‘THE LAST BATTLE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Last Battle Is The Greatest Of All Battles
‘The Last Battle’ is the seventh book of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis and is the seventh and final book that he wrote in the series. This book is divided into 16 chapters and is a truly epic end.
As of today, there’s been no film version made of ‘The Last Battle’ from the ‘Narnia’ series. It would have been so intriguing to see what this book would have been like had it been made in the movie series.
The only adaptations of ‘The Last Battle’ that I’m aware of in existence are the radio versions, including one by Focus on the Family. I look forward to hear that radio version of the tale very soon.
I have mixed feelings from reading ‘The Last Battle’ novel. There are lots of things about ‘The Last Battle’ that have been a joy to read, but there are also things that have been depressing in the tale.
If ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ was the Genesis of the Narnia chronicles by C.S. Lewis, then ‘The Last Battle’ would have to be the Revelation. This is where it ends for the world of Narnia in these stories.
The story begins with an ugly ape named Shift who persuades the gullible donkey Puzzle to wear a lion skin found at Caldron Pool. Shift persuades Puzzle to impersonate Aslan the Lion for his benefits.
Very soon, the Calormenes come into Narnia and the Talking Beasts are overjoyed by the news of Aslan’s return. But Shift misuses Aslan’s name to get the Narnians to do what he wants them to do.
King Tirian, the last king of Narnia, sees through Shift the ape’s plans and is determined to stop him and the Calormenes as well as save Narnia. Very soon, Tirian has some old friends of Narnia to help.
These old Narnia friends are Eustace and Jill, who last appeared in ‘The Silver Chair’. They with Tirian and Jewel the Unicorn rebel against Shift and the Calormenes, which could mean the end of Narnia.
There are lots of things about ‘The Last Battle’ to cover in this review. I should start by saying how very pleased I was about the number of characters from previous Narnia adventures returning here.
As well as Eustace and Jill, there’s also the return of Peter, Edmund and Lucy who first appeared in ‘LLW’. There’s also Professor Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer who were in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’.
The only character not to return from the previous Narnia adventures is Susan. I was pretty saddened Susan was not in ‘The Last Battle’, since it turned out she was no longer a friend of Narnia.
During the first two thirds of the book, there are great amounts of tension built on Tirian, Jill and Eustace’s attempts to save Narnia. It’s tense when their hopes become lost and foiled by the enemy.
Some of the Dwarfs seen in ‘The Last Battle’ are seen in a poor light. A group of them led by Griffle refuse to help Tirian, Jill and Eustace when they rescued them and they say ‘Dwarfs for the Dwarfs’.
There is a Dwarf who manages to get away from the others and join Tirian’s group and that’s Poggin. Poggin is welcomed by the King Tirian and this put me in mind of the Biblical story of ‘the ten lepers’.
The Calormenes make a comeback in this final Narnia adventure. They were pretty prominent in ‘The Horse and His Boy’ and they have this more villainous role against the Narnian creatures in this.
There is however one Calormene named Emeth who seems to be very un-Calormene like. He’s served his god Tash all his life. But he has actually been doing good things and he gets to meet Aslan.
In the book, there is the appearance of Tash, the god-like entity for the Calormenes. Tash turns out to be an eagle-man hybrid with four arms that is pretty terrifying when he runs in the Narnia forests.
By the way, there’s a cat in this book called Ginger who happens to be a villain in the story. Something shocking happens to Ginger as he enters the Stable and he runs out screeching like a cat.
The last four chapters of the book have the final end of Narnia featured in the story. This was a combination of sadness and joy as the old Narnia was being destroyed and drowned in a tidal wave.
It gets revealed that the Narnia in the books was a copy (or a shadow) of the real Narnia in Aslan’s country. This implies hints of Biblical proportions throughout the Narnia tales as made by C.S. Lewis.
I like how the book ends in Chapter 16 where all the Narnia characters from the previous stories appear in Narnia’s version of Heaven. It felt so reassuring to read and inspirational to end the series.
‘The Last Battle’ is a pretty emotional chronicle to end the Narnia series. It was both a joy and depressing to end. But as C.S. Lewis indicates, these ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ are only the front cover.
‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ book series has been a joy for me to read. It’s a shame that not all of the books have been made into movies and TV serials. But it was good to read the books following the release of the 2005 film of ‘LLW’. They’ll have to start again with adapting the ‘Narnia’ books in films.
By the way, I really like the illustrations featured in these Narnia books by Pauline Baynes. They provide so much in helping us as the audience to see the worlds of Narnia created by C.S. Lewis. I enjoyed reading the books and see the pictures of the characters like Aslan and the children in them.
‘The Last Battle’ (Book) rating – 8/10
|Return to The Chronicles of Narnia|