Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
195 pages

The second book in The Chronicles of Narnia takes place one year later in the world of the Pevensies and 1300 years later in Narnia. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are waiting at a train station to return to school when they are magically transported back to Narnia. They arrive on a beach and eventually travel to a land where they see a ruined castle. The children figure out that the ruins is their old castle Cair Paravel.

When they go inside the castle and find their old weapons and gifts they see a boat arriving with two armed soldiers and someone tied up. Susan shoots at the soldiers with her bow and arrow, who then jump off their row boat and swim away out of fright. The children rescue the captive from the boat who is the Talking Dwarf named Trumpkin who tells the story of King Miraz and his nephew Caspian that led him to this point.

King Miraz is the leader of the people called Telmarines who have conquered Narnia and erased the memory and history of ancient Narnia, Aslan, and the Talking Beasts. The remaining old Narnians live in hiding while many of the trees and other magic creatures have fallen into a deep sleep. Caspian lives in the castle with the King and is tutored by a half-dwarf named Doctor Cornelius who tells Caspian of the true history of Narnia and that he is the real King of Narnia. Caspian learns that King Miraz killed his father and sent seven of his father's noble lords away to steal the throne. Miraz also plans to kill Caspian now that he has a newborn son. Doctor Cornelius gives Caspian a magic horn from Queen Susan and helps Caspian escape in the middle of the night. When Caspian's horse runs through a forest and flees out of fright, Caspian is knocked out from hitting his head on a tree.

Caspian awakes in a cave and is questioned by a talking badger named Trufflehunter and two dwarves, Nikabrik and Trumpkin himself. Although the dwarves are wary of Caspian, Trufflehunter is ready to anoint Caspian the rightful King of Narnia. After a long discussion the three agree to take Caspian to the hiding place of the old Narnians. Caspian meets fauns, Talking Mice, including the valiant Repicheep, Talking Beavers, Talking Bears, giants, etc. who are ready to rally and fight for him against King Miraz. Doctor Cornelius arrives and warns everyone that King Miraz's army is approaching and they must be ready to fight. After the king's army reaches the old Narnians and they fight for many hours, Caspian decides to use Queen Susan's horn for help. It was then that the children were transported to Narnia.

The children and Trumpkin take a journey to meet Caspian and his army. On the way Lucy sees Aslan who tells her to follow him. She tells the others, but they don't believe her and continue on their path. The path that the group takes ends up being deadly and they have to turn around and camp in a forest. At night Lucy sees Aslan again and he tells her to wake up the others so they can follow him. Lucy is unsure, but she knows she has to do it. Peter, Susan, and Trumpkin are doubtful, but Edmund is supportive. Eventually they agree to follow her. When Lucy takes them to Aslan, no one can see him but her. She tells them to follow Aslan and they walk behind her since they can't see where he is. After some time they all can see Aslan and apologize to Lucy for their unbelief.

Aslan takes them to Caspian and the Narnians who are facing imminent defeat. Peter, Edmund, and Trumpkin overhear a meeting between Caspian and Nikabrik about using dark magic to defeat King Miraz. Nikabrik suggests that his Wer-wolf and Hag friends raise the White Witch from the dead to defeat the King. Caspian, Cornelius, and Trufflehunter disagree and a fight breaks out. Peter, Edmund and Trufflehunter jump in resulting in the deaths of Nikabrik, the Hag and the Wer-wolf. After they recover and dispose of the bodies they come up with a plan of action to defeat King Miraz's army.

The Narnians agree to propose a duel between High King Peter and King Miraz, the winner of the duel wins the battle between the armies. Although this is disadvantageous to Miraz's larger army, Miraz is manipulated into accepting the offer by his traitorous Lords Glozelle and Sopespian. During the duel High King Peter delivers a blow that knocks King Miraz down flat. Lord Glozelle then stealthily murders the King in the ensuing commotion declaring that the Narnians killed Miraz while he was down. The Telmarines charge to attack, but Aslan arrives with the awakened trees and gods of Narnia to defeat them. The Telmarines attempt to escape, but they are trapped at the Great River where there is no bridge.

Aslan, Susan, and Lucy lead a victory parade through the Telmarine inhabited towns, inviting those who wish to join old Narnia and those who don't to join the defeated army. After the celebration Aslan tells the Telmarines that they can return to Earth where their ancestors came from by walking through a magic door he created. Initially most of the Telmarines are reluctant and frightened that it is a trap. Then a brave Telmarine goes through the door and the Pevensies follow him, proving it is safe. Peter and Susan learn that they will never return to Narnia again while Caspian is crowned King of Narnia and the old Narnians can live out in the open once more. The children return to the train station only minutes later in their world just as Susan and Lucy's train to school arrives.

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