Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit- The Magician’s Nephew


How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth.


When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined.

Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.


I couldn’t recall reading this book when I was younger, but then parts of it came flooding back to me. The Magician’s Nephew was the sixth Narnia book that was published, but it precedes The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe if you want to read it in chronological order. It tells the story of how Narnia came about.

I thought that The Magician’s Nephew was really gripping at the start. As I mentioned, memories of reading it kept on flooding back. When I got halfway through, I began to feel a little unsatisfied with it. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good and enjoyable book. I just didn’t feel as engaged with the story as I wanted to be, or would want a child to be. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is definitely more appealing in my eyes, than this book. One aspect of C.S Lewis’ writing that I still enjoy is the beautiful prose. I still find it incredibly descriptive and a pleasure to read.

Analysing the book as an adult is a completely different experience to reading it as a child. I found the treatment of women quite unusual. I also picked up on a lot more Christian metaphors. I guess as a child, I didn’t really see the significance of it, but it could almost be used in a Religious Education lesson!

Religious significances aside, I think it is an enjoyable book, but certainly not the best piece of literature out there for children.

For Beth’s review, please check her brilliant post HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

13 thoughts on “Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit- The Magician’s Nephew

  1. Pingback: Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit 2014 – APRIL READ – The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis | bibliobeth

  2. I actually really enjoyed The Magician’s Nephew. I don’t really remember what I thought of the middle/ending, but I thought the part where Narnia was actually created was really fascinating. Great review! 😀

  3. It’s years since I read this, but I think I felt a bit like you, Chrissi. While I liked all the Narnia books, the earlier ones (in terms of writing, that is) worked much better for me than the later ones somehow. But taken all together as a series, they were brilliant. I’m a bit scared to re-read them to be honest…

  4. “Analysing the book as an adult is a completely different experience to reading it as a child.”

    I really, really wish I had been able to read it when I was a child, but of course I was weird and had to read the books in published order rather than chronological (or maybe it was because my dad’s set, which he lent me, was numbered in the published order?), and I never, ever got past The Silver Chair when I marathoned them until… I want to say 2007? Of course, that time I decided it would be better to read them in chronological order, but by then I was already an adult 😦

    Despite that, it was a real treat for me to find out how Narnia and the White Witch came to be after reading about the Pevensies’ and Eustace’s adventures and I loved seeing Digory the boy rather than Digory the Professor!

    I definitely agree about being able to see the Christian metaphors, especially in this one, which is probably because of how much the story of Genesis was drilled into my head in religion classes growing up and references characters have to it in various books, movies, etc. I can’t remember what it’s from, but I especially recall someone saying something to the effect of ‘even God slept on the seventh day’ XD

    I hope at some point you reread the rest of the series and let us know what you think of them as an adult! 😉

    • Aw 😦 It’s a shame you didn’t get to read them as a child. I think as children we’re much less critical. I do intend to hopefully continue the series with Beth. That would be quite exciting, but it’s something we will discuss!

      I’m really glad that you enjoyed the book. It’s certainly nice to know how Narnia and The White Witch came to be. 😀 It’s funny how it’s so deeply rooted with Christianity. I never realised it as a child!

  5. A great review although as a child this was my favourite of the whole set (yes, even more than The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe!) and I re-read it to my children and still enjoyed it although as you point out the links to Christianity are really obvious as an adult.

    • Oh wow. I think The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has to be my favourite. It’s interesting how we don’t pick up the links to Christianity as a child, but it’s so glaringly obvious as an adult.

  6. I read this for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it! My mum gave me her set of the Narnia books from when she was little and they’ve been sitting on my shelf for years but after reading the first one I can’t wait to start the next! Great review 🙂 xx

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