Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Published: 1984 (first published 1956)
Publisher: Harper Trophy
Read from December 21st to 25th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Narnia...where dwarfs are loyal and tough and strong--or are they? ...where you must say goodbye...and where the adventure begins again.
The Unicorn says that humans are brought to Narnia when Narnia is stirred and upset. And Narnia is in trouble now: A false Aslan roams the land. Narnia's only hope is that Eustace and Jill, old friends to Narnia, will be able to find the true Aslan and restore peace to the land. Their task is a difficult one because, as the Centaur says, "The stars never lie, but Men and Beasts do." Who is the real Aslan and who is the imposter?

I really enjoyed the end of this series.  This review is probably going to contain a lot of spoilers, so I wouldn't read it if you don't wanted know what happens.

I feel as if I would have more to say about the book if I had reviewed it sooner, but it's been almost two weeks, and I've read quite a lot since then.  (I had to get get caught up with my goal for the year.)  I knew before that the kids would die because I'd read it online (whoops), but I still don't know how I feel about that.  I mean, they didn't suffer or anything obviously, but I just don't know...  I guess the point was that once they had seen what is basically heaven they can't go back to their world, and Lewis wanted to write about heaven so he had to have the characters die.  Still it seems kind of harsh considering how young most of them are.  And the parents dying too made it even more over the top.  I guess kids reading the series would be a bit comforted by seeing that the parents were there too, but I can't help but wondering how Susan is feeling back on earth having lost her entire family so suddenly.  She's not even mentioned...

I do like how death was handled.  It wasn't presented as this absolutely terrifying thing, and I really think it would help kids reading the book be less scared of death.  The characters are all dead, but they're happy.  If you had a kid who was really scared of death or something, reading this book might help.

It was kind of sad to see the end of Narnia, but overall I thought the book was a good end to the series.  I enjoyed it.

Having read the whole series, I think The Horse and His Boy was my favorite, which is interesting considering that until about the middle of the book I didn't like it at all.  I find that it's the one I think about the most though.  I'm not really even sure why.  There's just something about that one that I really liked.

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