Monday, February 18, 2019

The Silver Chair


Fourth in publication order and penultimate in chronology, The Silver Chair opens with protagonists Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole, escaping bullies, calling out to Aslan the Lion, consequentially being whisked to Narnia, where they find an aged King Caspian X whose son Rilian has gone missing for some time, and those sent to retrieve him have failed to return. Owls transport Jill and Eustace to the northern marshes, where they meet the Marsh-wiggle Puddleglum, with the Ruined City of giants their next destination, their subsequent journey leading them beyond unfriendly giants to Harfang, where Gentle Giants dwell.

However, things aren’t what they seen at the home of the supposedly “gentle” giants, with Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum eventually escaping and soon finding themselves in the Underland, where the Warden of the Marches takes them to an underwordly city in which dwells the enigmatic Black Knight, the eponymous silver chair seen as well. The Knight denies knowledge of Rilian or Narnia, although things ultimately twist and turn in the last few chapters, Jill and Eustace soon returning to their own world, with some changes to their coeducational school effected, as well.

Overall, this is another enjoyable yarn of Narnia, which is actually somewhat enjoyable on its own, since a whole lot of knowledge on its predecessors, in orders chronological and published, isn’t completely necessary, given the cast of mostly-different characters. There are some facets of the book that haven’t aged well, such as certain nautical terminology present in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the different definition of “making love,” both of which might result in unintended humor, but this story is definitely enjoyable in spite of the aforementioned flaws.

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