ireland is gorgeous!

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  3. I loved the movies. I haven't read the books myself but I know what you mean when you say there is a different feel reading a childrens book as an adult. There is something comforting about it (:

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    1. It's very comforting, especially when you're too stressed to pick up a complex adult book.
      I love the movies too, even though some of them don't really follow the books!

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  4. asdfghjkl THIS POST THOUGH <3 so many feels. I have yet to read all the Narnia books *screams into the nearest pillow* BUT I LOOK FORWARD TO ADVENTURING THROUGH THE SILVER CHAIR AND THE LAST BATTLE. <3 that quote at the end of this post omg = chills :')

    I was recently thinking about how SERIOUSLY DEEP Lewis gets in these books and wow <3 it blows my mind every time.

    rock on,
    abbiee

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    1. Girl you need to read them now!
      The whole speech that the quote is from completely shook me and probably had the biggest impact on me throughout my whole binge reading experience.
      It really surprised me how deep Lewis could get in seemingly simple children's books.

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  5. Narnia has my heart, and you've summed up its richness beautifully. <3 So glad you've finally read and enjoyed them!

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  6. THAT QUOTE YOU ENDED WITH IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS. Puddleglum forever :D

    Great post! I need to re-read the series. (What are your thoughts on the movies, by the way?)

    Neat blog!!! :)

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