Is anyone an expert on The Chronicles of Narnia?

(41 Posts)
Myfanwyprice Wed 09-Mar-16 13:52:04

So, after deciding that I'd like to encourage ds (9) to read a bit more, I ordered The lion, the witch and the wardrobe without really realising that it isn't the first book in the series - rookie error, I know blush

He loves it, and we are really enjoying reading it together. Will it be ok to just continue reading the series from here, or should we go back and read the magicians nephew before starting the horse and his boy?

Thank you!

TeaPleaseLouise Wed 09-Mar-16 13:56:05

Boy an expert but I love the books.

You could do either... Not helpful sorry grin

I think there's references to Aunt Polly in Prince Caspian so maybe read it before then? Though I didn't read the magicians nephew till after I'd finished the series I think..

Annarose2014 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:58:35

I didn't read either till after I'd finished as I hadnt known they existed, and I don't recall it making any difference at all tbh.

MaximumVolume Wed 09-Mar-16 13:58:35

It is the first book of the series in writing order: The Magician's Nephew was written later as a prequel.

I'm not a purist but I'd say after The Lion, skip to Prince Caspian which is the next time the Pevensey kids are involved. I haven't read them recently but found book 3, The Horse and his Boy, hard-going as a child.

Or, ask whether he'd like to find out how Narnia began and where the witch came from, which is the story of The Magician's Nephew.

Backingvocals Wed 09-Mar-16 13:59:09

Not an expert either but I think you can pretty much read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe plus Magicians Nephew and the Horse and his Boy in isolation from each other. I did as a child and they all make sense as stand alone stories iyswim. There are references between them but nothing that would spoil your enjoyment imho. Those are the three best ones I think - after that they lost me a bit.

OldJoseph Wed 09-Mar-16 13:59:20

It is the first in the series. The Magician's Nephew was written as a prequel so can be read on it's own.

MirandaWest Wed 09-Mar-16 14:01:56

The magicians nephew was written after the lion, the witch and the wardrobe in a prequel way. I don't think it particularly matters when you read it although you should do before the last battle definitely.

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Wed 09-Mar-16 14:02:40

Not an expert but I loved these books when I was a kid!

Absolutely fine to carry on without dipping back to The Magician's Nephew. It's only put first in the series because it tells the first chronologically (things like how the lamp-post ended up in a Narnian forest). It was actually one of the last books written in the series, I think. And IMHO not as good as many as the others.

In fact, same with the Horse and His Boy, which was one of the later ones too, it just tells a story from early on in Narnian history. Although it was my favourite book as a child, I sooo wanted to be Aravis.

MirandaWest Wed 09-Mar-16 14:02:55

Have seen here that the Horse and his Boy was written later as well. Have never been able to get into that one tbh

Tuiles Wed 09-Mar-16 14:03:18

We went back to the Magicians Nephew after TLTWATW and DD really enjoyed spotting references in the story that come up later. It gave her some real context so she really engaged with it. It so happened that they covered some of the Narnia story in class and she was so happy to be able to explain the origin of the lamppost and how the wardrobe was a gateway to Narnia.

Myfanwyprice Wed 09-Mar-16 14:04:59

Excellent advice, thank you all flowers I'll have a chat with ds tonight, and see what he wants to do.

I am a real book worm, and can't believe I haven't read them before, we've just read Peter's first battle, it's the first time I've seen ds (who usually reads football record type books) get excited about a book in ages!

OhShutUpThomas Wed 09-Mar-16 14:12:20

It doesn't really matter.

I really like The Horse and his Boy, it's a good adventure with a nice twist.
The Magician's Nephew is good too - in fact they're all good. Voyage of the Dawntreader is a great adventure.
I'm not keen on The Last Battle though. The Christian undertones come really to the fore, and I don't like what happens to Susan.

In fact, having the whole Christian aspect of the books pointed out to me did spoil them a bit - I just thought they were really good books then, but now I can't get away from the preachiness.
Having said that, The Last Battle is the only one I don't think I'd re read.

Might get the others out tonight though!!

Oh another films are shit. Especially Voyage.
But some were serialised years ago for tv - they're quite good, especially The Silver Chair.

TeaPleaseLouise Wed 09-Mar-16 14:31:37

Oh, the horse and his boy was one of my favourites. I liked it much better than Prince Caspian..

MaximumVolume Wed 09-Mar-16 15:52:16

It might be time for a reread of these! DS1 is only 3 so might read them for myself!

BlackSwan Thu 10-Mar-16 20:26:44

I recently read these to my son - had never read them before. Found them laboured and dated. Not a fan.

SocksRock Thu 10-Mar-16 20:28:39

Oh, I wanted to be Aravis as well! DD1 is currently on Harry Potter, but I've earmarked these for her next. And the Susan Cooper Dark Is Rising series - they were my favourites for years and years.

magratsflyawayhair Thu 10-Mar-16 20:30:08

I have the BBC adaptation on Dvd. Love it. I'd read the Magician's Nephew before moving on. But I always like to read book series in order, at least the first time.

QuidditchTonedThighs Thu 10-Mar-16 20:31:21

I completely disagree that Magician's Nephew should be read before Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In fact the suggestion makes me ragey. It's a prequel, and reading MN before LWW completely ruins the effect at the end of MN when you find out who one of the characters is and how Narnia came into existence. You absolutely should start with LWW.

saffronwblue Thu 10-Mar-16 20:31:44

I found the last battle really dark and upsetting. Loved the others , especially silver chair and dawn treader.

Witchend Fri 11-Mar-16 11:40:25

Someone wrote to CS Lewis and said that he thought you should read them in the order he wrote them (I think LWW, VD, SC, HB, MN, LB) and his mum thought you should read them in order (MN, LWW, HB, VD, SC, LB) and he replied that he thought either was fine but he slightly preferred the first order.
Certainly if you read LWW first you can then spend MN thinking "oh that's where that comes in". Whereas if you don't, you don't notice the clever bits as much.

mrsmortis Fri 11-Mar-16 12:20:51

I'd always recommend that they were read in publication order, especially if you are talking about a young child.

Magicians Nephew and the Last Battle are darker than the others and also harder to understand. I didn't have access to copies of them until I was old enough to read them to myself but I still found the the Last battle incomprehensible. I finally worked out what it was going on about when I heard the BBC dramatisation a few years later...

I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe before I read The Magician's Nephew, and it didn't confuse me - to be honest, I think TLTWaTW makes more sense as the first book - because it was written first, it assumes no knowledge of Narnia, whereas TMN sort-of assumes the reader knows about Narnia, so to me, it wouldn't feel right to read it first.

Sorry if that makes little or no sense - am battling a headache and am rather hard-of-thinking today.

ElinorRochdale Fri 11-Mar-16 12:55:39

LWTW always used to be promoted as the first in the series. It's only fairly recently the recommended order has been changed. Like Quidditch, it really annoys me when people tell me I did it wrong all those years ago, because I followed what was then the recommended reading order.

After MN, you should read E. Nesbit's Psammead series, to see where Lewis got his inspiration (which he acknowledged, I believe).

Wolpertinger Fri 11-Mar-16 13:04:36

I loved The Horse and his Boy but then I was a girl obsessed with horses and there are a lot of horses and a great female character (Aravis) in it. Looking back, it's a pretty racist book sad but I didn't notice that at the time.

Definitely go back for the Magician's Nephew first.

Myfanwyprice Fri 11-Mar-16 13:17:22

We are fast approaching the end of tltwatw, and I have ordered the others; they'll hopefully arrive tomorrow - I think I'm going to suggest mn next - and if he loses interest I'll read them myself!

Thank you for the recommendation of the pssamead, that is another book I've been meaning to read with ds, so will add that to the list!

On a separate but not unrelated matter, I've almost finished reading charlotte's web to dd (6) - it's the first time we've read a chapter book and she has really enjoyed it; but I'm looking for recommendation of what to read next - any ideas? Her all time favourite stories are my naughty little sister.

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