Monday, November 29, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

Book Jacket

Narnia...the world of wicked dragons and magic spells, where the very best is brought out of even the worst people, where anything can happen (and most often does)...and where the adventure begins.

The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries.  King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his evil uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne.  The journey takes Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea, toward Aslan's country at the End of the World.


I love C. S. Lewis in all his literary incarnations--I'll take his theology, his space trilogy, his apologetics, and his children's fantasy.  I even took a class that was entirely devoted to the life and works of Lewis while I was in college.  The Narnia series has long been a favorite of mine, and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite of the seven books.  Each adventure that King Caspian and his crew face becomes more and more thrilling.  By the time they reach the End of the World, I feel like my heart has grown to fill my entire body.  Lewis kills me with his simple truths and his descriptions of places my soul wants to visit.

I love Eustace's story.  It only makes sense that it would take transforming into a dragon for him to learn how to become bearable.  I love the Island of Darkness, and the simple horror of dreams coming true.  The albatross that whispers to Lucy in Aslan's voice, "Courage, dear heart," is one of my favorite passages from all books ever.  And of course I love Aslan, who is firm and loving and always there when he is most needed.  He isn't a tame lion, or in the case of the Dawn Treader, a lamb. 

This is a book that only gets better with age.  Stories that seemed to be mere tales of adventure suddenly are full of depth and spiritual insight.  Lewis is brilliant.  Everyone should read him.

Five out of five talking mice.

Release Date:  1950
Reading Level:  Grade 4+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  J LEW and YPL LEW

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