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02 January 2008 @ 08:07 am
THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER by C.S. Lewis (4.5 stars)  
THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, the 5th book in C.S. Lewis' THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series and the 3rd one published, follows Edmund and Lucy and their cousin Eustace Clarence Scrubb (whose name fits his character as well as possible) as they reenter Narnia. Upon being sucked into a painting at Eustace's house, the three of them join King Caspian and his crew aboard the Dawn Treader. The men are voyaging to find out what ever happened to the 7 great Lords of Narnia that left in hopes of discovering the Far East and Aslan's Country. Their adventures take them to several islands and get them into frequent trouble -- slavery, dragons, mysterious sea creatures, Deathwater, invisible enemies, fearsome magicians, dark islands, magical banquets, and whatever awaits them at the world's end.

As quality goes, this installment of the series lies between PRINCE CASPIAN and THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. C.S. Lewis manages to illustrate quite a few powerful biblical themes through the adventures of the Pevensies and Eustace. Eustace's encounters with the great lion, Aslan, show him what it feels like to be changed into a new person, to have the old vainglorious self peeled away and rejuvenated. Lucy's encounters with Aslan teach her what it feels like to make choices and realize their effects on people's lives. The 7 Lords discover the danger that comes with greed and power. The many island expeditions lend themselves to various adventures and moments of epiphany for Reepicheep, Caspian, Edmund, and others of the crew. The story, as usual, does not exist solely for the message in the subtext. The journey is the just as important. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and fresh, this fantasy ride is broken up into manageable chunks that make a great bedtime story for children from ages 6-100.

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