Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory’s Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to…somewhere else.
I wrote a brief overview of the Narnia chronicles years ago, and have been wandering in that world again of late. This time I plan to review each book, and it seems that my overall view of the series have changed over the years.
Although written as the sixth book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician’s Nephew can be read first as it explains the beginnings of and explores the key aspects of the series.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a stronger starting place for the series, The Magician’s Nephew however, is a mixed bag and doesn’t feel as natural, it also assumes you have read the former work which can be a bit annoying at times, if you haven’t yet done so.
The rings with which the adventures starts feel a bit out of place in this universe, as a device they veer more to the sci-fi but this is however juxtaposed with the dangers of technology so that does work in its way. For this reader though, it does feel somewhat forced.
The creation scenes are perfectly fine, very biblical as you would expect from Lewis, but the standout scene is without doubt, Charn, the world is atmospheric, and its history is a cautionary tale, and sinister to boot. I would have liked to know more about Charn as it feels like it has more depth Narnia manages to get throughout the books.
Overall this isn’t one of the best books in the series but does a decent job of keeping the reader entertained, even if the lack of subtlety when it comes to explaining its Christian views is non-existent, In fact I would go so far as to say that the lack of depth goes against it. The story is still decent but there is much better to come.
Looking at or thinking of these books always makes me hum the wonderful old BBC theme tune that used to be synonymous with Sunday teatime.