Dec 15, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C. S. Lewis

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

A sea voyage. A talking mouse. Pools of gold. Kidnapping. Talking stars. Invisible enemies. Sea monsters. Bravery. Magical snow. Who wouldn't want to read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?

C. S. Lewis--one of the inventors of fantasy writing--always leaves me in awe, even though he's been dead almost 50 years now. His ability to paint on the canvas of imagination leaves the reader with a sense of amazement and completed adventure.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, book 5) continues with the story of two Pevensie children--Lucy and Edmund. They fall through a painting in their nasty cousin's bedroom (his name is Eustace) and find themselves, once again, in the enchanted land of Narnia. Pulled aboard a giant dragon-ship with a single purple sail, they join Prince Caspian (an old friend) on a voyage for seven lost lords. Each traveler's bravery is tested through adventure and their patience is tested by Eustace (who fell through the painting after his cousins). Lastly, but never leastly, they learn more about Aslan, the King of Narnia and protector of His people.

You may find it strange that I begin my Narnia reviews with book 5, but I picked it up for a re-read due to the fact the movie came out almost a week ago. It has always been my favorite book in the series, just because I loved the idea of sailing through seas of lilies, traversing unexplored islands, finding dragon treasure, and meeting kind wizards (perhaps not so specific, but you understand).

I enjoyed re-reading book 5 just as much as every other time I've read it (too many to count) and noticed many little things I never saw before, such as the many appearances of Aslan that are so similar to when we encounter Jesus during difficult times. The characters of Lucy, Edmund, Eustace, and even Caspian develop beautifully, creating a desire in the reader to develop and mature more him/herself.
The parallels between Aslan and Jesus grow even more in this story, especially near the end when He informs the children that in "their world" (aka. our world), He is known by a different name. I was pleased to see this same line in the movie (which was quite enjoyable, by the way--even if it jumbled the book a tad).

There are not many negatives in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, partially because it was written for young children by an older Christian man a good 50 years ago. Morals and standards were a bit stronger back then. ;) Also, due to the different culture, the "A" word is used several times; however, they are used referring to "donkey" or insulting a person on the level of "dunce" or "fool".
The reading is easy, but at times a little slow. This is also partially due to the time period in which it was written. The mystical lands and drawn out chivalry are magical to a reader with patience. I have patience most of the time, but I'll admit I skimmed a tad toward the end of the book when the voyagers finally reach the world's end and travel toward it for several glorious days. The reading turned slow, especially for the modern-day reading-pace.

I definitely recommend this book. It is beautifully written and filled with firm morals, standards, and lessons all children of today (and yesterday, yesteryear, and tomorrow) need to have more firmly implanted into their characters.
Once you're finished with it, you'll be craving the Narnian ship and you'll know the language of a sailor (decent language, that is).

Violence Level: ** (low, but present).

Romance Level: *
Christian Focus: ***
Readability Level: ***
Story Depth Level: ***
Recommendation: ****

For a more detailed explanation of the above ratings, visit the 6-Point Nutshell post.

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases spring 2014 from Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at

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