The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia Series #1)

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Overview

The adventure begins

Narnia ... where Talking Beasts walk ... where a witch waits ... where a new world is about to be born.

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan's song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible ...

...
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The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia

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Overview

The adventure begins

Narnia ... where Talking Beasts walk ... where a witch waits ... where a new world is about to be born.

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan's song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible ...

When Digory and Polly try to return the wicked witch Jadis to her own world, the magic gets mixed up and they all land in Narnia where they witness Aslan blessing the animals with human speech.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
First published in 1955, The Magician's Nephew was the sixth book C.S. Lewis wrote about Narnia. It was intended as a prequel to the series, chronicling events that took place before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Many readers prefer to begin reading The Chronicles of Narnia with The Magician's Nephew.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780001016194
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Series: Chronicles of Narnia Series, #1
  • Format: Cassette
  • Pages: 134
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

C. S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over one hundred million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

Pauline Baynes has produced hundreds of wonderful illustrations for the seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia. In 1968 she was awarded the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for her outstanding contribution to children's literature.

Biography

C. S. Lewis was famous both as a fiction writer and as a Christian thinker, and his biographers and critics sometimes divide his personality in two: the storyteller and the moral educator, the "dreamer" and the "mentor." Yet a large part of Lewis's appeal, for both his audiences, lay in his ability to fuse imagination with instruction. "Let the pictures tell you their own moral," he once advised writers of children's stories. "But if they don't show you any moral, don't put one in. ... The only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author's mind."

Storytelling came naturally to Lewis, who spent the rainy days of his childhood in Ireland writing about an imaginary world he called Boxen. His first published novel, Out of the Silent Planet, tells the story of a journey to Mars; its hero was loosely modeled on his friend and fellow Cambridge scholar J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis enjoyed some popularity for his Space Trilogy (which continues in Perelandra and That Hideous Strength), but nothing compared to that which greeted his next imaginative journey, to an invented world of fauns, dwarfs, and talking animals -- a world now familiar to millions of readers as Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book of the seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia, began as "a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood," according to Lewis. Years after that image first formed in his mind, others bubbled up to join it, producing what Kate Jackson, writing in Salon, called "a fascinating attempt to compress an almost druidic reverence for wild nature, Arthurian romance, Germanic folklore, the courtly poetry of Renaissance England and the fantastic beasts of Greek and Norse mythology into an entirely reimagined version of what's tritely called 'the greatest story ever told.'"

The Chronicles of Narnia was for decades the world's bestselling fantasy series for children. Although it was eventually superseded by Harry Potter, the series still holds a firm place in children's literature and the culture at large. (Narnia even crops up as a motif in Jonathan Franzen's 2001 novel The Corrections). Its last volume appeared in 1955; in that same year, Lewis published a personal account of his religious conversion in Surprised by Joy. The autobiography joined his other nonfiction books, including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Great Divorce, as an exploration of faith, joy and the meaning of human existence.

Lewis's final work of fiction, Till We Have Faces, came out in 1956. Its chilly critical reception and poor early sales disappointed Lewis, but the book's reputation has slowly grown; Lionel Adey called it the "wisest and best" of Lewis's stories for adults. Lewis continued to write about Christianity, as well as literature and literary criticism, for several more years. After his death in 1963, The New Yorker opined, "If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels."

Good To Know

The imposing wardrobe Lewis and his brother played in as children is now in Wheaton, Illinois, at the Wade Center of Wheaton College, which also houses the world's largest collection of Lewis-related documents, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

The 1994 movie, Shadowlands, based on the play of the same name, cast Anthony Hopkins as Lewis. It tells the story of his friendship with, and then marriage to, an American divorcee named Joy Davidman (played by Debra Winger), who died of cancer four years after their marriage. Lewis's own book about coping with that loss, A Grief Observed, was initially published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk.

Several poems, stories, and a novel fragment published after Lewis's death have come under scrutiny as possible forgeries. On one side of the controversy is Walter Hooper, a trustee of Lewis's estate and editor of most of his posthumous works; on the other is Kathryn Lindskoog, a Lewis scholar who began publicizing her suspicions in 1988. Scandal or kooky conspiracy theory? The verdict's still out among readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Clive Staples Lewis (real name); Clive Hamilton, N.W. Clerk, Nat Whilk; called "Jack" by his friends
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 29, 1898
    2. Place of Birth:
      Belfast, Nothern Ireland
    1. Date of Death:
      November 22, 1963
    2. Place of Death:
      Headington, England

Read an Excerpt

The Magician's Nephew Read-Aloud Edition


By C. Lewis

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 C. Lewis
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060875887

Chapter One

The Wrong Door

Polly had discovered long ago that if you opened a certain little door in the box-room attic of her house you would find the cistern and a dark place behind it which you could get into by a little careful climbing. The dark place was like a long tunnel with brick wall on one side and sloping roof on the other. In the roof there were little chunks of light between the slates. There was no floor in this tunnel: you had to step from rafter to rafter, and between them there was only plaster. If you stepped on this you would find yourself falling through the ceiling of the room below. Polly had used the bit of the tunnel just beside the cistern as a smugglers' cave. She had brought up bits of old packing cases and the seats of broken kitchen chairs, and things of that sort, and spread them across from rafter to rafter so as to make a bit of floor. Here she kept a cash-box containing various treasures, and a story she was writing and usually a few apples. She had often drunk a quiet bottle of ginger-beer in there: the old bottles made it look more like a smugglers' cave.

Digory quite liked the cave (she wouldn't let him see the story) but he was more interested in exploring.

"Look here," he said. "How long doesthis tunnel go on for? I mean, does it stop where your house ends?"

"No," said Polly. "The walls don't go out to the roof. It goes on. I don't know how far."

"Then we could get the length of the whole row of houses."

"So we could," said Polly. "And oh, I say!"

"What?"

"We could get into the other houses."

"Yes, and get taken up for burglars! No thanks."

"Don't be so jolly clever. I was thinking of the house beyond yours."

"What about it?"

"Why, it's the empty one. Daddy says it's always been empty since we came here."

"I suppose we ought to have a look at it then," said Digory. He was a good deal more excited than you'd have thought from the way he spoke. For of course he was thinking, just as you would have been, of all the reasons why the house might have been empty so long. So was Polly. Neither of them said the word "haunted". And both felt that once the thing had been suggested, it would be feeble not to do it.

"Shall we go and try it now?" said Digory.

"All right," said Polly.

"Don't if you'd rather not," said Digory.

"I'm game if you are," said she.

"How are we to know we're in the next house but one?"

They decided they would have to go out into the box-room and walk across it taking steps as long as the steps from one rafter to the next. That would give them an idea of how many rafters went to a room. Then they would allow about four more for the passage between the two attics in Polly's house, and then the same number for the maid's bedroom as for the box-room. That would give them the length of the house. When they had done that distance twice they would be at the end of Digory's house; any door they came to after that would let them into an attic of the empty house.

"But I don't expect it's really empty at all," said Digory.

"What do you expect?"

"I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to say a house would be empty all those years unless there was some mystery."

"Daddy thought it must be the drains," said Polly.

"Pooh! Grown-ups are always thinking of uninteresting explanations," said Digory. Now that they were talking by daylight in the attic instead of by candlelight in the Smugglers' Cave it seemed much less likely that the empty house would be haunted.

When they had measured the attic they had to get a pencil and do a sum. They both got different answers to it at first, and even when they agreed I am not sure they got it right. They were in a hurry to start on the exploration.

"We mustn't make a sound," said Polly as they climbed in again behind the cistern. Because it was such an important occasion they took a candle each (Polly had a good store of them in her cave).

It was very dark and dusty and draughty and they stepped from rafter to rafter without a word except when they whispered to one another, "We're opposite your attic now", or "This must be halfway through our house". And neither of them stumbled and the candles didn't go out, and at last they came to where they could see a little door in the brick wall on their right. There was no bolt or handle on this side of it, of course, for the door had been made for getting in, not for getting out; but there was a catch (as there often is on the inside of a cupboard door) which they felt sure they would be able to turn.

"Shall I?" said Digory.

"I'm game if you are," said Polly, just as she had said before. Both felt that it was becoming very serious, but neither would draw back. Digory pushed round the catch with some difficulty. The door swung open and the sudden daylight made them blink. Then, with a great shock, they saw that they were looking, not into a deserted attic, but into a furnished room. But it seemed empty enough. It was dead silent. Polly's curiosity got the better of her. She blew out her candle and stepped out into the strange room, making no more noise than a mouse.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Magician's Nephew Read-Aloud Edition by C. Lewis Copyright © 2006 by C. Lewis. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Chapter One



The Wrong Door



This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began.

In those days Mr. Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road. In those days, if you were a boy you had to wear a stiff Eton collar every day, and schools were usually nastier than now. But meals were nicer, and as for sweets, I won't tell you how cheap and good they were, because it would only make your mouth water in vain. And in those days there lived in London a girl called Polly Plummer.

She lived in one of a long row of houses which were all joined together. One morning she was out in the back garden when a boy scrambled up from the garden next door and put his face over the wall.

Polly was very surprised because up till now there had never been any children in that house, but only Mr. Ketterley and Miss Ketterley, a brother and sister, old bachelor and old maid, living together. So she looked up, full of curiosity. The face of the strange boy was very grubby. It could hardly have been grubbier if he had first rubbed his hands in the earth, and then had a good cry, and then dried his face with his hands. As a matter of fact, this was very nearly what he had been doing.

"Hullo," said Polly.

"Hullo," said the boy. "What's your name?"

"Polly," saidPolly. "What's yours?"

"Digory," said the boy.

"I say, what a funny name!" said Polly.

"It isn't half so funny as Polly," said Digory.

"Yes it is," said Polly.

"No, it isn't," said Digory.

"At any rate I do wash my face," said Polly. "Which is what you need to do; especially after --" and then she stopped. She had been going to say "After you've been blubbing," but she thought that wouldn't be polite.

"All right, I have then," said Digory in a much louder voice, like a boy who was so miserable that he didn't care who knew he had been crying. "And so would you," he went on, "if you'd lived all your life in the country and had a pony, and a river at the bottom of the garden, and then been brought to live in a beastly Hole like this."

"London isn't a Hole," said Polly indignantly. But the boy was too wound up to take any notice of her, and he went on --

"And if your father was away in India -- and you had to come and live with an aunt and an uncle who's mad (who would like that?) -- and if the reason was that they were looking after your Mother -- and if your Mother was ill and was going to -- going to -- die." Then his face went the wrong sort of shape as it does if you're trying to keep back your tears.

"I didn't know. I'm sorry," said Polly humbly. And then, because she hardly knew what to say, and also to turn Digory's mind to cheerful subjects, she asked:

"Is Mr. Ketterley really mad?"

"Well, either he's mad," said Digory, "or there's some other mystery. He has a study on the top floor and Aunt Letty says I must never go up there. Well, that looks fishy to begin with. And then there's another thing. Whenever he tries to say anything to me at meal times -- he never even tries to talk to her -- she always shuts him up. She says, 'Don't worry the boy, Andrew' or 'I'm sure Digory doesn't want to hear about that,' or else, 'Now, Digory, wouldn't you like to go out and play in the garden?'"

"What sort of things does he try to say?"

"I don't know. He never gets far enough. But there's more than that. One night -- it was last night in fact -- as I was going past the foot of the attic-stairs on my way to bed (and I don't much care for going past them either) I'm sure I heard a yell."

"Perhaps he keeps a mad wife shut up there."

"Yes, I've thought of that."

"Or perhaps he's a coiner."

"Or he might have been a pirate, like the man at the beginning of Treasure Island, and be always hiding from his old shipmates."

"How exciting!" said Polly. "I never knew your house was so interesting."

"You may think it interesting," said Digory. "But you wouldn't like it if you had to sleep there. How would you like to lie awake listening for Uncle Andrew's step to come creeping along the passage to your room? And he has such awful eyes. "

That was how Polly and Digory got to know one another: and as it was just the beginning of the summer holidays and neither of them was going to the sea that year, they met nearly every day.

Their adventures began chiefly because it was one of the wettest and coldest summers there had been for years. That drove them to do indoor things: you might say, indoor exploration. It is wonderful how much exploring you can do with a stump of candle in a big house, or in a row of houses. Polly had discovered long ago that if you opened a certain little door in the box-room attic of her house you would find the cistern and a dark place behind it which you could get into by a little careful climbing. The dark place was like a long tunnel with brick wall on one side and sloping roof on the other. In the roof...

The Magician's Nephew. Copyright © by C. Lewis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 668 )
Rating Distribution

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(403)

4 Star

(148)

3 Star

(62)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(31)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 672 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Even though the Magician's nephew is the "Sixth" installment it should be read First.

    The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children written by C. S. Lewis. It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold over 120 million copies in 41 languages. Written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes.

    The books contain Christian ideas made easily accessible to young readers. They are not pedantic, however, and their richness of adventure, color, and ideas have made them favorites of children and adults, Christians and non-Christians. In addition to Christian themes, Lewis also borrows characters from Greek and Roman mythology as well as traditional British and Irish fairy tales.

    Even though the Magician's nephew is the "Sixth" installment it should be read First.

    Completed in the winter of 1954 and published in 1955, the prequel The Magician's Nephew brings the reader back to the very beginning of Narnia where we learn how Aslan created the world and how evil first entered it. Digory Kirke and his friend Polly Plummer stumble into different worlds by experimenting with magic rings made by Digory's uncle (the titular "magician"), encounter Jadis (The White Witch), and witness the creation of Narnia. Many long-standing questions about Narnia are answered in the adventure that follows.

    Even though C. S. Lewis placed The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe as the first book in the series. Older editions of the book reflect this decision. Lweis grandson laterr changed the order so that the books were in chronological order. After all The Magicians Nephew is the story of how Narnia was created and correlates with the book of Genesis.

    24 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Narnia is awesome

    I read at a very early age, I read all the Narnia books at age 7. I love them and reread them every now and then. Now I'm 13, they are still some of my favorite books.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Great read

    Love the book.Very interesting at times.Amazing details almost like your really there.I recomend this book to anyone who loves a good fiction book.Haven't read rest of series but sure they will be good too.

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Must-read to understand the Chroncles of Narnia

    This book is a great introduction into the intricate story of the chronicle s of Narnia. It is a must read for those who take a serious interest in reading the following books in the series. However, there is a slow beginning, but dont worry, the pace will begin to quicken. Overall, a great intro into one of the best series of books!

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    AWESOME

    What a great read! I recomened to everyone! Totally worth 2 bucks :)

    10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Classic

    Great quick read and everything tied together pretty nicely.
    The only reason i gave it 4 stars is because some parts were just a little dull, for me.
    Overall, it had a wonderful ending and i recommend this book for any age group.
    Im gonna read the 2nd book and watch the movie.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    "...While The Magician's Nephew is definitely one of the mo

    "...While The Magician's Nephew is definitely one of the more understated of the series, I always enjoy reading it. It isn't lacking for adventure, though there are no battle scenes, and when the Talking Beasts of Narnia come about, there are a lot of funny moments involving them and Uncle Andrew. There are some nice morals for young readers, but not in a preachy kind of way. Again, it's not quite as action-packed as some of the others in the series, this book is very captivating, and you really get a sense of it building up to the others; having re-read it, I am eager to finish re-reading the rest of them!"

    For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms on Blogger:

    herebebookwyrms dot blogspot dot com

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Classic

    Beautiful creation story.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013

    LOOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I absolutly LOVE this book. LOOOOOOOOOVVVE IT. I highly recommend this book.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Good

    Over all it was good it got off to a slow start but it was good.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Cutepaws

    Hi. I wanted to share what I think of this book.... THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER!!!!!! YOU SHOULD TOLDLY READ THIS IF YOU CAN READ!! IT IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOK!!! to me. one of my favs is Lord of the Rings. Bye!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Great book, I personally think its the best book in the Chronicl

    Great book, I personally think its the best book in the Chronicle of Narnia Series. And it shows how evil (sin) came into the creation of Narnia.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    This wasok

    This is techniqually the first bbook in the narnia sersies but its very boring at some parts! It youre going to start with it just hang in there and read! I personally read the sersies in the order they were written: the lion witch and wordrobe, prince capspian the dawn trreader , the maicians nephew, the horse and his boy, the silver chair then the last battle! I SUGGGEST rhe wordrobe, then horse and his boy, then prince c, dawntreader, THEN the magicians nephew, the silver chair and last battle! So muxh more enjoyable! I love this seeies and think everyone should read it! But i do warn some parts are hard to get through and slow! But its worth it!, :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    THIS BOOK IS THE BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is a book for kids ages 10-15.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    the magicians nephew The magicians nephew

    I thought this was a really good book. This book was about how digory and polly set on an adventure by digory's uncle's rings and how they come across the land called Narnia.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    An Amazing Story!

    I just adore the works of C.S Lewis! He is an amazing person. I loved everything about this book. I can't wait to read this series for the third time. I wish C.S Lewis was still alive, to see the impression he left on this world. He shall never be forgotten, and neither will the Pevensies'. R.I.P my friend. &hearts

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Aweasome

    Read this book it great but realy cheese

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Speachless......

    You can tell they put a thought into this story. it has amazing details and wonderful characters. I dont know how they wrote so many books based off of the main story. And i think that it is good to start of with 1-4 characters and then add on to the characters, and that is what this book did. When i started reading the first chapter i thought it was going to be the lamest book ever, but after i got passed the first chapter i was addicted to it!!

    FYI: just get passed the first chapter ( the main part of that chapter is just meeting the characters) and then ur good

    ENJOY THE BOOK!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    Great Fantasy Book

    This book is a great, quick read. It lures you into a fantasy world and it makes you feel as if you are part of the story. Love it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    Loved the movies. Kept hearing they skipped the 1st book explain

    Loved the movies. Kept hearing they skipped the 1st book explaining how Narnia was created. It was great to have the background knowledge. I just couldn't get into the writing style. Several times where the writing is actually talking to the reader. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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