The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Digory Kirke has been sent to live in London. His mother is on her deathbed. His father is away fighting a war in India. Diggory lived in the times when Sherlock Holmes still lived in Baker's Street. His neighbour, Polly, befriends him. Diggory lives with his Aunt Letty and her brother, Andrew.
Uncle Andrew is up to no good. He is always holed up in his attic and is said to be strange. Aunt Letty forbids Digory from having anything to do with him. As Uncle Andrew does look mad, Digory is content to give him wide berth and spend his time playing with Polly.
One wet, cold day in June, the children are prevented from going outdoors. Polly has this idea of walking along the rafters in the roof and going down into an abandoned house in their neighbourhood. The kids want to explore the house. They miscalculate the number of rafters they have to cross and come down in Uncle Andrew's attic instead.
This is providential for Andrew Ketterly. He has been looking for a boy to try out some magic rings that he has devised. He is sure that the rings send people out of this world into another, he has sent a guinea pig away. But he wants someone to go and come back so he can hear about the travel. He is too cowardly to make the trip himself. Hence, he is very happy to suddenly see the children in his attic.
He tricks the children into using his magic rings. They do go out and discover other worlds. In their first trip, they discover the dead world of Charn, where everyone is in eternal sleep. Digory's curious nature gets better of him and he makes the dreadful mistake of awakening the White Witch of Charn, Queen Jadis. When the children try to flee the Witch, and return to London, they find that Jadis has hitched a ride on their ring, and has returned to London with them.
This is the prequel to the wonderful C.S. Lewis book, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. In fact, here we discover how the Wardrobe came about, and the Lamppost. And why Lucy was able open the wardrobe and go into Narnia.
I love the Narnia Chronicles. I read them when I was a pre-teen. At the time, the whole symbolism of Aslan as God escaped me. For me, it was just a great fantasy tale of Kings and wars and talking animals and the wonderful, pure land of Narnia. It was good to re-read this story full of bright colored magic rings, magic apples and horses that fly and funny talking animals.
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