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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle by C.S Lewis
“So,” said the King, after a long silence, “Narnia is no more.”
Those five words, to me, seem to be the most horrific words in all of Narnia. As I read them, my heart broke. For any true Narnia fan, hearing a proclamation of the world’s end should bring tears to your eyes. (I know it almost did me.)
As the closing to the beloved children’s series by C.S Lewis, The Last Battle has done the series justice and yet, many who read it may find it to be a crime that it should have to end at all.
This ending is the result of a deception by a self-righteous and self-wise ape named Shift, who, in hoping to bring more good and power to himself, ushers in an evil and a war which he has no control over and soon finds himself at the mercy of a god he didn’t believe in.
For one final adventure, Eustace and Jill find themselves returned to Narnia to help the Last King of Narnia, the Last Believer in Aslan, the Last True Follower, for the Last Battle of Narnia.
Over the past month, I have read all seven of the Chronicles of Narnia in chronological order after years of being a fan of the films (both adaptions) and the radio program, and reading The Last Battle only to discover that my fantasy world has finally come to an end after 2,500 years of existence has been a devastation.
I’ve never found C.S Lewis’ writing (in the Chronicles of Narnia) to be the type to draw on the emotion of the reader and make you feel as the character feels; he writes simply and says what needs to be said and not what doesn’t. But for any fan of the series, or any child dreaming of walking through their wardrobe (or closet, for those of us in America) or a picture hanging on their wall or a door and finding Narnia on the other side, or for any person searching for the Fountain of Youth which comes with an adventure to Narnia or a taste of their fruit, this end will shatter dreams and produce tears; not due to the emotional state of the writing, but because of a beloved world ending and beloved characters, whom we’ve grown up with, begin new adventures in a new world which we will never know anything about. Their lives will continue on without us, while we are left behind.
Their leaving feels like a close friend has moved away and the death of Narnia feels as sacred as the death of a beloved pet to children who have known these stories and grown up with these characters and visited these lands as bedtime stories and childhood friends.
The ending of Narnia—which had to come at some point and yet all too soon—is an excellent one; it will leave fans saddened by their loss and yet excited and curious at these mysterious, new adventures our favorite characters are about to venture out on.
Even as I write, I feel as though I am being extremely repetitive and yet not saying what I wish to express. I don’t feel as though words could honestly describe the feeling this book gave to me as I read it. So, I suppose, in conclusion, I should say that this story is the ending Narnia needed and yet the one no one wanted. It’s a story that I can already tell will stay with me, as will Narnia.
Tears it brought while reading and tears it may bring while remembering. The Last Battle is a classic worthy of a pedestal all its own and possibly one even higher than its predecessor, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.