Friday, December 24, 2010

Book Review: The Silver Chair

Book Review: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

One of my clients mentioned the other day the great character of Puddleglum (from the Silver Chair) and so I decided to read the book that refers to him again. The Silver Chair is about the search for the missing prince Rillian, Caspian's only son who was kidnapped by an evil witch. Eustace and Jill are whisked from a close call at Experiment House (their school in England) and back to Narnia where Aslan give them the task of finding the lost prince. Together with their intriguing guide Puddleglum, they go north into the wilds of Narnia where they encounter giants, and underground kingdom, and the witch. I love this tale. The title refers to the silver chair that is part of the prince's enchantment.

I always liked this book because of the interesting character that is Pudddleglum. Puddleglum is a pessimist, yet he is an adventurer and high in integrity. I would very much not mind having a friend like him. Another part that touched me was a quote from Prince Rillian as he and the search party are trying to find their way out of a tricky spot and hoping not to perish in the attempt. Rillian says: "Courage, friends," came Prince Rilian's voice. "Whether we live or die Aslan will be our good lord." And earlier he puts it this way: "Doubtless," said the Prince, "This signifies that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die." I like how Rillian was willing to accept death or life from his Lord. He trusted him completely no matter which way things turned out. That is the kind of faith I want to have in God. Job says something similar that I have always aspired to: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" - Job 13:15. Overall I rate this book 4.1 ninja stars out of 5.

There is also a great quote about Aslan that further enlarges Lewis' view of God. I find it poetic and inspiring:

"Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion. "I am dying of thirst," said Jill. "Then drink," said the Lion. "May I--could I--would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill. The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

"Will you promise not to--do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill. "I make no promise," said the Lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. "Do you eat girls?" she said. "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

"I daren't come and drink," said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion. "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."

"There is no other stream," said the Lion."

No comments: