Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Synopsis from Barnes and Nobel

One last battle against evil, one final journey to the magical land of Narnia. When evil comes to Narnia, Jill and Eustace help fight the great last battle and Aslan leads his people to a glorious new paradise. With Eustace and Jill at his side, the King, the noble unicorn Jewel, and a few remaining loyal subjects must stand fast against the powers of evil and darkness and fight The Last Battle to decide the future of this once glorious kingdom.

My thoughts:
It is official, I have finished listening to The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m going to be careful with this review because I don’t want to give away anything to readers who haven’t read it. My children and I have now listened to all seven of the books in this series. We listen in the car. For anyone who has problems with their children fighting in the car I highly recommend audio books. We started listening last school year and it carried over through the summer. My kids love to hear the stories and get so frustrated if they miss a chapter.

In this final installment there is an ape names Shift who tricks a donkey named Puzzle into dressing up in a lion skin they found floating in a river. He then uses the donkey, having him stand in for Aslan, and he works with the Calormenes to enslave the talking beasts of Narnia. The final king of Narnia calls on Aslan and the children from the other world to come to his aid and Jill and Eustace return to Narnia to render aid.

This is harder than I though because a big part is what happens to end the series and Narnia. I was impressed with how my children understood what had happened to the children and where they were at the end of it all. They were most sad for Susan as she had decided she was too grown up for stories and nonsense about Narnia and she missed out and will be alone. I think I will revisit these books in a few years with my children to see how their views may change as they get older. Now we need to decide what to listen to next. I am listening to The Swan Thieves but it isn’t something I want to listen to with them as I don’t know all of what might happen.

While I enjoyed the story there was a part that bothered me. The Calormenes are described as having dark skin and worshipping their god Tash who has an eagle head and four arms above his head. At one point one of the dwarves, who have decided that they are not siding with either the Calormenes or Narnians but are going to be just for themselves, take turns taunting each side. When they taunt the Calormenes they call them "darkies" which seemed wrong to me. I almost wanted to fastforward over those scenes because I didn't want my children hearing that. I resisted my urge and they didn't even notice it, so maybe making a big deal about it would have made it worse, but for anyone listening with children I wanted to point that part out.

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