Collection includes all seven of the novels in the series.
When The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe appeared on the literary scene in 1950, it helped to define the genre of fantasy for children and adolescents and opened the door for authors like J. K. Rowling (the "Harry Potter" series), Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted and The Princess Tales), and Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials Trilogy). The books that followed all took up either the adventures of the five main characters from the first bookPeter, Susan, Edward and Lucy, who became the Kings and Queens of Narnia and the mysterious lion, Aslan, everlasting ruler of all Narniaor followed events occurring in the "otherworld" of Narnia itself. This current compilation arranges the seven books of Narnia in the order C. S. Lewis thought they should be read. Thus, in The Magician's Nephew (1955), we learn of the origins of Narnia. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950), The Horse and His Boy (1954), Prince Caspian (1951), The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952), and The Silver Chair (1953) provide further adventures for the main characters and their friends. The final book, The Last Battle (1956), chronicles the end of Narnia. The adventures themselves are compelling for younger readers, and those who come to Narnia as older "participants" may find themselves analyzing the Christian allegory that Lewis infused throughout the texts. However, in light of concerns about gender or ethnic representations, some readers may have concerns about the stereotypical manner in which a number of characters are constructed. And those students who have found fantasy because of Harry Potter may find The Chronicles of Narnia, at a surface level, less compelling. But Narnia still invites readersof all ages to its shores, and trip is well worth the time. 2001 HarperCollins Publishers, $19.95. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Jean Boreen