The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Large Print Edition
By C. S. Lewis
HarperCollins, 2002, 192 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - January 19, 2010
C. S. Lewis wrote this, the first volume in the Chronicles of Narnia series, in 1950, but he later said that The Magician's Nephew, written in 1955, should be considered the first book in his seven book Narnia series. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe occurs when the main character of The Magician's Nephew is an old man, a very wise professor, who lives in a very large house.
Four children, siblings, two brothers and two sisters, are sent out of London to the professor's house in the countryside to escape the bombs dropped by the German air force during World War II. They discover a wardrobe that turns out to be a portal leading to the magical land of Narnia.
Narnia is under the control of a wicked witch who is a descendant of Adam and the demon Lilith. She has covered all of Narnia with cold weather and snow, with no Christmas for a hundred years. Aslan the lion, the God figure, the creator of Narnia, has been absent from Narnia ever since the wicked witch took control. The citizens of Narnia look forward to his return to save them from the evil. This reminds readers of the popular idea that a messiah will come and help create an ideal world.
There is a prophecy in Narnia that if four humans come to Narnia, two males and two females, Aslan will return. The four siblings are present; however, one of the two boys has been seduced by the witch. Nevertheless, the prophecy begins to be fulfilled, Father Christmas appears. He gives everyone gifts. He gives the three children instruments of war.
How they fought? What did the lion do? What happened to the witch? What happened to the fourth child? Did all four children return home? These are questions that the rest of the book answers.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.