The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the world that started it all
Updated: Dec 31, 2018
Every reader has a story that has impacted their life, a story they could read over and over again and never get tired of, a story that can still move them to laughter and tears no matter how many times they do. I've read books that have left me curled up and sobbing, books that have made me want to scream with frustration, books that have had me wide-eyed and breathless with sheer suspense, mystery and epicness. Books are powerful that way. They can grab us by the heartstrings and rip us from our world, drop us somewhere else and leave us there for a while, but the best books, I think, the ones that touch us the most, are the ones that linger with us when our visit is over.
Such, for me, is C.S. Lewis' magical Chronicles of Narnia.
No series has touched me or continues to touch me the way this collection has and can. It was my first major undertaking as a reader in second grade, and quickly became my first literary love. I was enchanted by Lewis' world of Talking Beasts, Kings and Queens, Stone Tables, magical wardrobes, dwarfs, nymphs, battles, adventures- and of course, the Great Lion himself. As a kid it was the ultimate fantasy, so real and tangible and wonderful I think part of me really believed in it. I remember I dreamed about Narnia once, and woke up desperately, fervently hoping for the chance to go back the next night! (I didn't.)
Not much has changed as years have passed. I remain a true Narnian at heart. But the older I get, the more the stories come to life as more than a fantasy world, but as a profound weaving of spiritual truths that time can never touch. The Great Lion Aslan, Creator of Narnia, points my heart to the love and the majesty of God with every profound word he speaks in the story, every deed of selfless love and power. The characters embody so many of my own human weaknesses that sometimes when they stumble, it might as well be me. The battles fought, the lessons learned, the journeys taken and tears shed- each book rings with truths of the Christian quest and the fight we are called to in the war of our world. Narnia wasn't made to be an escape from reality; it was made to mirror it, that by spending time in a reflection the real thing might feel all the brighter, and that by knowing Aslan for a little there, we might know Him better here... to paraphrase Lewis himself.
So, in short (and without divulging much), I recommend this series to anyone and everyone and rate it with ten stars out of five. I challenge you to read it, beginning to end, to laugh as you go and cry when you finish. I challenge you not to forget it afterward, not to let it slip into that pile in your mind where all the most important stories sit collecting dust, forgotten. If you read it the way C.S. Lewis intended, it might just teach you something, and if not, you've probably missed the point for which Narnia was written.
This is the series that inspired my love of books and showed me how powerful writing can be. C.S. Lewis as an author is what I aspire to become- a tool for God in telling stories that point the way to Him- and The Chronicles of Narnia, near and dear to my heart, will always remind me that "we are all between the paws of the true Aslan." (Lewis)