(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
“Do not dare not to dare.” Aslan to Bree
Isn’t Narnia the best? I fall more and more in love with this world every time I re-read any book in the series. For Narnia and the North!
I especially love this story because its about a journey. Not only for Shasta, but Aravis, Hwin and Bree. A journey of discovering who they are meant to be and realizing that not everything is exactly as it seems. Plus, this book also has one of my favorite quotes from Narnia as well (I posted it here.)
Alright, let’s talk about the bad guys for a moment.
Oh Rabadash…I almost felt sorry for the guy. So blinded and calling what is good a demon. I also thought the way Lewis’ described their thoughts on the “sorcery” of Narnia was rather telling.
“And this change, O most learned Prince, has doubtless been brought to pass by the powerful incantations of those wicked persons who now call themselves kings and queens of Narnia.”
“I am rather of the opinion,” said Rabadash, “that it has come about by the alteration of the stars and the operation of natural causes.”
“All this,” said the Tisroc, “is a question for the disputations of learned men. I will never believe that so great an alteration, and the killing of the old enchantress, were effected without the aid of strong magic. And such things are to be expected in that land, which is chiefly inhabited by demons in the shape of beasts that talk like men, and monsters that are half man and half beast. It is commonly reported that the High King of Narnia (whom may the gods utterly reject) is supported by a demon of hideous aspect and irresistible maleficence who appears in the shape of a Lion.”
Another reason this one is one of my favorite of the Chronicles is because of how much it shows the character of Aslan. I mean…CAN I LOVE A CAT ANYMORE? Here’s just a few of my favorites about Aslan:
“Who are you?” asked Shasta.
“Myself,” said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again “Myself,” loud and clear and gay: and then the third time “Myself,” whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.
Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too.
“It was from the Lion that the light came. No one ever saw anything more terrible or beautiful.”
“But after one glance at the Lion’s face he (Shasta) slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn’t say anything but then he didn’t want to say anything, and he knew he needn’t say anything.”
And probably one of my favorites is when the narrator (toward the end) causally says:
“[Aslan] seems to be at the back of all the stories.”
Ain’t that the truth?
Alright! If you want to join in the discussion, here’s a few prompts! Of course feel free to answer any, all or include other thoughts.
1. Which character do you think went through the most change?
I want to say all of them, but I’ll go with Aravis and Bree. I think it’s because the stuff that they needed to change was a bit harder and different from the changes Shasta experienced.
2. Did you have a favorite action of Aslan in this one?
I love Aslan, especially in the tombs. From the comforting cat to his roar scaring away creatures. He’s always exactly who we need.
3. If you have any quotes you especially loved, please share!
4. Any other thoughts?
I was reading up on reviews and came across many reviews who claimed C.S. Lewis was racist because of this book. Say wha? I don’t think you can truly know Lewis’ works and life and say something like that. I’ll just leave it at that. Have you heard this claims?
It was also fun to see the first relationship and marriage in the series (Cor and Aravis). Yay for love!
Thanks for reading and joining in! Until next month when we head over to Middle Earth.