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Book review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book for the first time in 4th grade, 2 years before I read the rest of The Chronicles of Narnia and 5 years before reading Tolkien's The Hobbit. I didn't understand all the references to Greco-Roman and pagan mythology at the time, but I've come to appreciate them more over the years. As a child, I immediately grasped the parallel to Jesus' sacrifice for His people, and today I still enjoy C.S. Lewis' perspective on this tenant of the Gospel.

Lewis' Narnia isn't as distinct from our world as Tolkien's Middle-Earth. In this book, for example, the Witch knows about Turkish Delight, despite there being no Turkey in Narnia. And Father Christmas' cameo teaches a metaphorical lesson, but it doesn't make sense to have Christmas in a world without Christ. The first few times I read this book, I never understood Mr. Beaver's reference to Lilith as Adam's first wife, but now I understand that this is another piece of mythology Lewis weaves into the story (Jewish mythology: Lilith).

My favorite scenes:
Winter ends and Spring unfolds to signify the Witch's waning power and Aslan's return.
The descriptions of the real and mythical creatures in the opposing armies of Aslan and the Witch (mythical creatures: fauns, nymphs, naiads, dryads, satyrs, dwarfs, giants, centaurs, unicorns, minotaurs, ogres, hags, wraiths, efreets, ettins, etc.).
The Professor believes in the existence of Narnia, and hints at a deeper knowledge of alternate worlds (further explored in The Magician's Nephew).

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