Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Silver Chair


 

2009, first published 1953

Jill and Eustace attend an experimental school where they are bullied and are not learning a lot.  They escape through an open door in a wall and find themselves in Narnia.  Aslan, the Christ-like talking lion,  meets them and gives them their mission:  they are to find the lost Prince Rilian.

Eustace has been to Narnia before and is shocked that the king he had known as a young man has become old.  Our world and Narnia exist on different time scales.

They are lulled into a false sense of security when they visit the castle of the gentle giants – and just manage to escape before they are eaten for dinner.

They must have their wits about them and remember the four signs which Jill almost forgets at one point as she has stopped reciting them to herself each evening.  

Do they have free will or is everything predestined? Aslan has to prompt them so is he really orchestrating everything?   

They succeed and when they get back to their own world there is a delightful joke for any adult reading the book: the head teacher is dismissed and joins the inspectorate but she is not very good at that and has to go into politics.

The language is a little old-fashioned but that reflects the time it was written. The Prince can seem pompous at times. The book is It is quite long for this reader – 272 pages though it uses a large font. There are a few line drawings – artist’s impressions of some of the characters.    

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