Guest Author - M. E. Wood
The Magician's Nephew was first published by C. S. Lewis in 1955, five years after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In these fifteen short chapters we are introduced to Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer, neighbours in London who decide to play in the rafters of the adjoining homes hoping to sneak into an empty abode on the end. Instead they end up in Digory's strange uncle's private attic office.
In this room they learn Uncle Andrew (Mr. Andrew Ketterley) has created yellow and green magic rings which he has been testing on various guinea pigs with varying degrees of success and survival. What the rings do he does not know but he has been researching magic and trying to make the rings proficient in their use. His only dilemma is the pigs can't tell him where they've been.
Uncle Andrew tricks the children into testing them. On their adventures they find an in-between world they call The Wood between the Worlds. It bridges our world with many others. Many things from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (LWW) are explained here. Polly and Digory witness the birth of Narnia and the talking beasts, they meet Aslan and inadvertently are the cause of the White Witch's (the Queen Jadis from Charn) immigration to Narnia. By the end the reader also learns who were the first King and Queen of Narnia and where the magical Wardrobe came into be being. This book is also an introduction for Digory who is seen in later novellas as Professor Kirke.
When I first started reading about the rings I immediately thought of J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and wondered, since both authors were friends, the influence they had on one another. One of my favourite lines in The Magician's Nephew is when Narnia is born and Aslan speaks, "Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters."
This edition is laced with morals such as, "For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are."
Even though this book is written as more of an explanation of the LWW it was an enjoyable story, complete of itself. One of which adults will surely enjoy revisiting.
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M. E. Wood lives in Eastern Ontario, Canada. If you are going to find this eclectic reader and writer anywhere it is probably at her computer. For more information visit her official website.