Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia #4) by C.S. Lewis
Also in this series: The Magician's Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Published by Harper Collins (1951), Paperback, 240pg
Filed under: Adventure, Children's, Fantasy, Fiction
Got my copy from: Gift
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A prince fights for his crown. Narnia... where animals talk... where trees walk... here a battle is about to begin. A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world. (from Goodreads)
I wanted to like Prince Caspian more than I did, but unfortunately Caspian himself is just a super boring person. Like, big whoop he’s the Arthur character who must become a king while he’s still barely a boy. It’s been done before– it’s been done before IN the Narnia series!– and without anything else to make him interesting besides a love of history, I just can’t get behind Prince C. as a protagonist.
However, once the Pevensies showed up things got a lot more fun. (Until the end, anyway.) It was interesting seeing them have the same problems as in their first book (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), like everything’s a circle and though you may have solved one of your problems before, you’re still going to have to deal with it again eventually. Like, CSL is saying that fixing problems– especially problems in YOURSELF– is a continuous thing, not just BAM, the giant is dead long live the king everything is fixed forever.
An example! The Pevensies have the problem of belittling their younger siblings even when they should know better. Lucy was (once again) the first one to see Aslan/believe in the magic, and the others dragged their heels. They thought she was making it up, using her imagination, etc., all that terrible “you must be lying” stuff older people say to kids because they themselves don’t want to believe whatever it is the kid’s telling them. However, unlike the last time this happened (in The Lion), Edmund backed Lucy up! Yay, changes!
I thought it was interesting that so much was made out of Lucy’s age and that she wasn’t telling the truth about Aslan, even though, intellectually, the other Pevensies should know better by now. The fact that Edmund DID know better (albeit with a bit of wavering) is probably why he got to go on the adventure in Voyage of the Dawn Treader with Lucy (and Eustace). He was still “young enough” to believe, see what I mean? Whereas Peter and Susan were too old now. They couldn’t believe Lucy (or their own eyes, in the case of Susan) because they’re losing that something that younger children have that let them go on Narnian adventures.
This book is kinda the last hurrah for Peter and Susan, though, so the focus is more on them. Peter gets to have a duel with the baddie and pass on various bits of wisdom, while Susan…complains? Susan’s always been such a drip; I feel really bad for her, because every time she’s in a story she never seems to be enjoying herself. Like in The Horse and His Boy, she’s too worried about her creepy suitor to do anything helpful. She’s the least active of the Pevensies, both physically and emotionally, and it’s kind of a downer.
Anyway, despite the nice character stuff, Prince Caspian was overall pretty boring. It wasn’t terrible, because there’s some interesting things story-wise (I liked that it took place so far in the future that people didn’t even know if the Pevensies were real), but it’s definitely not my favorite.
Read: June 12-13, 2013