REVIEW: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

REVIEW: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. LewisThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader (The Chronicles of Narnia #5) by C.S. Lewis
Published: Harper Collins (1952), Paperback, 256pg
Source: Gift
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction

The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries. King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his evil uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne. The journey takes Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea, toward Aslan's country at the End of the World. (from Goodreads)

Caspian is way less boring in Voyage of the Dawn Treader than he was in his own book, possibly because he’s on a trip and not a quest for manhood kind of thing. Also he’s all petty and stuff! Which is a lot more interesting to read about than some perfect prince dude, I can tell you that.

It was nice only having Lucy and Edmund this time around– no boring Susan and no overbearing Peter. It let the younger siblings have their own time in the spotlight, and I really liked that. Lucy and Edmund are my two favorite Pevensies, actually! I like how they seem more real than the other two– in the sense that, if you were going on magical adventures, you’d want people like Lucy and Edmund around more than Susan or Peter. (Although Peter would be handy in a fight, I suppose. Poor Susan; she’s got no useful adventuring skills.)

Eustace’s story was an interesting experience. He starts off worse than Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: crabby, mean, spoiled, kinda stupid. And he doesn’t get better for a huge chunk of the book! I’ve always thought that the worst thing to be was grouchy when you’re having an adventure. Wouldn’t it be terrible to be going on a fantastic journey and not be able to enjoy it?

That’s why I liked Eustace’s development so much. C.S. Lewis tends to give his characters the chance to change for the better (usually just the kids, but some adults, too). Eustace actually goes through a physical change before he goes through an emotional one, and that just made it all the more poignant, I thought.

The ending of Voyage was one of the saddest I’ve seen in the series so far. No more Edmund, no more Lucy, no more (young) Caspian; it’s all so terrible. It’s like you only get so many tickets to the Narnia carnival, but you don’t know how many you’ve got and there’s no way to tell when you’re done until they kick you out.


Read: June 15-17, 2013

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis”

  1. This was by far my favorite of the series when I was a kid (well, and still is). I had such a crush on Caspian in this book (but you’re right, not at all in his own book), and suspect this is where my love of boat stories comes from.

    1. This book has SO MANY of my favorite things in it I don’t know how I survived without reading it before now. Boats! Journeys! Dragons! Mysterious mystical thingies! STAR PEOPLE! So good.

  2. Lucy and Edmund are the best Pevensies. Lucy was always the best and Edmund becomes the second-best. The scene where he’s talking to Eustace sort of obliquely about redemption, and he says something like “You were an ass, but I was a traitor” — that scene’s maybe my favorite scene in the whole series. Edmund. Bless him.

    1. I totally agree! And see, based on how much I hated him in The Lion I never thought I’d end up liking him so much that he became one of my favorite characters. So yay, Edmund!

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