Rating – 4/5 stars | Genre – Fantasy adventure
More of a hilarious fact about this book before we delve in; my mother would not be able to look at the front cover of this book because she is scared of snakes. Even if the snake isn’t a real snake, apparently it looks real enough for it to freak her out. Not a great deal to do with the book, but thought it would be nice rather than the generic opening.
Eustace and Jill are whisked to the land of Narnia where Aslan, the great Lion, needs their help to find the missing Prince Rilian. Teaming up with Puddleglum, the Marsh Wiggle, the search takes them through some of the most dangerous underland of Narnia. Even if they attain their goal, it can only be the start of further trouble. (synopsis from book; here the Goodreads link)
This one gave me very similar vibes to Prince Caspian in that two of the children have returned to Narnia and need to help a Prince in peril. Despite being a very similar story, I still very much enjoyed this book. The new characters introduced were fun to explore and the new areas of Narnia were just as interesting as the rest of the world we’ve previously seen. It also helped me get over my annoyance of Eustace by giving him more redeemable characteristics, he learned from the last adventure!
- Puddleglum: Now, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I actually really enjoyed this new character. His cynicism just really appealed to me, he made this new adventure rather amusing as well as showcased the crumbling of the overwhelming positive vibe you get from Narnia in the first books.
- The darkness: Each book always exhibits a sense of danger and darker aspects of Narnia. However, to me there was nothing more terrifying that when they are lured underground. Following Jill’s fear of small and dark spaces really brings you into the fear they’re facing. For me, this was the first time the characters seem to be genuinely doomed.
- Not and easy adventure: a lot of what makes this adventure different to the one we see in Prince Caspian is that the kids aren’t well equipped to get through this adventure easily. Unlike the skills the original four exhibit, Jill and Eustace are presented as normal children who are simply going off what they think they should do. It felt more realistic that Jill wasn’t able to remember the hints Aslan gave her. Honestly, I feel this would’ve been how we all would’ve dealt with the situation.
Before I finish this, I’ll say that I’m becoming very suspicious of Aslan. Maybe I’m not reading into him correctly, but he just seems to be fairly unhelpful. He keeps bringing these children into Narnia and throwing them into danger without really being much help.
Once again, I’ve enjoyed the penultimate book to the series. It has definitely picked up in quality compared to some of the previous book. Unlike some of the side-adventures of other books, this book is definitely setting up something sinister to come in the final book.
As I now come to reading the final book I’m finding myself enjoying the fact I’ve decided to read this series. Heres hoping the series comes to a satisfying ending.