I finally finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia series! It took me a couple of months, but it was worth it. Each of the seven books is so enjoyable and easy to read. If you’ve never read them, you should check them out (and if you read them when you were younger, it may be good to re-read them). I wrote a review of The Magician’s Nephew when I read it a couple of months ago, but don’t worry. I’m not going to write a review of all seven books. But I did want to write one more review from the Narnia series before I put the books back on the shelf for a while.
I read each of the Narnia books as a kid except The Silver Chair. I’m not sure why, but I never got around to it. Maybe it was because it wasn’t super-popular or because it didn’t feature any of the characters I was familiar with. But for whatever reason, this was my first time reading The Silver Chair, and it blew me away. This may actually be the most powerful of the Narnia books, and that’s saying something.
The Silver Chair tells the story of Eustace, cousin to the Pevensies, and Jill, his school friend, as they travel to Narnia and search for King Caspian’s lost son. Their traveling companion is a Marsh-Wiggle named Puddlegum, a well-meaning, frog-like creature who is never looking on the bright side. Along the way, the group finds themselves in a giants’ castle, a ruined city, and the Underworld. Sent by Aslan with a series of signs, the travelers seem to slip up at every turn, but in the end they find that Aslan’s signs were leading them the entire way.
What I really love about this book is that is a powerful representation of what life looks like when you have faith in God. It portrays faith in such a tangible, relatable way that even someone who has no belief in God whatsoever can understand it, and that has the power to change lives. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but at one point during the story, the main characters find themselves trapped in the Underworld under the curse of a witch who is trying to convince them that Aslan and Narnia are not real. The characters nearly fall under the spell until Puddlegum—the most pessimistic character in the story—steps forward and makes one of the most powerful statements of faith I’ve ever heard. It’s so simple that a child could understand it but so deep that I could read it over and over and get something new out of it every time. It beautifully and simply displays what it feels like to live with faith in God as a reality in one’s life, and it’s extremely compelling.
I don’t know why more people haven’t talked about The Silver Chair. I love all the other Narnia books, but I think this one is so theologically beneficial that I would go so far as to say that if you only read one of the Narnia books, it should be this one. Some people may object that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe should be the most read because it portrays the core truth of the gospel so simply, and I think that has some truth to it, but I think The Silver Chair has something to offer that none of the other Narnia books does. It can show anyone—even an atheist—what life with God is like. And just like C. S. Lewis on his own spiritual journey, a person must become a theist (a believer in God) before he or she can become a Christian, which is why The Silver Chair may actually have the potential to influence more people than any other Narnia book.
The Silver Chair is currently being made into a feature-length film, so hopefully we’ll be seeing that pretty soon. I would love to see what kind of impact this book could have in movie form. But until then, I would highly recommend you read The Silver Chair. It’s not very long or hard to follow, and it’s an exciting story as well as a great representation of what life with God is like. Check out The Silver Chair and let me know what you think of it! Thanks for reading, friends, and have a great weekend.