Book Review: “The Magician’s Nephew”

“The Magician’s Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia #1)”  by C. S. Lewis

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy, Classic

Source: Bought

Other Chronicles of Narnia books

Summary from Goodreads:

This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began

When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined.

Hurtled into the wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.


When I was a wee lass many years ago, I tried reading the Chronicles of Narnia. Everyone loved the books! My dad, who isn’t much of a reader, even enjoyed them as a kid! Surely, I was going to love the books. I don’t remember if I read this or The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe but I vividly remember not liking it.  Maybe I was just confused because it wasn’t like I thought it was going to be. Maybe it was because I didn’t read fantasy at the time. Maybe it was because it was so different and a bit ‘boring’ compared to what I read at the time (Goosebumps). I’m not sure but whatever it was it turned me off of the books because I never touched them again. Flash forward 10+ years to now. I’m definitely more into fantasy now and I have endless amounts of free time thanks to unemployment and a crappy economy so I thought I would try the books again.

I’m SO glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I think I’m finally coming around to enjoying the older, slow paced stories. It’s not the action packed, keep you on the edge of your seat type of book that I normally read but it still kept me reading. I loved Lewis’ writing style. It’s sweet, gentle, and filled with delightful little side notes. The book is a bit on the shorter side so there wasn’t much of a chance to develop characters as much as I would have liked to seen. It’s okay though. The little we did see of them, I actually really enjoyed.

The book isn’t quite what I thought it would be. I was hoping to immediately jump into the world of Narnia, go on quests and all that fun stuff. This book doesn’t really have that. It’s the very beginning of the world so there’s not much of that going on. That might have been one of the things that turned me off of the book so many years ago. From what I little I do know about the world of Narnia, I could definitely see things starting to fall into place which as really cool.

I actually really enjoyed the biblical allegories/parallels. I hated reading and analyzing texts like that for school but on my own time and for books that I enjoy, I love it! I’ve read most of the books about Harry Potter where they deconstruct the book and examine the pieces of it. I have a sneaky suspicion that if I enjoy the rest of the series as much as this book I will be reading many of the Narnia books out there as I can find. (Any suggestions?)

The bottom line? It’s a good first step into the world of Narnia and a delightful little story.

Semi-related side note: It’s really bizarre reading this after The Magicians. I knew the book drew from The Narnia world without actually having read the books but now I really see how much it was like Narnia. It’s kind of cool.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Magician’s Nephew”

  1. When I read this book as a kid for the first time, I remember not expecting it to be so dark and thinking that it was pretty awesome, especially the parts about Jadis/Charn. I went on to read the entire series and loved it.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this with The Magicians in mind… in fact that is pretty much the only reason I picked up the Narnia books. I am curious to see how the stories progress, too. I need to get to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe soon, since I have it checked out from the library!

  3. This gets major thumbs up from me! I was first introduced to Narnia in 4th grade and have been a major fan all these years. I’m talking 20+ and the love only gets stronger. My teacher read to us every day and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first of the series he read. Back then, LWW was considered book #1 rather than the Magician’s Nephew. I prefer reading in this order because you get introduced to Narnia and then you go back in time to see how it started… there were lots of “OMG, that’s where that came from!” moments. I’m so glad you gave Narnia another chance; I feel that they’re a little outdated when compared to the faster-paced books we’re all more used to, but there’s something so magical about these series in how they’re not quite as fast-paced. Hope you enjoy the rest and I look forward to seeing what you think of them!

    • Oh I wish I had a teacher that read these to us! I would have liked them more instead of trying them on my own. I can’t wait to get to the other books.

  4. I’m glad you liked this, but I’m surprised you’re reading them in this order! Publication order is better, I think — because The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe throws you into Narnia QUICK fast, and that’s better I think. However, A Magician’s Nephew has some amazing things in it. Uncle Andrew makes me laugh every single time.

    • I asked on Twitter which way I should read the books and I was told chronological. I just went with it! My lovely book also has the books in chronological order. I guess whenever I get around to re-reading the books, I’ll try it in publication order.

  5. Pingback: Listed: Books I Haven’t Read But Really Need To-Part 1 | The Cheap Reader

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