The stories of Narnia begin when two British schoolchildren, Polly and Digory, accidentally find the Wood Between the Worlds after Digory’s uncle tricks Polly into touching a magic ring. The children jump into a shallow pool and find the dead city of Charn, where Digory awakens the lovely and powerful and terrible witch Queen Jadis, who follows them back to London. When the children manage to save our world by removing Jadis, they find a brand new world through the Wood, in the midst of creation by the great and powerful Lion King Aslan.
I am hereforth re-reading the classic tales of the world through the wardrobe, a series that rivals the fame of fellow Inklings’ children’s book The Hobbit. But whereas Tolkien’s work is overwhelmingly praised today, Lewis elicits uncomfortable feelings of under-handed theology. I’m here to tell you that Christian theology is popular for a reason — the stories of good and evil are compelling, and Lewis uses what’s great about those stories to tell his own.
I love the Wood Between the Worlds and the state of mind it creates in its visitors. It’s the sort of place you can feel the trees growing, and if someone asked you how long you’d been there, you would say forever, even if it had only been a few minutes. I love learning the origin story of Jadis, the lamp post, and the wardrobe (each of which makes its way to Narnia by way of London no less!). I love that the cabby and his wife and Strawberry the horse find a new home in Narnia. I love that despite his good nature, Digory falls into temptation multiple times, but always finds his way back out again.
Highly recommended for fans of classic imaginative fantasy!
“Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.”