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Van's Pick: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

Two English school children share hair-raising adventures as they go on a search and rescue mission for the missing Prince Rilian, who is held captive in the underground kingdom of the Emerald Witch.

I have reviewed a number of the Narnia series books in my past articles because of Netflix planning on bringing the series to streaming. I will review today what is many of the fans’ favorite novel, The Silver Chair. Lewis took a chance with this book because he dropped the Pevensie children from this story who were heavily featured in previous books. He concentrates on Eustace in this novel ( a relation to the Pevensies), and his school mate Jill Pole.

They begin their story in Experiment House, a school that does not encourage imagination or creativity. One day while being chased by bullies, they are transported back to Narnia and are given a task of finding the current Narnian prince who has been kidnapped by the beautiful, but evil Green Witch. Before their story is over they will encounter Puddlegum, a tall, webbed feet Marchwiggle brimming with negativity, man eating giants, and gigantic owls.

This novel definitely has the most action out of all the Narnia books and indeed this never lets up. The Green Witch is an enemy to match the White Witch from earlier novels and is every bit as beautiful and evil. In fact, in the BBC tv series, the two witches were played by the same actress. The Marchwiggle, the children’s companion is a good foil for these characters and is comical in his own way.

There is also much Christian symbolism, which one would expect from Lewis’s work. The two children are likable by novel’s end being both heroic and willing to sacrifice. The author’s passages are clear and descriptive with enough whimsy to remind the reader this is a children’s fantasy dealing with a few adult themes. This is not my favorite of the collection, but I will rank it number three out of the seven books. I give it four out of five stars.

- Van, Reference Librarian


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