Book Review: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis {rewrite}

26 June 2012

The end of the world is a dark subject to contemplate. It's one on which I don't like to dwell when the hour grows late and the sun is blotted out. But we cannot ignore reality by shutting our eyes, plugging our ears, and humming loudly. The Last Battle is written very brilliantly, fulfilling many different prophesies mentioned in the Book of Revelations. It was a sad book to read, and a heartbreaking one, too, but it was the appropriate ending to this fantastic series.

The Last Battle
By C.S. Lewis
*Summary from Goodreads.com

NARNIA . . . where you must say good-bye . . . and where the adventure begins again.

The Unicorn says that humans are brought to Narnia when Narnia is stirred and upset. And Narnia is in trouble now: A false Aslan roams the land. Narnia's only hope is that Eustace and Jill, old friends to Narnia, will be able to find the true Aslan and restore peace to the land. Their task is a difficult one because, as the Centaur says, "The stars never lie, but Men and Beasts do." Who is the real Aslan and who is the imposter?

My Thoughts: In my opinion, LB is the darkest of the all the books in The Chronicles of Narnia, and that is because it introduces the concept of an Antichrist. In past stories, there has always been evil that needed to be defeated, but those on the side of the Narnians recognized the evil for what it was. Never before has a creature claimed to be Aslan himself . . . and succeeded so effectively.

All the creatures know that this new Aslan is different than the one who used to roam Narnia, but that does not shake their certainty that he is still the true Lion. Even when Shift, the clever and menacing ape who invented this scheme to gain power for himself, says that Aslan is not going to be kind and loving because the Narnians do not deserve it, they accept his words without question. No matter what Eustace, Jill, and Tirian do, their efforts to convince the Narnian creatures that Puzzle is only a silly donkey masquerading as Aslan are consistently in vain. They are helpless on their own. Only the real Aslan appearing and declaring his legitimacy would set everything to rights. But the question remains: will he?

Pros: Reaches out, grabs your attention immediately, and keeps it for the rest of the book. Perhaps one of the best warnings in the book is when the dwarves convince themselves that they cannot see the beauty around them because of their bitter atheism. In Lewis' words, “[The dwarves] have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.” The Last Battle is not your typical end to a fantasy series; that's what makes it so memorable. It's an incredible story, and one that should be read with great frequency.

Cons: Some scenes could be frightening or disturbing for young children.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I recommend this book for ages 11+

A Bit O' Reading For the Day:
“Do you think I care if Aslan doomes me to death?” said the King. “That would be nothing, nothing at all. Would it not be better to be dead than to have this horrible fear that Aslan has come and is not like the Aslan we have believed in and longed for? It is as if the sun rose one day and were a black sun.” — The Last Battle

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