Though C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew contains many of his signature strengths as a writer as described here, it lacks in one vital area. Written as a precursor to The Chronicles of Narnia, it serves its purpose in creating a foundation for Narnia, it does little else. The Magician’s Nephew is, quite obviously, an afterthought.
Learning the history of a beloved magical world is intriguing, but this novel doesn’t add to, or enrich the experience of the rest of the series, being neither compelling or vital to the series.
While our young and adventurous protagonists, Diggory and Polly, do breathe life into The Magician’s Nephew, the surrounding characters appear to be thrown in simply to move the plot forward. It’s like coming up with a great punch line to a joke, and stumbling over the creation of the set up.
Am I disappointed I read The Magician’s Nephew? No. Do I think it is a requisite read in order to thoroughly experience The Chronicles of Narnia? No.
Rating: 3.5 Magic Rings