Top positive review
C.S.Lewis as the humourless marshwiggle?
on January 9, 2004
The 4th book to be written, The Silver Chair is the penultimate offering in Narnian chronology. The central theme of this book seems to be the importance of belief (religious or otherwise; I suppose it depends on how you define religion). Nevertheless, the book is not too esoteric, like the other Chronicles, the plot functions perfectly well on a surface level. In short, the plot concerns two children who are given a task in Narnia. Before returning a king who has disappeared, they must battle giants and a witch, as well as escape from an underground world.
I say this book is about belief because the children are given several immediate tasks which they are told to pursue even though the long term goal and result is not revealed to them. Given the adversity and temptation the children meet along the way, pursuit of the tasks requires a great deal of faith and perseverance. The children are even exposed to willful deceit and witchcraft. Just as they begin to falter, they always receive help from somewhere. This to me is one of the great things about these books; children are both shown to be capable of accomplishing much and shown that if their intentions are good they can expect to receive help along the way. One may ask whether this approach will give children excessive expectations of the world, but I say better to give children hope than a sense of futility, since I believe children are indeed strong, strong enough to suffer the inevitable dashing of hopes. As long as they know there is someone beside them who cares.