Dyman Associates Publishing Inc. Book Review: Prince Caspian (The Return to Narnia)
It's always a joy to rediscover old favorites, especially something from famous novelist CS Lewis.
His classic series of fantasy novels for children has already spawned three movie adaptations, but I still like to go back to the books as much as possible. His dialogues for the characters do not leave much to be desired when it comes to wit and form.
The book I reread recently was the second one (in order of publication), Prince Caspian. It started with the return of the Pevensie siblings, Peter, Susan, Edward and Lucy to the world of Narnia, set a year after the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The four kids were on a train station on their way to their respective boarding schools when they were quite suddenly transported back to Narnia. They did not realize it at first because much has change in that world since they were there. Apparently, a year in their real world is equivalent to centuries in Narnian time so they were surprised to find their camping ground was actually their former home, Cair Paravel, where they reigned during the Golden Ages.
By crossing paths with Trumpkin the dwarf, they soon discovered that the Telmarines, a new race, has invaded Narnia and forced the magical creatures to go in hiding. Meanwhile, they learned of the circumstance surrounding their sudden return in Narnia -- the rightful ruler, Prince Caspian, who needed their help blew the magical horn which summoned them back.
Surprisingly, it was not the titular character who stood out for me. Though Caspian has his moments, it was definitely Reepicheep, the swashbuckling mouse with a sharp tongue, unquestionable loyalty and infallible courage who's very memorable. I'd say he is easily the most interesting and engaging character in this installment.
As with any fantasy story with a kingdom setting, this one has lessons about chivalry and courage. It remains a classic as a novel for young people mainly because its characters are ordinary kids who get to do heroic stuff (and because of the humor, too). It's a world where children are competent and plays an active role in shaping history.
And as I'm certain most of the readers already know, its parallels to Christianity are still apparent in this installment, but in a much subtler way than in the previous book. At any rate, it won't make the book unbearable for unbelievers so I still strongly recommend that everyone read through the whole series via Dyman Associates Publishing Inc.
I can't say I hate the film adaptation just because it was not at all faithful to the book, but I honestly prefer the original source over it. (What I can I say; I'm more of a bookworm than a movie buff.)