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

The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) - C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes Well isn't this a pleasant surprise! I should explain:I have been struggling for quite awhile with this series. Having not gone to an English speaking school, I never read The Chronicles of Narnia growing up. I have to admit I discovered the film versions first. Then,I attempted to read it right after 'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe' came out, but at that time, I had a hard time with C.S.Lewis' style. He tends to constantly insert the author’s voice, and I found it broke the fantasy bubble for me and kept taking me out of the story. This time around, I begun with 'The Magician's Nephew', reading the story chronologically instead of by order of release. Maybe it's because I don't have the film version to taint my opinion, but I very much enjoyed this book.

The Magician's Nephew is the tale of how Narnia came into being. It takes place many hundreds of years before the events of 'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe'. I found it really fascinating, since one of the main characters is the old Professor who takes in the Pevensie children in TLTW&TW (the one who owns the infamous wardrobe). You get to see the creation of Narnia, meet Aslan, and see how the evil White Witch came to Narnia. The idea of witnessing a world just beginning.... hardly any people, few animals... seeing places with no names; all of this was really fascinating to me.

The magic aspect of Narnia; it's a different kind of magic then I'm accustomed to, and I'm not sure how to explain it...kind of like it's the world itself that is magic; the magic exists in the very nature of Naria: in it's water, in it's trees, in it's animals. So it's fun to read about magic in different form than I'm accustomed to. All things considered, I really enjoyed this story. I've read up on The Chronicles of Narnia quite a bit, and I was looking out for the hints of sexism and christian subtext, and while both were there; maybe they weren't at their worst in this particular book...or maybe because I was ready for them it didn't bother me as much...we'll see how the next books hold up :)