“A powerful dragon crying its eyes out under the moon in a deserted valley is a sight and a sound hardly to be imagined.”
This one was almost as good as the other two - in some ways actually better since it delved into more varieties of magic and self-exploration. It's a completely different kind of story - on a ship they are on a voyage to find seven lost men, and along the way discover islands and reach the end of the world.
Apparently Narnia is flat and not round as our world is. It sounds a bit childish and silly perhaps, but it's anything but. Each island held it's own element of surprise - sometimes joy and sublime self-exploration, sometimes horrifying and dangerous discovery. Whichever it ended up being, I was captivated by their experiences.
Lucy is a doll again. She's the only female on the ship and she adds a calming reassurance. Her fascination and adoration with Aslan continued. Edmund again just blends into the background too much. They have their cousin with them this time, who starts out obnoxiously spoiled, but he himself has an awesome island adventure which seeks to transform him. Caspian is again a likeable sort, and as before the Reepicheep is a delight to read, adding colorful flavor and dashes of humor.
I do wonder when they head back home, are they going to avoid the same route so they don't have to go through the Darkness again? I know I would avoid if I could. We finally get to see a dragon to complete this magical world, along with other sea beasts and uniquely powered beings on different islands. I especially adored the Monopods.
Pacing wasn't top notch and a few chapters were devoted to certain islands, while others were briefer and had one. It was like a series of short stories in one novel. The lead-up to the different explorations was slightly long-winded but once the wind caught in the sail it took off nicely.
The ship sounds incredible - it is probably the most popular artwork piece derived from these stories. I still need to watch the movie tonight to see how they designed it there (hopefully well.)
The ending especially haunts. It was beautiful, dream-like, surreal. So far the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe held the greatest villain, Prince Caspian the greater individual battles, and this one the best ending. As with the last book it left me a bit depressed. The wrap up was bittersweet and sad but beautiful at the same time. Sort of an accepting peace kind of thing. The Christian element of Aslan was even clearer here if you had doubts before (although it'd be pretty hard to even before reading the end of this one.) Beautiful words were said.
I'm looking forward to the next book but it's with a heavy heart too. I'll miss the main characters I've grown attached to as they explore the lands and have their journeys.
“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
“Adventures are never fun while you're having them.”
“Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.”
Special Week Feature:
I did a special weeks feature for the Chronicles of Narnia series back in 2012. Here is link to the full feature listing, along with other special weeks done.
Posts from that feature for this book:
Cover Comparison: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I did a Reader's Autopsy post - The Bizarre Order That is the Chronicles of Narnia...
Book to Film Comparison: