The Magician’s Nephew

A while ago I read The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis published by Collier Books in 1970.

Lewis writes about the conflict of conscience and nature. Human nature wants to push buttons, ring bells, and enter doors with Keep Out signs. Our conscience tells us not to do these things. In this book, our conscience eventually wins.

Digory is one of the two main characters in this story. He has come from the country to live with his aunt and uncle so that they can look after his sick mother.

Polly lives right next door to Digory. She quickly becomes friends with the boy. She is more timid than Digory but she goes along with all of his plans.

Uncle Andrew Ketterly is Digory’s uncle. He is a magician and he has a secret study in the old empty house down the street. He uses the children as guinea pigs for one of his magical experiments.

Jadis is the last Queen of Charn. Since Charn is dying, she needs a new world to rule. The children accidentally bring her to earth. When they try to get her back, they end up in Narnia.

The Wood Between the Worlds is not where most of this book is spent but since this book splits its time over three different worlds I feel like this is the setting most worth describing. It is a wood with many little ponds that represent different worlds. If you are wearing the correct ring when you jump into a pond you go to that world. The Wood has a debilitating effect on Jadis and Uncle Andrew.

The climax of this story is when Digory must get the magic apple for Aslan. He struggles with deciding whether to give it to Aslan like he promised or to keep it for himself.

I enjoyed this book. It’s interesting because it doesn’t spend as much time in Narnia as the other books do. Also, the main characters in this book have no connection with the main characters from earlier books. I would recommend this book.

 

A Gentle Wizard

I received a free copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

A Gentle Wizard was written by Nils Andersson and illustrated by Oliver Dean. It was published by Speed of Think Publishing in 2017.

Andersson writes about the life of Albert Einstein. He uses Jack, a part-timer at a photographer’s studio, to take a new spin on the life of one of the greatest scientists of all time. We, through Jack, the befriend Einstein, deal with his death, and teach our  kids about the scientist.

Jack is the main character of this story. He meets Einstein while running an errand. His first impression is that Einstein’s crazy. But first impressions are often wrong.

Albert Einstein plays a big part in this story.  He doesn’t like all the attention he gets and answering all the fan mail. He can seem a bit gruff, but that’s only until you get to know him.

Helen is Einstein’s assistant. She helps the professor in his old age. When the professor dies, she sets to work getting all of his affairs in order. She also enjoys watching over Jack’s twins, Danny and Liz.

Kate is Jack’s wife. She gets him out of tight spots and keeps the kids occupied so that Jack can work. Most of all, she is Jack’s best friend and the one he turns to for help.

This book takes place mostly in Einstein’s house. It is a junky place full of filing cabinets and loose papers. Nonetheless Jack loves to spend time there with the old professor.

The climax of this story is when Einstein dies. Jack has to work through his grief and also make sure that the professor is not forgotten.

I enjoyed this book. I think it was probably meant for younger kids then I am but it is sometimes refreshing to read something light. I think that if your kids are a littleyounger than fourteen then they would like this book.

 

The Last Days of Socrates

Last week I read The Last Days of Socrates by Plato, published by Penguin Books in 1954.

Plato writes about the conflict between whether or not there is an afterlife. Socrates is convinced there is but his friends aren’t so sure. Most of this book is spent on proving that there is such a thing as an afterlife.

The main character of all four parts of this book is Socrates. He is the only character present in every section. He can be infuriating and long-winded at times, but persuasive.

Euthyphro is the other character in the first story. He is tricked by Socrates into thinking he’s wiser than Socrates. Socrates pretends to be his student asking Euthyphro to teach him. Euthyphro obliges at first but, when he sees that Socrates has just been using him to argue, he leaves.

Crito is an important character in the third story. He comes early to jail where Socrates is waiting to be executed. He tries to convince Socrates to escape.

In the last story Phaedo is the narrator. He is telling Echerates how Socrates died since Echerates wasn’t there. Phaedo doesn’t come into the story much, but reports what happened.

In the first story, Socrates is waiting to go into court. In the second, he is in the courtroom. The third and fourth parts are spent in prison.

The climax of this story is when Socrates takes the poison. All his friends break down crying. Socrates rebukes them saying that he sent the women away to avoid this kind of scene. Everyone abruptly stops crying.

This book was not my favorite but it was still good. Even though it had some funny parts Socrates could be a little boring and long-winded. It was also hard sometimes to understand what he was saying. This book is not for everyone.

The Horse and His Boy

About a month ago I read The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis published by Collier books in 1970.

Lewis writes about the conflict between nature and nurture. Even though Shasta has been brought up as a Calormene, it is in his nature to act like a Narnian. In this book, nature wins over nurture.

Shasta is one of the four main characters in this book. He is a Narnian boy by birth but he doesn’t know it. His “father” Arsheesh treats him badly. When Shasta learns that his father might sell him he starts to seriously think about running away to Narnia.

Bree is a talking horse of Narnia. He was kidnapped when he was just a foal and he has been a slave to the Calormenes ever since. He and Shasta run away together to Narnia.

Aravis is a Tarkheena in Calormene. She doesn’t care for all the riches and finery though. When a marriage is arranged for her she runs away with Hwin, another talking horse from Narnia.

Hwin is a mild-mannered Narnian. She, like Bree, was also kidnapped by the Calormenes. She was in the service of Aravis’s father when Aravis decided to run away.

This book, like The Silver Chair, takes place mostly while they’re traveling. The main part of this book is spent in Calormen but it’s all different parts of Calormen so I can’t really describe one main spot.

The climax of this book is when Shasta, Aravis, Bree, and Hwin have to get news to the king of Archenland that the Calormenes are invading. A lion injures Aravis, Bree, and Hwin. Shasta has to run the rest of the way to the king’s castle by himself.

I enjoyed this book. It was interesting because even though it was set in the Narnian world, they barely spent any time in Narnia and we didn’t see much of the characters from the previous books. I would recommend this book.

 

The Silver Chair

After I wrote the review on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I decided to write one on The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis published by Collier Books in 1970.

Lewis again writes about the never-ending conflict between good and evil. He shows that if good is not practiced often enough it will be easy for evil to tempt and ensnare you. He doesn’t just leave it at that though. He then tells that no matter how deep into evil you go with help, you can always get out of it.

Eustace is again a major character in this book . I won’t introduce him though since I spent a paragraph in my last review talking about him.

Jill Pole is a major character who was introduced in this book. She goes to Eustace’s modern school The Experiment House. There she is teased and when Eustace meets her she is crying behind the bleachers. She is not very nice like Eustace was at first  but ,like Eustace, she comes around.

Another important character in this book is Puddleglum. He is a marsh wiggle. He goes on this journey  with Eustace and Jill because the other marsh wiggles are telling him that he is too optimistic and he needs to see that life isn’t as good as he makes it out to be.

The final character I will introduce is Prince Rillian. He is a minor character compared to the rest of them but he is the whole reason this story happened. He disappeared a while ago and now, since his father King Caspian is going on another long sea voyage,one that he might not return from, it is important that Narnia finds the heir. That is the reason Eustace and Jill were called to Narnia.

This book mostly takes place traveling through the lands around and under Narnia. There is no real setting for this story since the characters are always on the move. I would think that the most time spent in one place was under the ruins of the ancient giant city.

The climax of this story is when Jill,Eustace, and Puddleglum are deciding whether or not to untie the Green Lady’s right hand man from the silver chair. Before he had said that whatever you do don’t untie me but now he was saying that this was the only time that he was in his right mind and that he was the prince they had been looking for all this time.

I really liked this book. It shows that even though you can mess up really bad and fall deep into evil there is always a way out. This is one of my favorite Narnia books.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This is going to be my first blog which isn’t completely centered around my book reviews. Instead, it’s going to be a list of books i got for Christmas or books I haven’t read yet that will probably be reviewed in the future. If there is a book on here that you really want me to review then comment it below and more likely than not, it will be on my schedule for spring. Here’s my list:

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Crown and the Crucible by Michael Philips and Judith Pela

A House Divided by Michael Philips and Judith Pela

Travail and Triumph by Michael Philips and Judith Pela

Whoology by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright

That’s a Rap by MattyB

Doctor Who and the Ark in Space by Ian Marter

and that’s it.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

During Christmas break i decided to write about The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis published by Collier books in 1970.

Lewis writes about the conflict between the “modern” and the “old” ways. Obviously Lewis believes that the old ways are better and Eustace comes from the exact kind of modern family that Lewis despises. He shows that modern is bad by the way he portrays Eustace. By the end of the book, Eustace has made  complete turnaround.

Lucy and Edmund Penvensie return in this book, this time without their older sister and brother. Since they have been in the two previous books and I introduced them in a previous book review I won’t dwell on them. Instead, I will spend more time talking about the newer characters.

Another returning character was Prince Caspian. He is King Caspian now and in this book he is looking for the seven lords that Miraz had forced to leave when he was king. That was the reason the whole trip was first organized.

Eustace Clarence Scrubb almost deserved his name. He is the Penvensie’s cousin. He gets sucked into Narnia when Lucy and Edmund are visiting. he is a real jerk at first but eventually he comes around.

Reepicheep is a talking mouse of Narnia. In the previous book he had a very small part but he returns for a much bigger part in this book. He and Eustace don’t get along very well in the first part of this book but later, they become friends. The reason Repicheep is on the Dawn Treader is because of a prophecy that was said over him when he was a baby. it said that Repicheep would someday go to Aslan’s Country.

This book takes place mostly on the Dawn Treader. It’s King Caspian’s ship. The parts of the book that are not spent on the ship are spent on the islands in between Narnia and Aslan’s country.

The climax of this book is when King Caspian wants to go on to Aslan’s country but is prevented. he gets angry but he eventually realizes that it’s not his place to go on. He’s meant to go back to Narnia and be king there.

I enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed all the rest of the Narnia books. This one was good because it is the first one that hasn’t taken place in Narnia. It was also interesting seeing a new character from Earth who hasn’t been to Narnia before interacting with the people who have been to Narnia before. I would recommend this book.