Journeys Part 3: The Narnian Chronicles

*The last of a three-part series.

Long overdue. That's all I can say about this blog post and about having only read CS Lewis' seven-book series just now. Being a fantasy and mythology nut, Narnia has always been in my periphery but I have never ventured there. I remember the first time I even heard of it was sometime between 7th grade and 1st year high school when Pog and Duffie were talking about it. Of course I couldn't relate.

Fast forward to a decade later and the movie version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe came out and blew me away. Since then, I've always wanted to read the books but it's either I find loose volumes that would be missing a book or two or the complete boxed set would just be too expensive.

Then Prince Caspian came out and I loved it.

Then Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out and I loved it.

After three movie adaptations, I finally thought it time to play catch up. Funny thing is I made a spontaneous decision to finally buy all seven books when I spotted them at National Bookstore Santa Mesa while doing some Christmas shopping last year. I wanted to get my oldest niece started on building her library and I thought Narnia would be a great place to start. But when Dawn Treader came out, well, my niece got the complete Hunger Games trilogy instead.
She finished those books in a week's time!
My journey through Narnia started early December and lasted until late January. Narnian fans would chastise me for this but I read the books in the order of how the edition I bought were numbered - chronologically. Yep, unlike die-hard Narnians I know, my travels began with the Magician's Nephew.

What I discovered was a world that was as familiar as it was mysterious. Here was a fantasy world that was a welcome break from all the grim fairy tales of modern high fantasy series like the Sword of Truth, A Song of Ice and Fire, and (yes, I admit) even the Wheel of Time! I keep wanting to explore more and more of this land that Aslan the magnificent lion created every time I close a chapter. More so when I finish a book!

Narnia was also the last in a list of things that I missed growing up and made up lost time for last year. That list includes playing Final Fantasy I and 2 and reading Weiss and Hickman's Dragons of Autumn Twilight - both similar works of high fantasy! Also on the list is reading Watchmen and The Catcher in the Rye.

I don't know how or why I missed these things, but I guess that explains how I managed to hold on to every bit of youth I have left: I still have a lot of stuff to make up for and so many experiences to try! Case in point: My recent trips to Ilocos and Clark with some very close friends elicited moments of pure, seething unadulterated enthusiasm on countless occasions! Like being transported through Calormen, Archenland, the Eastern Ocean and the northern realms of Narnia, I often found awe wherever I went. Thankfully I still have the energy to wander and explore.

I'm glad I didn't grow up soon enough. Else I never would have appreciated Narnia at my age. It would've been nice to have cheerful memories of growing up with the books but that's okay. That just means I still get to be a friend of Narnia. Afer all, I actually like my trip there better than my travels to Middle Earth or Hogwarts.

One last thing about my trip to Narnia was that even if I didn't pick up the Christian themes as much, the books have given much to think about faith. I have to believe that there must be a reason why fate brought me on that journey only recently. If I didn't miss out on this great adventure growing up, I probably would've never thought to introduce Narnia to my nieces and nephews.

That's right. Having finally finished The Last Battle as soon as I got home from my Ilocos trip, I finally gave my books way to their rightful owner: My niece who would later share it with her younger siblings and cousins. They get to grow up having read the books and I can only hope that they become better persons for having read such an insightful and (most importantly) magical story!

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to hear that you are passing on books and stories to your niece. I hope I can do the same with my kids.