The Magician's Nephew 

by C. S. Lewis

 

The Magician's Nephew takes us into the story of two completely new (to us) English children, Diggory and Polly. We've left behind, it seems, the Pevensies, along with Eustace and Jill. Diggory and Polly, like those kids, lead us on journeys into other worlds, but it seems that Narnia is not the destination.


Instead, we find a forest that has pools that lead to different worlds. Diggory and Polly manage to make their way into this world using some magic rings that Diggory's mad-scientist uncle, Uncle Andrew, has created. Basically, this weird old fellow is hoping to use the kids as lab rats, testing to see whether his theories will really work before he tries the rings himself. He can get away with this, in part, because Diggory's mother is too sick to notice that his uncle is using him for experiments.


As things unfold, the kids manage to find some other worlds, and even wake up an ancient queen of a dying world, a woman who is fierce and cruel. Bringing her back to London proves to be a bad idea — a really bad idea — as she wreaks havoc everywhere she goes. She is, after all, used to getting what she wants. And she certainly knows how to get her way.


Uncle Andrew, Diggory, and Polly eventually manage to get this wild woman into one of the other worlds. Unfortunately, it is not her own dying world, but someplace entirely different. It is a world still in embryo stage, waiting to be born.


The Magician's Nephew is fun because it offers us a look at worlds in their beginning and in their end. The contrast set up in the book between the death of a world and the birth of another makes for a really interesting read, making this one of the most engaging of all of the books in the Narnia series — which is saying a lot.

 

Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2009
 

 

 

From Amazon: Kirkus Reviews

 

"The magic of C. S. Lewis's parallel universe never fades." The Times

To all who have followed the adventures in C. S. Lewis' marvelous land of Narnia, THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW is a treat as it goes back to "grandfather's day" and tells how first contacts with Narnia were made. In London there was Digory a boy who lived with a wicked uncle, and Polly, the friend with whom he goes exploring. At first their adventures bring near disaster for mad Uncle Andrew uses magic powers inherited from his grandmother to send Polly off to the Woods Between the Worlds. There Digory follows her and the two children meet Jadis, a which who accompanies them back to reality. In turn Jadis brings with her a peck of trouble for everyone concerned- including Uncle Andrew- until a chance fall into a pit transfers them all to Narnia, the singing land of Aslan the Lion, whose intelligence and love vanquishes all evil. Couched in Lewis' silvered prose, this is rich reading. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

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