Monday, December 13, 2010

Review of The Narnia Code by Michael Ward

C.S. Lewis’ classic work Chronicles of Narnia has enchanted children for years.  Many of these children are all grown up now and they have questions lingering from their childhood.  Michael Ward is one of these.  He is a lifelong reader of Lewis, and as such he always had questions about the lack of coherence in the series.  E.g., what in the world is Father Christmas doing in Narnia? 

Narnia Code is the “accessible adaptation” of his more scholarly work Planet Narnia.  In this work (and the larger one) Ward shares his literary theory as to what holds the series together.  It may sound “un-Christian” but Ward believes that Lewis’ understanding of the “seven Heavens” is the key to understanding Narnia. 

This book is well written and was a delight to read.  I am by no means a Lewis scholar or a guru of all things Narnia.  In fact I have not read all of the books.  So, I am not qualified to really test Ward’s theory, but I found this book extremely enjoyable and I think all Narnia fans will love interacting with his theory. 

Even without having read all of the Narnia books I was able to follow his argument and was intrigued enough to start reading the series again.  Ward also points the reader to Christ and is faithful to Lewis’ Christian center.  The second chapter on “The Beam of Light” is helpful for any reader. 

If you are totally unfamiliar with Narnia, this may not be the place to start.  Perhaps those that have watched some of the movies may be captivated enough to start discovering Lewis’ meaning.  I hope one place they turn is this excellent book by Michael Ward. 

This is a highly recommended read for all Narnia fans.  You can buy it for under 10 bucks at Amazon.

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free from Tyndale in exchange for a review.  I did not have to give it a positive review but I certainly want to! 

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