Chapter Eight – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Cover Illustration by Stephen Lavis.

Chapter Eight is titled: What Happened After Dinner. This week’s short essay on the chapter focuses almost purely on the spiritual, so do not come to read this expecting a review of CS Lewis’ writing style – it is his underlying subject matter that I am dealing with here.

Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

We begin when Mr Beaver mentions Aslan’s name and the children have once more a wonderful feeling run through them. This parallels the longing and perfect joy a Christian feels at the mention of Christ. But again, there is one child who shivers with fear at the mention of Aslan’s name. Edmund asks a question:

“She won’t turn him into stone too?”

We understand Edmund’s question better than Mr Beaver, so we know that he did not receive a satisfactory answer to it. He is relying on the Witch (the Devil or this world) to fulfil his desires, because of this he wishes, dreams, longs for that she would destroy Aslan (Christ or God).

Shortly after this Mr Beaver reveals that he shares a similar task to we who are saved. He is to lead the children to Aslan as we are to guide people towards Christ. He is there to lead them on a set route, like us. We have the Bible to teach us each turn and the dangers we may face along the way and Mr Beaver also knows his way through the land. Are we as competent as Mr Beaver at noticing and foreseeing dangers? Do we know our God’s guidance in His word?

Both Lucy and Susan consider Aslan a man and may be excused for believing this, but it would be terrible for any to believe Christ to be a man or in any was lesser than God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. They are an equal trinity. Three in One. Here are some texts, but if a detailed explanation is needed please let me know. Proofs of the Trinity: Genesis 1 verses 2 and 26, Matthew 3 verses 16 and 17. Proofs of Christ as part of the Godhead: Matthew 16 verse 16, Revelation 1 verse 8.

What Mrs Beaver then says is this: “…if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” It is Biblically based and contrasting to what many people have said, such as when Winston Churchill said “I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Who could stand before Christ on judgement day and speak so brazenly to Him? No, not even one who is brave or silly.

Then Mr Beaver answers Susan’s and Lucy’s question. “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” Christ shall be our judge. He shall point us to Heaven or to Hell and we shall have no argument to give, because He is perfect and just.

On a short side note, I fully agree with Peter’s words here: “I’m longing to see him, even if I do feel frightened when it comes to the point.” It shall be an indescribable moment to finally see Christ in all His glory. As the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1 verse 21 : “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” For when I die I shall be with Him in paradise. I long to be with Him.

Now. To tackle a single name that CS Lewis causes Mr Beaver to say: “Lilith.” In Jewish folklore she was Adam’s first wife. There is no Biblical basis for this argument. You can see the verses that the belief has stemmed from, but when you interpret Bible verses you have to be very careful not to end up with a confused study. People claim there are two accounts of creation. One in Genesis 1 and a second in Genesis 2. I do not wish to divert too far into Theological debate, but I will say this: The second chapter of Genesis simply gives the account of the creation of man in further detail, it is not a new or separate item.

And now we come back to the story arc, and Edmund’s thoughts are turning into actions. Here in this chapter we meet a great betrayal that shakes the whole company.

“Then during the moment of silence that followed his last remark, Lucy suddenly said: “I say – where’s Edmund?” “

A chill always greets me when I read of Edmund’s desertion of his siblings. It is as if someone I know has denounced their family unjustly and stormed off boiling with hate. I fear for him, and others like him, every time.

“…everything they wanted to say died on their lips…” It is a depressing moment when one cannot defend another’s spiritual life. Something they have done that leaves no room for ‘possible’ or ‘maybe this or maybe even that’. There is no doubt as to what they have done and where they most likely stand; against God.

Mr Beaver goes on to say how he could be sure that Edmund would betray them. As Edmund could so easily be told apart from the others we must be sure to ask ourselves: “How am I seen by others, do I give a good witness of the Christian life? Am I clearly of God’s chosen people?” We may also see it this way: look at your friends. What do they claim to be? Christians? Atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, etc.? Compare your own, and their, lives to scripture. Consider carefully and tread lightly. Please do not run to your friends and aggressively throw Bible verses at them, that is not what I mean to encourage. I mean to encourage caution in actions around others, and careful consideration of how our friends and colleagues act. Who has influence over you? Whose life do you look to and wish to follow? Is it Christ’s? Is it the Apostle Paul’s? Read and be filled with vigour to maintain or improve your witness, and to consider others’ spiritual state.

One final point (although CS Lewis’ writing is very good and I have only touched very briefly upon it, I am afraid that these things are far far more demanding of our attention, and I am confident the author himself would agree), Lucy fears the situation they are in. “Oh, can no one help us?” wailed Lucy.” I will now change Mr Beaver’s words slightly here: only Christ. We must go to Him. In life we find ourselves in a constant deluge of things to do, temptations, tragedies, and troubles. These things do, naturally as we are sinful fallen beings eat away at our faith. They attempt to douse our spiritual flame. But we should never fear! In all times we must ask ourselves: what does God’s word say? Be assured, be at peace, be in Christ. He is ever present and guides you home to live with Him in eternal glory. Fear not.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with a special post on the same chapter next week. Till then:

Best wishes,

Review of The Rust Bucket Chronicles by Ted Blasche

It steps up to the plate in a simple fashion, but starts it’s batting round fantastically with a smartly-paced piece of action. As this is coming to a grand crescendo we are halted quite violently. It was a dream sequence. At best a flashback. Once he comes to we also have awoken to a new world, but in the sense of the viewpoint used. It’s changed, because the author wants to separate his dreams/memories from the present. I don’t see the necessity of this as it is achieved through telling us he was asleep and that he has now woken up. I’m not sure of the need to sow confusion among readers.

He had a good run of information and action going on, but he killed it all off. I was genuinely interested as to whether or not our hero would escape the evil he faced, save his mother, etc. Now I have no idea what’s real and if I’ll ever find out what happened. All that I knew of the story has been wiped clean and it’s as if I’m reading another book.  I feel like I’ve wasted my time reading it, even though it was such a drawing passage. In the subsequent chapters you will find similar instances of good writing, but it is marred by mistakes and confusing lines, which – like splattered paint – are inconsistent yet ever present.

Overall it is a book written by a creative author who has harnessed both action and comedy to create a well-balanced novel containing characters with good depth to them. There are neat twists throughout the story: sudden betrayals, surprises, deaths, escapes. It is not simply a boy-meets-girl with some sci-fi and fantasy thrown in; there is more to it than that. A good read that simply needs an elbow-greased polish to finish it off.

Chapter Seven (Aslan’s Name) – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Cover Illustration by Stephen Lavis.

What I am about to write on is a heavy subject that cannot be taken lightly. It is incredibly important and I cannot stress that enough. Here we are talking about souls and their spiritual life. So, please, bear that in mind whilst reading this and my other pieces on Narnia, because life is more than the here and now. We have eternal souls and where they stand before our Creator should be of concern to us all.

Aslan’s Clear Parallel with Christ

Aslan, throughout these books, is seen as an allegory for Christ by many – though I have been informed by a friend that Narnia was written as a supposition – and here we have an example of a clear parallel. It strikes me even more so, because CS Lewis uses (possibly in an undeliberate manner) the first half of a line from a hymn written by Caroline M. Noel, but he replaces the name Jesus with Aslan: “At the name of Aslan…” A little later we will come to the clearest connection with Christ when Aslan dies at the Stone Table and then rises from the dead in chapters fourteen and fifteen respectively.

The Children’s Reaction to His Name


Each child has a reaction to the name of Aslan. Each reaction shows something about that child and a different spiritual state. Firstly, Edmund is clearly a distant sinner who is far from help. His reaction is one of horror. He cannot tell what is in his future, but he knows it is something shocking. Aren’t many like that today? Many who hear Christ’s name react in anger and horror. Why? Because they fear facing God after this life is through. Their conscience speaks to them and tells them of their sin. That they are far from God and can never be kept in his presence. That is what Edmund’s feelings portray. Thankfully, as we shall discover, Aslan saves Edmund in such a grand manner – we will look at this when the chapter arrives and the parallel that it also displays.

Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous.” Peter is stirred up by the name of Aslan to fight for him. He is a soldier for Christ. At the name of Jesus many Christians are invigorated and, after previous time spent reading some of Paul’s letters and other books that express a saved person’s desire, some will immediately wish to work for Him who died for them. They will lay down their worldly play things and their bodily thoughts and turn to higher things. Paul puts it in several ways: “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” – 1 Corinthians 9 verse 27. Philippians 3 verses 8 and 9. 2 Timothy 2 verses 3 to 6. It is in 2 Timothy 2 verse 3 that we find the kind of Christian Peter portrays “…a good soldier…” A soldier who is trained and ready for the service of his King. In Peter this is taken literally, but in us it is to be taken spiritually. It is a call to arms in spiritual warfare. To fight against the world and to stand by Christ through all hardships.

The smell of something and the sound of music flow over Susan: “Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated over her.” Maybe I am incorrect that this passage proves what I shall say now, but I feel it is backed up by what occurs in The Last Battle when it is revealed that she has denied her faith and has no place in heaven set aside for her. Susan is a false convert. Susan feels a connection to faith in Aslan (Christ) via feeling something. Whether it is by incense or by the music she likes that is how she maintains her hope in salvation – which is clearly shown to be misplaced as she falls back into her worldly ways after a short stint as a believer in Aslan (Christ). What is your faith based on? What do you seek when you are low in mood? What takes up your time? How do you worship? These are questions even Christians who are old in the faith must keep asking themselves; for the temptation of our old nature is strong and the Devil is wicked in his manner.

Lucy represents the young Christian. She is full of youthful vigour towards her new found faith and is eager to begin the walk with Christ. She gets: “the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realise that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” We all know this feeling of being free from school after what seems like such a long time that dragged on without end, but now it is over! It is finished! The green fields of joy roll out before us as the summer holidays start and we wish them to never end. That is how it feels when you first come to Christ. You are asleep one moment in the world and lie in its terrible pain, anguish, and horror, but then wake up, open your eyes, and find before you peace, forgiveness, and freedom! It is a joy like none other to find yourself in Christ. It is a joy to be able to say with King David: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” – Psalm 23 verses 1 and 2.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far. It means a lot to me in several ways to have this sort of work read. I pray that it shall be a blessing to you all.

Best wishes,


Chapter Seven – The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Cover Illustration by Stephen Lavis.

Chapter Seven is titled: A Day With The Beavers. In this chapter we see further development towards Edmund’s betrayal, we begin to get to know more characters in Narnia, and we hear mention of Aslan.

Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

C.S. Lewis’ Writing

Their apparent guide, the robin, has flown away. The children are lost in an uncharted forest, within the reach of enemies. A bush rustles and a shadowed figure of an unknown creature is seen flitting between bush and tree. CS Lewis builds the tension and steadily adds details to the encounter, before revealing the creature is a beaver by Peter saying

“…it’s a beaver. I saw the tail.”

We all breathe a sigh of relief! Lewis then captures childish innocence in Lucy and Susan’s reactions of

“I think it’s a nice beaver.”


“I feel I want some dinner”

respectively. They consider only the outward appearance and their personal feelings. Even Peter their leader misses the possibility that there may be more than one creature lurking nearby. Nevertheless, this beaver is fondly referred to as Mr. Beaver by the children once they feel safer around him.

Edmund is held apart from the other children in CS Lewis’ writing. This is shown by his vastly different reaction to the mention of Aslan’s name. It is one of horror, for he stands by the Witch’s regime. It is further displayed by only him not trusting Mr. Beaver and his longing look between the two hills – towards the White Witch’s palace.

“…Edmund could see two small hills, and he was almost sure they were the two hills which the White Witch had pointed out to him…”

The final piece of CS Lewis’ writing (and the final point of this short essay) that I wish to draw attention to is his creation of the Beavers as a very comfortable couple. The beavers’ house is given to us in even more detail than Mr. Tumnus’ is earlier in the book, and the characters are given a lot more time to show themselves to us. We see Mr. Beaver’s dam that is praised out of courtesy by Susan:

“What a lovely dam!”

To which Mr. Beaver can’t help but reply in feigned modesty:

“Merely a trifle!”

By this we can clearly see that Mr. Beaver is a homely chap. Mrs. Beaver sows and cooks very well, and Mr. Beaver fishes and drinks a little beer. What a gentle couple, and so very welcoming. For the first time that the children are in Narnia I feel they are in safe hands.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with a special post on the same chapter next week. Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies

Chapter Six – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Chapter Six is titled: Into The Forest.
Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

It is a most wonderful experience, as a reader, when we are allowed to watch a beloved character head towards (unbeknownst to them) a delightful experience that we, the audience, are aware of. And here, CS Lewis provides us with that as two new characters are introduced to the land of Narnia!

Susan and Peter are our main focus in the opening paragraphs, as all the Pevensie children enter into the wardrobe. They feel cold and wet. They discover snow. And Susan finds she is sitting by a tree! We know what they have found, and we are so glad to have them there! But someone is not. Edmund speaks once in this first scene, and what he says is only fully understood by ourselves and Lucy.

“Let’s get out,” said Edmund, “they’ve gone.”

I am glad they ignored him. I am also glad for Mr Lewis’ writing here. He exercises the rule of showing, not telling, because Edmund – the beast, as Peter soon calls him – does not feel as we do about Narnia. Already he has a sickening feeling towards that magical land of Narnia that shall only grow as the story continues.

“I apologise for not believing you,” he said, “I’m sorry. Will you shake hands?”
“Of course,” said Lucy, and did.

I have three points that I wish to bring before you from this extract:

My first is that Peter is strong enough of a leader to apologise. He does not ignore Lucy out of cowardice, and nor does he pretend to have forgotten that he disbelieved her story. Displaying natural leadership, he bows to his mistake and shakes hands. Thus, affirming his acceptance that a misdemeanour has occurred and displaying his wish that it has a positive resolution.

Secondly, Lucy accepts his apology. She does not stand all high and mighty, demanding that he owe her more than a forgiving handshake. She kindly, gently, and immediately accepts his proposal.

Finally, I return to a hypothesis that I previously made in my first essay back at the opening chapter of this book: “Does Lewis write his character Lucy as a reflection of his goddaughter, or what he wishes she would become/learn?” The hypothesis now leads me to this: “Can we learn from each of Lewis’ characters individually?” For me, the answer to such a question is yes, most definitely, and I hope I can make that clear as I progress through this book.

Oh dear Edmund! What a blunder you have made!

“I say,” began Edmund presently, “oughtn’t we to be bearing a bit more to the left, that is, if we were aiming for the lamppost?

This then leads to the others realising he has indeed been to Narnia before and Peter calling him a poisonous little beast. Then Edmund does something that shows how far he has gone into his anger, self-pity, and selfishness. He hates them more for telling him he has done wrong. Such a strange thing to do I think, yet people do this quite often, because they feel the ones telling them off are stuck up – as Edmund says. Mostly they are not stuck up, but they have a strong sense of morals (be it correct or not).

What a terrible sight for Lucy as she comes to Mr Tumnus’ house, or what is left of it. A friend’s house. Her only Narnian friend. And he is gone. Taken by the Secret Police (which clearly denotes evil to our modern eye, and is a parallel to the SS that was active in Nazi Germany during the time this book was set – World War Two). She must have felt lost, heartbroken, and (as is shown) guilty.

The final point that I want to make from this chapter is at the very end where Edmund takes Peter aside and speaks into his ear. Some of it is good counsel, but it is all said in a wicked tone and leads to Edmund sowing doubt – which thankfully does not take seed. There are those who will speak good things to you in this world, and mix in a little bad so as to slip it past you unawares. Listen carefully and be cautious.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with Chapter 7 next week when we’ll meet the Beavers. Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies

Chapter Five – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe Chapter Five, titled: Back On This Side Of The Wardrobe. In this short piece I write on Edmund’s cruel deceit, Peter and Susan’s paternal-like behaviour, and a point towards the author’s writing.

Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

Poor, dear Lucy. She is so excited upon her and Edmund’s return from Narnia, and she stands aghast – unable to speak – as he denies the existence of the world he has only just stepped out of. What a terrible slope he now finds himself on! He denied clear truth, so that he might (instead of all the siblings enjoying the world together) receive pleasure by cruelly bringing tears to Lucy’s eyes. Peter is correct to admonish him for this behaviour, but perhaps not as harshly as he does. We shall see a development of his character in a later chapter to do with this specific moment, when Aslan himself is present.

Throughout this day, Peter and Susan are displaying more and more fatherly and motherly qualities towards their younger siblings. They lead, reprimand, care for, and stand by them. Specifically, in this case, they stay up quite late discussing what they should do about Lucy and her (from their view) imagined land. Finally, they agree – with Peter leading – that they should seek help from an older, and wiser man; the Professor is sought out.

The Professor is a kind, old man and when they bring their concerns and their story before him, he sits and listens patiently. He lets them finish speaking to entirely and then spends further time dwelling upon what they have said. Only then does he begin digging deeper into the problem in front of them all. He takes their concerns as highly serious things, and this is something I feel that we all can learn from. If it is worrying someone then it is no small matter, irrespective of what we ourselves feel towards the thing. So, we should take care and spend a sensible amount of time thinking on each problem placed before us. Those who need advice can learn here too; from Peter and Susan’s example. Seek advice from those who have walked longer paths than you.

During the considering of this problem concerning Lucy we come across an intelligent lesson in logic from our author, CS Lewis (in case anyone has forgotten). It focuses finally, at the end, on the logical thought of children. Children, when creating an imagined world, can come up with things incredibly quickly – having been one myself and imagined many different worlds and creatures I know – but Lewis is entirely correct in what he says, because of the depth and detail of Lucy’s tale and the time she spent away.

Now are two things which the Professor says that make me chuckle. The first I can imagine all parents or grandparents saying at some time:

“I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

The second is when he ends the conversation thusly:

“We might try minding our own business.”

And though I laugh at this rather humorous line (especially after the build-up it received) it does have a sounding of truth to it. Sometimes the best thing that we can do is to leave something well alone. As a Christian I would say have faith for Romans 8 verse 28 says:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Finally in the last section of the chapter, we read of Mrs Macready and her tours. This is simple, smooth writing from CS Lewis. He believingly pushes the children back into the wardrobe – as if moving them there with his author’s hand – and, as we see in Chapter Six, all of them into Narnia. Oh, Edmund, how far you shall yet fall!

Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with Chapter 6 in one or two weeks time (I can’t decide at this moment in time) when all our Pevensies enter into Narnia! Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies

Chapter Four – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Here we are at the beginning of chapter four, and we have in front of us the most evil character we shall find in all of the Narnia books: The White Witch. In this short essay I shall attempt to show why we believe that CS Lewis wrote her character as the Devil. There shall be a couple of KJV Bible verses pointed out; to show where he might have looked to for guidance on this character, so for this chapter you shall need your copy of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, and The Bible (you can download a KJV as an app).

Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

On the very opening page of this chapter we find several reasons already to point to why readers have compared her to Satan. The first are her harsh, cruel words which are spoken to Edmund. For example:

“I see you are an idiot, whatever else you may be.”

Disregarding his confusion and anything else he may have in ways of positive characteristics, she verbally lashes out with an insulting comment on his intelligence, putting him down. This shows murder of character, an attribute not just of the Devil, but of any fallen being.

Secondly, we find out, on the very same page, that she has some form of plan that can be wrecked by Edmund. Later we find out exactly what this plan is. Her words “this may wreck all”show us, coupled with how she then proceeds, that although she may heighten herself to Aslan’s level, it is a lie. The Witch is not omnipotent, omniscient, nor is she omnipresent. This reflects Satan’s bid to level himself with God (as seen in 2 Corinthians 11 verse 14), but, despite his attempts, he falls on all those points also, and it is a height that he knows he shall never achieve.

Finally from just this page, we see

“her eyes flaming; at the same moment she raised her wand.”

In these words we see that there is great intent to harm. Coupled with “he is easily dealt with.” we see the calmness of her majesty when she is about to commit murder. She has moved from a lashing tongue to a lashing sword, and feels no qualms about this. This should remind us of Peter’s warning of The Devil in 1 Peter 5 verse 8.


“just as he gave himself up for lost, she appeared to change her mind.”

Here we should take note of her sudden change of plan concerning Edmund. It is a sly manoeuvre indeed. Threatening to kill him, so showing her strength, but then holding back and offering (as we shall see) a ‘loving’ hand. Slyness has been known to be used by Satan since the Garden: Genesis 3. The Witch continues to speak “My poor child”. A child, we must remember, who one moment ago was an idiot to her. “I will put my mantle round you and we will talk.” An offer of companionship, company, and care. The poor boy then “sat at her feet” as one might do before a great teacher. It is a sign of worship, respect, and attention. He submitted himself to her. Edmund should have refused this offer, but we can’t think too little of him, after all, he was only just threatened with death, so he is rather shaken.

Turning over the pages there are even more instances that we may compare The Witch to The Devil. Here in these few quotes we see offerings of material pleasures that ensnare Edmund “like best to eat” “she knew…that this was enchanted”, a desire by The Witch to glean a much knowledge in any way possible “he never asked himself why the Queen should be so inquisitive”, her forcing information from him “ she got him to tell her”, and (once the information is taken) the falling of the pretence of her monarchic title “forgetting to call her ‘Your Majesty’, but she didn’t seem to mind now”. I shan’t go into detail on these points, because if I did they would treble this writing’s length and I would begin to repeat myself on many a thing.

The wicked words and ways continue till The Witch offers Edmund his heart’s desire: power far above his brother, Peter. First, though, he must bring his siblings to her, so they may be made Duke and Duchesses – which Edmund does not like the sound of, for when you have found something like this and you are selfish you never want to share.

She parts from him with these words almost as her last “you needn’t tell them about me.” She knows they will discover one way or another that she is wicked, so, seeking to hide this, she gives the pretence that it is a game. In a similar way, Satan whispers into minds that this life is just a game, and we should have no other thoughts than that of fun and frivolity. Though there is nothing inherently evil about fun, it is wrong to direct our lives entirely towards selfish ambitions of want and desire for this world.

Edmund then meets Lucy in Narnia! This should have been a wonderful joy to them both, but (as we discover) he is feeling uneasy in his stomach and about the ‘friend’ he has made there. So much so that he puts Lucy down when she talks of the Fawn describing The White Witch as a “perfectly terrible person.” By writing this in CS Lewis has foreshadowed what will happen later in the book with Edmund’s betrayal, because he hates having to admit he is wrong:

“Edmund secretly thought that it would not be as good fun for him as for her.”

So, I hope I have covered the subject matter in this chapter well enough in the short writing I have put before you, that it may be profitable and interesting. Feedback will be read and digested. I’ll be back with Chapter 5 in two weeks time when the two children return to the real world and their elder siblings. Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies

Chapter Three – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

In chapter three Lucy returns from Narnia, is disappointed when the Wardrobe yields no magic, Edmund takes his first steps in the snow, and we meet one of the key figures for the rest of the book.
Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

The title of this chapter is ‘Edmund And The Wardrobe’. This serves to reassure us that others will find Narnia as we read the next few pages whilst Lucy cries and the wardrobe is found, by the others, to be entirely ordinary.

What a dreadful thing! Imagine experiencing something so magical so clearly and then when you tell someone they half believe you, but when they investigate they find no evidence of it. No woods. No snow. No fawn. For standing for what truth she believed in we must commend Lucy; especially after the confusion of the strange ratio of the elapsing of time, and for it to be her siblings that she stood up to also. What a dreadful thing. So dreadful that the poor girl cries and remains downcast for the following sunny, bright days.

Thankfully, her curiosity and belief remain mostly intact, so she takes the next opportunity when she is free from people to discover whether it all really was real. Edmund is also presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to tease Lucy. Throughout this chapter we ae shown glimpses of, and great hints at, Edmund’s cruel and self-serving nature – and to what he may do in the future.

Now, here in this passage, we are given for the first time a viewpoint separate from Lucy’s. We follow Edmund on his travels into Narnia, and he is a rather different character to her. While she found beauty, wonder, and magic in the new and mysterious land around her, he finds loneliness, fear, and a conscience. He begins to notice his unkindness and apologises aloud, but when he receives no answer this is quickly replaced by a stereotypical young boy’s line of:

“Just like a girl”.

Some may say this is CS Lewis’ sexism clearly presented, but I would simply call it character. It adds another depth of flaw to Edmund.

Then we hear bells ringing, and some reindeer pulling a sledge draw into view. Before now I considered these reindeer to be decent sized, but having seen Shetland Ponies (thanks to my fiancée’s love of horses) I now realise how dinky these must have been. The description surrounding this sledge, the dwarf, and the Witch shows to me that Edmund is impressed by material things rather than the nature around him. The pompous show put on by the Witch and her small entourage impresses him so much that he wishes to impress her also. This placement of description is an example of CS Lewis’ skilled writing as he executes a switch of point of view while also providing us with a show of Edmund’s character.

Finally, I wish for us to consider what the Witch represents. Satan. The Devil. That is quite clear in these books, and even here – just in this chapter and the next – it shows. The material presentation. The claiming of royal office. The preying upon impressed minds. The less than subtle threats, the slyness, and then supposed friendship as the metaphorical arm is placed ‘comfortingly’ around Edmund in the next chapter. CS Lewis nails the character so well that you can almost see the horns poking out from either side of her crown.

In the next chapter we have a conversation between the Witch and Edmund, and Lucy returns to find him also in Narnia. I hope that it has been an interesting read. I am fully open to all feedback.

Best wishes,

Andrew Davies

Chapter Two (Part Two) – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Ahead of us is the second part of chapter two. So far in this chapter I have covered up to the point of Mr Tumnus’ tearful breakdown and his subsequent admittance of his planned betrayal. In this piece my main focus shall be CS Lewis’ writing style and what we can gain from it.

We come back as Lucy wakes up to the fading light of day and Mr Tumnus’ begins to look sad – about what, we are not yet told. He then begins to cry and expounds to her what he had been planning. What I want to make a note of here is the kindness and care that Lucy displays, and also draw attention to who (or whom) CS Lewis’ audience is. We recall that he is writing this story for his goddaughter, called Lucy, and other young children. Since his main character (in this book I consider her such) is named after his main audience, we must consider whether he also took her attributes or if he assigned the character attributes that he wished her to have. I suppose the point I am trying to make remains the same: when writing always keep in mind the message and values you are presenting to your audience, and be especially careful with influential groups – such as children.

Presently we turn to the last two pages of the chapter in my copy of the book. Here we find a well-executed change of tone shown by sentences that are sharp and empty of the beautiful description that was once on display. Still, right at the end of the chapter, CS Lewis brings a light of hope and continued friendship in the way of Lucy allowing Mr Tumnus to keep her handkerchief. This I find to be a proof of his wonderful story-telling and writing ability; as if it was doubted.

This has been a very short post, but I wasn’t originally planning on one this week, so I hope that it has been an interesting read even in it’s brief nature. Next Friday I shall resume my usual slot at 14:00 with chapter three where Lucy returns to the normal word. I am fully open to all messages and wish you well throughout the week.

Best wishes,

Andrew Davies

Review of From The Center by Steven Faulkner

This review was written for Kellan Publishing. The book may be purchased here: 

From The Center by Stephen Faulkner opens in a psychiatric hospital with our main character, Elmore, introducing himself and his roommates. I am afraid the review of this book must start on a negative note, but thankfully, like the novella itself, it won’t stay that way for too long.

(Please bear in mind that I write this only with the author’s best interests at heart, and I do understand the difficulties involved in writing a good book. I do this review for his benefit, so that he may improve in his work and go on to better things, and for you the reader’s benefit, so that you may know what this book may bring up in terms of enjoyment.)

The prologue of this book should have been left at the writing desk. It takes the story nowhere and it’s a shame it is there to put off any reader that may enjoy the rest of the book. Personally, it was the lack of writing skill that really shook me off wanting to read the rest, and if I hadn’t chosen to review it I would not have continued. The way we are introduced to ‘the other crazies and losers’, as Elmore puts it much too apathetically, is bland. Small hinting details could be given here to whet the readers’ appetite; with possible expansion on them later. Maybe history between some of the inmates could be in there (if placed carefully)? Something needs to be added to these people, because that’s what they are. They are people, and people have depth. Depth which is not found at all so far. As well as this there are several instances of dodgy sentence structures, stray ‘and’s, some carelessly placed punctuation, and bland uses of adjectives. There isn’t even a metaphorical image added in when the opportunity to do so is present.

This only brings us up to the first chapter. Though the same basic problems are present, it begins to improve here as we are exposed to an interesting development in Mr Faulkner’s tale. Elmore is in Nowhere (wherever that may be). As mentioned, the writing is not the best it could be and we don’t learn too much more about our character than we did in the prologue. He pees himself a lot, and is too horny (which puts me off reading it more than the lack of character development does. This sort of thing, if written at all, should be written with great care and consideration for the audience). The first chapter is very short, so we are swiftly on to the next.

(A short note here: I think you could safely skip up to this point and still be in the loop; which gives further case for them to be dropped.)

(Here’s where it gets better) By chapter two the writing has improved vastly, the main character develops, and we have a supporting character given to us who adds something worthwhile to the story. It is here that I finally WANT to read the story; rather than continue to trudge through it in order to write this short review. I begin to tear through the pages and digest, with reader’s delight, all the way through to Part II. Stephen Faulkner starts to open up, and write an interesting story; with imaginative ideas that are employed well and that I enjoy.

In closing I would say that anyone wishing to read this novella should skip to chapter 2, as that is where the story really begins, and that I am now most keen to read the rest of the book myself. I hope you will join me on this adventure ‘From The Center’.