The Silver Chair
by C. S. Lewis
In The Silver Chair, Eustace makes his return journey to Narnia. This is the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia that we don't travel with the Pevensies, but Eustace and his pal Jill make a pretty nice substitute. Their friend and guide, Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, rounds out their party in an amusing way, and it is these three who take us on our adventures through some strange parts of the world of Narnia.
The Silver Chair is in the form of a classic quest journey — not, however, in search of the lost princess who will make our hero a king, if he finds her. Rather, this quest is a search for a lost prince, who (if we can find him) will become king on his return. The journey takes us into some odd landscapes, including a land of giants and the Underworld. The journeys through the Underworld lying beneath the soil of Narnia shows us some of the oddest places and strangest creatures in that whole parallel world.
Prince Rilian is not quite as endearing a character as his father Caspian, though this might be, in part, because we spend so much less time with him than we do Caspian. Even so, the story of his rescue is made interesting by the places we visit, and the pessimistic commentary of Puddleglum.
Overall, The Silver Chair might be one of the weakest books of the series, if it were to stand alone. But read as part of the overall Chronicles of Narnia, it is very entertaining.
Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2010