Reading Narnia: The Silver Chair

Happy Friday everyone! I have the day off today and so far I have celebrated the weekend by catching up on sleep, getting my nails done, and enjoying all this sunshine. I guess its really summer now, especially since I’ve worn shorts and dresses more frequently than jeans this week.

It’s hard to believe that I am nearing the end of Narnia, but today I will be talking about The Silver Chair. Once again, I read this a while ago (I will be playing catch up for a while, but I am currently reading a pretty long book so hopefully that will give me some time for reviews.)

Image The Silver Chair tells the story of post-dragon Eustice and his classmate Jill as they venture in to Narnia. They are called by Aslan to find Prince Caspian’s son, Prince Rilian, who disappeared many years ago.

Once again we see new areas of Narnia  which just goes to show how vast a land Narnia really is. And once again other Narnia books have stood out more to me than this one, but much like Voyage of the Dawn Treader there were a few different things that I liked about Silver Chair.

We are introduced to a new character, Jill, who comes from a very similar background to Eustice. She isn’t quite the stick in the mud that Eustice was at the beginning of Voyage, but they do go to the same school, and she does have her doubts about Narnia, while Eustice is excited to be back.

Something that I liked about Jill was her reaction and acclimation into Narnia. I’ve talked about this a couple of times before with different characters, but each one really takes to Narnia differently. She doesn’t fall in love with it immediately the way Lucy does in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but she also isn’t adamantly against it like Eustice first was.

It takes her time throughout the book to get acclimated to Narnia and its ways, but she doesn’t really have an “aha” moment like so many other characters do. But at the beginning of the story she meets Aslan when she is by herself, and while she is hesitant of the lion at first, she also seems  in awe of the creature.  She can definitely sees that there is something different about him. But she remains  very doubtful of Narnia, and is clearly not content with her life back home either, where she is bullied by her classmates. And while you can’t really point to one particular transformational moment for Jill, her experiences in Narnia mold her character by the end of the story.

Aslan gives Jill a set of specific instructions to find Prince Rilian that she goes on to repeat to Eustice. At the start all seems well like this journey will not be too difficult, and Jill finds herself repeating the instructions over and over. But as is so often the case, other matters get in the way and Eustice and Jill find themselves in deeper than they had expected. I definitely found myself relating to that, both in my spiritual and secular life, and I feel like that was one of the many times Lewis reaches out to his readers to cross the divide of Narnia and the real world to make the story relatable for the reader.

They find themselves (after many travels and fending off Giants) in the Underland of Narnia, where an evil Queen is keeping Prince Rilian hostage in a silver chair and hopes to use him to break through the Underland and overthrow Narnia. This was not the same Queen from Lion, Witch, Wardrobe, but there are definite parallels between the two.

It was also interesting to briefly see Prince Caspian again, this time as an old man, and Eustice’s reactions to that after meeting the Prince earlier in his life on The Dawn Treader. The difference between Narnian time and time on earth is never really specified in too much detail (magic), but this Caspain is a different leader than the Caspians in the previous two books.

I still have one more Narnia book to read (I read some other books in the meantime which I am excited to talk about later), but I felt like The Silver Chair set up well for The Final Battle, much like Dawn Treader set up for the rest of the series.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Narnia and/or The Silver Chair in the comments section below. 🙂

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