Prince Caspian Review
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With the release of the second Narnia movie (following 2005’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) just weeks away, I figured it was about time that I read the second book in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series. As a kid, I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but that was as far as I got in the series (coincidentally, it was also the only one that I had to read for school). After finally picking up Prince Caspian, though, I’ve discovered what I’d been missing all these years.

The second book in the series picks up a year after the end of first. The Pevensie children—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—are waiting in the train station, preparing to begin the school year, when they’re suddenly transported into a strange place. Before long, they realize that they’ve been brought back to Narnia—to their court at Cair Paravel. But their court is now in ruins, and it seems as though many years have passed.

  
 
When the children save a dwarf from drowning, they learn that it’s been hundreds of years since their days in Narnia—and their rule has become little more than a legend. An unjust man named Miraz has taken over the land—and his nephew, Prince Caspian, the rightful ruler of Narnia, has had to go into hiding. So the four great rulers of Old Narnia have been brought back to help Caspian and the Old Narnians—the dwarves and centaurs and talking animals—defeat Miraz.

Though Prince Caspian doesn’t have the same magic as the first book in the series, it still has all the excitement and adventure. Lewis does an excellent job of building on familiar characters and adding more to their story. As long as you’ve already read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which I definitely recommend doing before picking up this second book), when you begin reading Prince Caspian, you already know the main characters. You know what they’ve been through. You know who they are and how they think. And you’ve grown to care about them. So Lewis doesn’t have to spend a lot of time building his characters; he’s free to pick up where he left off—adding new characters and telling new tales along the way. And though it doesn’t present a whole lot of surprises (especially for grown-up readers, who know the standard formulas), it’s still a fun adventure—complete with magical creatures, heroic young characters, and some exciting battles. In fact, my only complaint is that the book’s most exciting part—the battle against Miraz and his army—is over much too soon.

Prince Caspian is a thrilling, fast-paced (and quick) read for adventure-lovers of all ages. Not only is it a great book for kids—but it’s one that parents will enjoy reading, too.

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