When I was 7 or 8 I read my mother's childhood copies of 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' most of them so well loved that each book had half a cover and an assortment of pages tucked in the back that you had to put in the right place while you were reading. Discovering this beautiful edition of 'The Magician's Nephew,' including the original cover and illustrations and with archive-quality clay-coated pages has been a revelation.
'The Magician's Nephew' tells how Diggory Kirke (the young Professor Kirke from 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe') and his friend Polly get sent to The World Between Worlds, unwittingly awaken Jardis, Queen of Charn, from an enchantment and transport her to the new world of Narnia as it is being sung to life by the Great Lion Aslan. Despite the fact that it's the first of the Chronicles, it was the last to be written and thus sews the seeds for all the books that follow. We learn where the lamp post and the wardrobe came from, why some animals talk and some do not, and why humans are the rulers of Narnia.
If you're not interested in the Christian allegory aspect of the books then it's a great read in and of itself. For those who appreciate this second dimension of the books, 'The Magician's Nephew' is a doubly exciting and thought provoking book. Human stewardship, creation ex nihilo, original sin and many other aspects of Creation are presented in an unusual and challenging way.
Whatever age you are, whether you are familiar with Narnia or new to it, this sumptuous copy of 'The Magician's Nephew' will be a book that you will enjoy and treasure for years to come.