Re-Read: The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic

The beginning of July was a busy time for me as I got my portfolio of work ready to hand in for my college course; which left me with little time and brain power left for reading. With that in mind I picked up The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, the first in his epic Discworld series, for a comforting  and easy re-read. With its blend of fantasy and humour I thought it the best medicine for my stretched mind.

In The Colour of Magic we are first introduced to Pratchett’s magic, weird and fantastical Discworld; a flat disc world which stands on the back of four elephants who themselves stand on the shell of giant turtle who swims through the universe. I never cease to be amazed and amused by Pratchett’s wonderful imagination. The story of The Colour of Magic takes us to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork that see’s the arrival of naïve and rich tourist Twoflower; a small man with four eyes from the Agatean Empire. Only thing is the citizens of Ankh-Morpork have no idea what a tourist is. Fearing trouble the city’s Patriarch charges Rincewind the wizard with escorting and keeping Twoflower from coming to harm. Sadly Rincewind is a poor excuse for a wizard. After kidnap threats, fights and a devastating fire Twoflower and Rincewind are forced to flee the city setting them on the path of an unexpected adventure.

The protagonists of The Colour of Magic are Rincewind, Twoflower and his magical walking chest; who even though it can’t speak really does seem to have its own personality and way of communicating. Rincewind is clever but is utterly lacking any bravery, confidence or magic which all in all makes for a very poor wizard. It is very funny to read about his many miss-adventures and forced moments of heroism. Then we have Twoflower the first tourist who longs to see the sights regardless of his health or his safety. Twoflower is not necessarily brave though he is just naïve and far too trusting but things have a way of working out for him. The combination of Rincewind, Twoflower and his magical walking chest makes for a hilarious read before you add any of the other characters and creatures they meet along the way.

Terry Pratchett is a well loved author of mine but scandalously I haven’t read one of his novels since 2012! To make up for that and to refresh my memory I decided to go back to where it all started. The Colour of Magic is the first instalment of Pratchett’s epic Discworld series. This is not a series you necessarily have to read in order as the stories are usually short, fun and simple which also follow many different characters/sets of characters. I felt it would be nice to read the first novel again though so I could have the chance to focus on Pratchett’s first descriptions of the actual world itself to get better sense of it before going on to reading some new adventures. I really enjoyed this re-read not just for the familiar comfort it brought but also for remembering well loved jokes and noticing extra details. It has reminded me all over again why I love Pratchett and how I should get a move on reading more of his Discworld series.

The Colour of Magic is a wonderfully fun and colourful adventure. I highly recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and comedy.

Have you read Discworld? Have a favourite instalment?

Challenge: Once Upon a Time VIII Results

Once Upon a Time 8

(Art by Melissa Nucera)

Spring has ended and Summer has begun which sadly means we have to say goodbye to The Once Upon a Time event which is hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings. An event where participants are encouraged to read books and watch films that cover the broad categories of  Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. I always look forward to this event as the genres listed above are some of my favourites!

I signed up for The Journey level which means I was aiming to read at least one book for the event. Here’s what I managed to read:

1) City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #4)
2) City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #5)
3) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
4) A World Apart by David M Brown (The Elencheran Chronicles)

I usually sign up for The Journey level which means I only need to read one because even though I usually end up reading more I like the flexibility this level offers especially as I’ve recently been so busy with college coursework. Considering how busy I’ve been I am really pleased to have finished four books for this event and I enjoyed all of them. Through out the event I have also been dipping in and out of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales I have made good progress but still got a long way to go. (Click on the links in the titles to view my full thoughts on each read).

I am now looking forward to Carl V’s R.I.P event in the Autumn and the return of Once Upon a Time next year.

Did you take part in Once Upon a Time VIII?

New Read: A World Apart

A World Apart

May was a busy month for me with college coursework and my placement at college, and when the rain and storms returned to the UK all I wanted to do in the evening was tuck myself in bed with a fantasy read that would transport me somewhere else. To do this I chose A World Apart by David M Brown  part of The Elencheran Chronicles which had been languishing on my kindle gathering dust for too long.

A World Apart takes us to the island state of Himordia which is ruled by the all powerful Order. All citizens of Himordia are born, work, marry, reproduce, fight and die for the Order. In the quiet town of Dove’s Meadow the legendary war hero Granicus settled down and started a successful farm and wool business which his son Lacuna will inherit. Unlike him though Lacuna is no fighter and prefers the solitary life in the hills with the sheep. His quiet life is to be unexpectantly changed when he has brush with a woman and the crew of the infamous pirate the Black Iris that leaves him with his own son Demetrius. Things are never to be the same again. Demetrius has his grandfather’s strength, Lacuna’s hardworking nature and a taste of adventure from his unknown mother. Demetrius becomes fast friends with Halcyon and Eleyna. The three grow up together playing dares, having adventures and planning their glorious futures. As adults Demetrius goes off to join the army while Halcyon and Eleyna settle down to lives of work and marriage; all for the Order. But things are not to turn out as they all planned. I really got into this book when Demetrius, Halcyon and Eleyna grew up and set off on their own paths which were to lead to murder, betrayal, death, imprisonment, magic, the highs seas, new lands and the infamous pirate the Black Iris.

The three protagonists of A World Apart are Demetrius, Halcyon and Eleyna. Even when they aren’t all together anymore their lives are inextricably linked and they are always in each other’s minds. Demetrius is a good blend of Granicus, Lacuna and his unknown mother. Of the three I found Demetrius the most likeable as he is honest and loyal but he is naïve especially to the corruption of the Order and to the true natures of people. Always seeing the best in people will lead him into a lot of trouble. Halcyon on the other hand is cocksure, loud and mischievous boy who will also lead him as a man into a lot of trouble. Then we have the girl of the group Eleyna who is beautiful, clever and fiercely loyal but she has an image and strength complex from having two boys for best friends which (if you haven’t guessed) will lead her into trouble but also massive changes. I thought all three were interesting characters and liked hearing about them and their adventures. Now being best friends the three have similar language and ideas. So similar though that I found I was often unsure whose point of view I was looking from until their name was mentioned. I know it can be hard for authors but I would have preferred if they had their own unique voices.

A World Apart is the first novel I have read by David M Brown and while it is part of The Elencheran Chronicles I was assured that he can be read as a stand alone novel. When I read a fantasy novel I am looking for magic, adventure and an intricate new world to find out about. Brown delivered all of this in bucket loads in A World Apart. I found Himordia and the Order were well explained and fleshed out with detail, people, culture and its own history. I also found the secondary countries, islands and the ships on the high seas were detailed and realistic; I found I could picture everything perfectly. Trying to be as detailed as possible though I did find Brown had a tendency to a little excessive use of adjectives and to repeat details such as character’s thoughts and feelings. This I think is my personal taste though it might not bother other people. The element of magic is a smaller but integral part to the latter half of the novel which I thought was handled well and didn’t overpower the other elements of oppressive rule, adventure and piracy. I spent most of May immersed in A World Apart as it is a long novel and I wanted to take my time over it.

A World Apart is an adventure on the high seas filled with corruption, suffering and magic. I recommend to those who like their fantasy a little on the dark side.

Thank you to the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read this? Enjoy darker fantasy?

I’m counting A World Apart as Fantasy for the Once Upon a Time VIII event hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings.

The Classics Club: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz

For a lighter tone after The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald I picked another American classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum off my Classics Club list. I had a copy of it waiting on my Kindle and it is a nice short novel which I thought would make an easy read for my busy mind.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz joins little Dorothy as a tornado sweeps her away from her aunt, uncle and the life she knows in Kansas off on a magical adventure to a wonderful new land named Oz. As wonderful as this new land is to Dorothy it isn’t home and so she must make the journey to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard of Oz to send her back to Kansas. Along the way she will meet many magical creatures and have many dangerous adventures all with her dog Toto and her new friends a man of straw, a tin woodsman and a cowardly lion. It is very hard not to know this story what with the huge success and continued love of the film The Wizard of Oz (1939) starring the wonderful Judy Garland. Now having read the novel I think the film is a good adaptation but like most films has cut out a lot of the detail and simplified the tale. I was pleasantly surprised to discover more creatures and places that Dorothy visited.

Dorothy the protagonist of this adventure is young, bright, kind and open-minded which she will need to be in this new and unusual land. There are many things in the land of Oz that are unusual and contradict the life that she knew back in Kansas. While Dorothy is a nice character and liked reading about her she is a little two-dimensional. What really made the novel for me were the new friends that she made along the way. First we have the man of straw that Dorothy releases from a field in munchkinland he isn’t very bright but he is friendly and brave. Next we have the tin woodsman who they rescue from the woods where he has frozen solid with rust he isn’t loving but he is strong and clever. Then finally they are joined by the cowardly lion he isn’t brave but he is loyal and kind-hearted. All three want something too so they travel with Dorothy to ask the Wizard of Oz for help.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the first novel I have read by L Frank Baum after reading this though I would like to read more of his Oz series. I thought The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was well-written with a realistic childlike voice and wonder. I loved all the magical characters and colourful places of Oz. I felt I really got to know Oz and many of its inhabitants on this journey. The pace of the journey was good I only wished that sometimes I could have spent more time in some of the locations but that is only a small personal niggle.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a short and magical children’s classic. I highly recommend to those who enjoy the classics and fantasy novels. This is my 22nd read off my Classics Club list.

Have you read this? Enjoyed the film?

I’m counting The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as Fantasy for the Once Upon a Time VIII event hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings.

New Read: City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls

It hasn’t been long since I read the previous instalment but with my continued busy timetable leading up to the Easter holiday I was still in the mood for a fantastical escapist read. In which case I reached for the last instalment of The Mortal Instruments the City of Lost Souls as an easy comfort read.

City of Lost Souls is the fifth instalment of The Mortal Instruments series. This post may contain spoilers for the previous instalments.

City of Lost Souls continues to follow Clarissa Fray better known as Clary. Clary and her friends and family barely have time to think let alone act after the last pitched battle and victory over the greater Demon Lilith when they discover after the fighting that Jace has disappeared without trace. Even more worrying is along with Jace the body of Clary’s estranged brother Sebastian (Jonathan) is also missing. They are all left fearing the worst. As the days and weeks past Clary and Jace’s friends and family are finding it hard to continue their normal lives with this cloud hanging over them. They presume the greater Demon Lilith’s plan to resurrect Sebastian has worked after all and that he has taken Jace hostage. Clary and Jace’s friends and family are desperate to discover where he is and what has happened, they willing to do almost anything to have him back too.

Clary the main protagonist of this series is a shy, petite, artistic and awkward teenager. Through her training, the confidence in her new powers and the experience of recent troubles have started to mould Clary into a true shadowhunter. Clary has started to lose her shyness and awkwardness which I was pleased to see as she starts to rely more on her own power rather than being reliant on others. Clary is however still joined by her friends and family  Simon (vampire), her mother Jocelyn, Maryse, Isabelle and Alec (shadowhunters), Luke and Maia (werewolves) and Magnus Bane (warlock) on this new dangerous adventure.

Cassandra Clare was a new author for me in 2013 City of Lost Souls is now the fifth book of Clare’s I have read. Unlike my brother who has devoured both of Clare’s series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Like the previous instalments I found City of Lost Souls to be well written, fast paced, and a real page turner from the start. No need to wait for the action to kick off I was hooked almost instantly. I am pleased to say the changes and growth in the characters that turned them from two-dimensional characters to one’s I really like and believe in continues in this book especially in Clary. For those reasons I think I have enjoyed this series more and more each book I have read.

City of Lost Souls is a fun and easy to read urban fantasy adventure. I recommend if you are a fan of young adult novels. Sadly this is the last instalment in this series so far. All I can hope is more will be written in the mean time perhaps I should start reading Clare’s other series The Infernal Devices?

Are you reading this series? Are you a fan of urban fantasy?

I’m counting City of Lost Souls as Urban Fantasy for the Once Upon a Time VIII event hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings.

Previous instalments of The Mortal Instruments series:
1. City of Bones
2. City of Ashes
3. City of Glass
4. City of Fallen Angels

New Read: City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels

March has seen me as busy as ever with college, my work placement, agency work, pantomime performance, puppets, dancing and drama workshops! In which case I reached again for the next instalment of The Mortal Instruments the City of Fallen Angels as an easy and comfort read.

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth instalment of The Mortal Instruments series. This post may contain spoilers for the previous instalments.

City of Fallen Angels continues to follow Clarissa Fray better known as Clary to her friends and family. Clary is beginning to come to terms with her powers as a shadowhunter after she helped secure victory in Alicante. On returning to New York Clary begins her shadowhunter training, looks forward to a settled relationship with Jace and preparations for her mother’s wedding. A life as a Shadow Hunter in the world of vampires, demons, fairies and werewolves could be okay. Then dead shadowhunters from Valentine’s circle start turning up in the different Down Worlder territories, Clary’s best friend Simon is being hunted by mysterious hooded figures and Jace is plagued by horrifying nightmares. Something is brewing in New York which will mean Shadow Hunters and Down Worlders joining forces again.

Clary the main protagonist of this series is a shy, petite, artistic and awkward teenager. This hasn’t changed much with the discovery that she is a powerful shadowhunter. Clary through out this book is continuing to try to come to terms with her power, the lifestyle that comes with it, her relationship with Jace and the danger that surrounds them. There a few more new character additions in City of Fallen Angels including fairies, vampires, werewolves and demons. Clary is however still joined by her friends Simon (vampire), Jace, Isabelle and Alec (shadowhunters), Luke and Maia (werewolves) and Magnus Bane (warlock) on this new dangerous adventure.

Cassandra Clare was a new author for me in 2013 City of Fallen Angels is now the fourth book of Clare’s I have read. Unlike my brother who has devoured both of Clare’s series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Like the previous instalment City of Glass I found City of Fallen Angels to be well written, fast paced, and a real page turner once I got into the main action of the book.  I am pleased to say the changes and growth in the characters that turned them from two-dimensional characters to one’s I really like and believe in continues in this book. For these reasons I think I am continuing to enjoy this series more each book I read.

City of Fallen Angels is a fun and easy to read urban fantasy adventure. I recommend if you are a fan of young adult novels. I have City of Lost Souls the next instalment of The Mortal Instruments waiting for me on my bookshelf. I am looking forward to starting it.

Are you reading this series? Are you a fan of urban fantasy?

I’m counting City of Fallen Angels as Urban Fantasy for the Once Upon a Time VIII event hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings.

Previous instalments of The Mortal Instruments series:
1. City of Bones
2. City of Ashes
3. City of Glass

Challenge: Once Upon a Time VIII

Once Upon a Time 8

(Art by Melissa Nucera)

It has felt like a long winter but finally spring has arrived here in the UK and with it Once Upon a Time VIII. The Once Upon a Time event is hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings where participants are encouraged to read books and watch films that cover the broad categories of  Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. I always look forward to this event as the genres listed above are some of my favourites!

Books I could choose off my bookshelf:

All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches
Shadow of Night

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin
A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow
A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold
A Feast For Crows
A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust
A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angels (completed)
City of Lost Souls

Books I could choose off my Kindle:

A World Apart by David M Brown
The Amethyst Fairy Book by Michelle McLaughlin
The Diamond Fairy Book by Michelle McLaughlin
The Emerald Fairy Book by Michelle McLaughlin
Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales (currently reading)
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
World Below by Mike Phillips

Once Upon a Time VIII runs from 21st March to 21st June 2014. I have signed up for The Journey level which means I am aiming to read at least one book for the event. I usually end up reading more than one book but I like the freedom this level gives me especially with how much work I have on at the minute. I am look forward to seeing what I will end up reading.

Are you taking part in Once Upon a Time VIII?

Re-Read: The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

On 21st January 2013 I set myself the mini-challenge of re-reading my way through The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis by the end of 2013. As a couple of years a go my mother bought me a beautiful set of these books (as pictured) and yet as an adult the only one I had re-read was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe the most famous of the set of course. Now a year and a bit later I have completed my re-read of the series.

1) The Magician’s Nephew
Digory and his friend Polly discover whilst exploring the attic that Uncle Andrew is in fact a magician working on some magic rings. After playing a cruel trick of them Digory and Polly discover Uncle Andrew’s magic rings have transported them to another world. I remembered fondly the children crawling through the attic tunnel but on re-reading The Magician’s Nephew I realised just how detailed and intricate this tale is.

2) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Pevensie siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy during a game of hide-and-seek discover a magical wardrobe which is an entrance to the wonderful land of Narnia. The most well known and beloved  of the series. It was interesting to re-read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as the second book not the first, this way round loses some of the surprise elements but non of the magic.

3) The Horse and His Boy
Shasta a young boy living in a small fishing village in Calormen befriend a magical talking horse called Bree together they set out on adventure across desert and mountains to find Bree’s homeland of Narnia. This is the only story completely set in Narnia and its neighbouring lands our world is not visited at all. The Horse and His Boy is the instalment of the series I remembered the least, with everything I rediscovered this was almost like a new read for me.

4) Prince Caspian
The Pevensie siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy return to Narnia to discover the capital Cair Paravel has been destroyed and that the land is now ruled by the aggressive Telmarines. With the help of Prince Caspian they set out to save the magical creatures and speaking beasts of Narnia. Prince Caspian due to the modern film adaptation is a pretty well known instalment in the series. I remembered it all and found it all just as charming as the first time I read it.

5) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The two youngest Pevensie siblings Edmund and Lucy return to Narnia with their rotten cousin Eustace Scrubb. King Caspian has set out on an adventure into unknown seas in search of the seven lost lords of his father. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader due to the modern film adaptation is a pretty well known instalment in the series. As a child this was my favourite instalment and I found that it had lost known of its charm for me.

6) The Silver Chair
Eustace Scrubb returns to Narnia with his school friend Jill Pole through a magical gate. With their companion Puddleglum they set off on a perilous journey into Giant country to seek Narnia’s lost prince and heir to the throne Rilian. The Silver Chair is another instalment in the series I remembered little of, with everything I rediscovered this was almost like a new read for me.

7) The Last Battle
King Tirian and his best friend Jewel the Unicorn face the last days of Narnia which see the return of the previous Kings and Queens of Narnia including the Pevensie siblings, Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole and the magical creatures and talking beasts which joined them on their adventures. It was really lovely to work my way up through all the other books to The Last Battle. I felt like I had truly got to know Narnia and its inhabitants which made the end even more poignant.

When I first read The Chronicles of Narnia I read the books in publication order because I think for your first time nothing beats encountering ‘Narnia’ first through the most famous book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. For this re-read I purposefully decided to read the series in chronological order. I believe reading the series in chronological order meant I got a full idea of the detail and history Lewis put into ‘Narnia’ and the characters that inhabit it.

Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia? Have a favourite book?

New Read: Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Last year I read Lewis Carol’s classic children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and I enjoyed it so much I moved straight on to Alice’s next adventure in Through the Looking Glass. With this in mind I was really excited to read the Wonderland reimagining Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes the first volume in a new trilogy.

Queen of Hearts follows Dinah the princess of Wonderland and the future bloody Queen. Dinah’s father the King of Hearts is a cruel and glorious ruler equally feared and loved by his subjects. Dinah and her brother Charles lost their mother when they were only young leaving them to the care of their maids and tutors. The King has at best been indifferent to them both and as far as hostile towards Dinah since she can remember. As a son Charles should be the heir to the throne but instead he is forced to live in isolation making hats due to his unstable mind leaving Dinah as the only other legitimate child as the heir. Dinah long’s for the day when she will be crowned more than anything, she hopes to be a strong and fair Queen yet a chain of events are to begin which will uncover a series of secrets and conspiracies which threaten Dinah’s crown and life.

The protagonist of Queen of Hearts Dinah is a young, head strong and rebellious girl. Dinah as a princess is expected to be fair, graceful and beautifully dressed while as the heir Dinah is also expected to be wise and well-educated. This is a lot of expectations and understandably Dinah struggles under the weight of them especially with the watchful and critical eye of her father and his courtiers upon her. I couldn’t help but pity her for this. Dinah is a strong but imperfect character. While I liked her bravery and strength there were also times when I cringed at how far she took her actions and opinions. If only she could hear me shouting stop!

Queen of Hearts is the first novel I have read by Colleen Oakes. It is also the first spin-off/reimagining of Lewis Carol’s Wonderland I have read. I am so pleased I gave this book a go because I really enjoyed Oakes’s reimagining of Wonderland. I liked her clever use of classic elements such as the roses, cards, croquet, and jam tarts with a new twist and her reimagined classic and new characters which I felt were much better fleshed out than in the original stories. I thought Queen of Hearts was well written, detailed and well described. I really could imagine the palace, the rose gardens, croquet lawns and the mysterious towers. If you know the original stories you will know how Dinah turns out as the Queen of Hearts. Even so I felt Oakes built her character and story gradually, with rising tension and anticipation. I just couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next!

Queen of Hearts is a clever and detailed reimagining of Wonderland through the eyes of Dinah the future Queen of Hearts. I recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and would like to see Wonderland in a new way. I really think I will have to read the rest of this series.

I received a free copy of Queen of Hearts via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read this? Can you recommend any other reimaginings?

Re-Read: The Last Battle

The Last Battle

One of my goals for 2013 was to make more time for re-reads of my beloved favourites, in which case I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to rediscover the wonderful ‘Land of Narnia’. I felt I was very successful in this goal making time for seven re-reads over the year six of which were from The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis. Leaving only the final instalment The Last Battle to read in 2014.

The Last Battle is the seventh instalment of The Chronicles of Narnia series. This post may contain spoilers for previous instalments.

The Last Battle follows the adventures and battles of King Tirian and his best friend Jewel the Unicorn during the last days of Narnia. Tirian and Jewel have heard terrible rumours that Aslan has returned to Narnia and has begun ordering Narnians to work like slaves for the cruel Calormenes. Fearing that this ‘Aslan’ is a fake Tirian sets off with Jewel into the Lantern Forest to find out what is happening. Tirian and Jewel are captured by a Calormene army who have slipped into Narnia disguised as merchants. With all hope lost for himself and his fellow Narnians Tirian calls out to the real Aslan and the Kings and Queens of old. Tirian’s prayers are answered when Eustace Scrubb and his school friend Jill Pole arrive to release him and aid him in an adventure which will take them all the way to Aslan’s country.

The main protagonists of The Last Battle Tirian, Jewel, Eustace and Jill are an interesting mixture. We already know Eustace and Jill from when they rescued Prince Rilian in The Silver Chair but many, many years of have passed in Narnia since then. Tirian is now king and while he is a good and fair king he has lost influence over the Narnians since the arrival of this supposed ‘Aslan’. I liked Tirian and Jewel the Unicorn. I liked having two protagonists in the mix who were both adults which then made another interesting dynamic with Eustace and Jill (who have only aged by about a year since their last adventure). Of course these are not the only old faces to be seen. Later in The Last Battle we get to see the return of Peter, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie along with many of their Narnian friends from their previous adventures.

I am no stranger to Lewis’s work. I think his writing style in The Chronicles of Narnia is simple and fun which works well for adults and children alike. Lewis has been criticised for his use of archaic language especially when it is used by his young characters, however I find the language rather charming and I feel it adds to the magically atmosphere of the book. When I first read The Chronicles of Narnia I read the books in publication order because I think for your first time nothing beats encountering ‘Narnia’ first through the most famous book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. For my re-read I purposefully decided to read the series in chronological order so I could get a full idea of the detail and history Lewis put into ‘Narnia’ and the characters that inhabit it. It was really lovely to work my way up through all the other books to this final instalment. I felt like I had truly got to know Narnia and its inhabitants which made the end even more poignant.

The Last Battle is an utterly charming children’s tale of magic, friendship, family, death and adventure. A wonderfully comforting read. I’m just sad that there aren’t anymore to look forward to.

Have you read this? Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia?

Previous instalments of The Chronicles of Narnia series:

1. The Magician’s Nephew
2. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
3. A Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair