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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Battle
This final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series thankfully returns to the early splendour of "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". After "The Silver Chair", which seemed a little flat compared to other books in the series, "The Final Battle" restores some of the magic that made the first few novels so enjoyable and successful.

Lewis does well in...
Published on 15 April 2008 by David Brookes

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Love these books don't know what I can read now that is going to be as good.. fabulous end to fabulous stories !!
Published 11 months ago by stevie george


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Battle, 15 April 2008
By 
This final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series thankfully returns to the early splendour of "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". After "The Silver Chair", which seemed a little flat compared to other books in the series, "The Final Battle" restores some of the magic that made the first few novels so enjoyable and successful.

Lewis does well in beginning the novel from the point of view of the Narnians, specifically the last King of Narnia, instead of the from the childrens' perspective. We begin to see a particularly brave story develop from who is essentially a Christian author: A false Aslan has begun corrupting Narnia from within, who eventually comes under the thrall of the vicious realm adjacent to Narnia. Considering the powerful although admittedly insipid themes that Lewis is fond of, it seems a brave move to take his allegory so far. As a child the danger must read very real, and as an adult it is interesting to see the mythology of Lewis' realm with his potentially fully drawn.

Cracking characters and a smooth, compelling storyline make this one of the best of the series, as good as "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" and a fantastic, thrilling and emotional end to the book series.

8.5/10
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aptly named - listen to the other stories first., 23 Dec 2005
By 
Martin Greenwood (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The final in the series of "Narnia" stories, The Last Battle works on the same two levels as the other stories. On the one hand, we have a an adventure story about children in a strange and magical world, and on the other we have a treatise on ethics and religion.
Lewis' world of adventure and magic is charming, vividly described and exhilarating. As with the other books in the series, this is fundamentally a human story of drama and pathos, where children are finding adventure and heroism. As a child, I was as enthalled with this story as with any of his others - real favourites. Even so, I found this to be the darkest and in many ways the most challenging of his works. Now, as an adult, I see this very much as a work to be a passionate statement of religious belief, which is skillfully articulated though uncompromising in the position it takes.
The work is really in two parts. The longer, first part, has an interesting opening in which a rather selfish and thoughtless creature sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in the destruction of a sacred forest and ultimately in a breakdown of social order. There follows revolt and warfare wrapped up with fragmentation and subversion of the previously unassailable cult of Aslan. The second part involves the transportation of the children and their friends to the land of Aslan and much discussion of their love of Aslan and much discussion of the wonder and beauty of Aslan's kingdom.
Clearly, Aslan represents God. The narrative part of the story has much to do with the nature of good and evil, and the difference between doing wrong innocently and doing wrong maliciously. Interestingly, it follows a strong thread through the nature of propaganda, the subversion of a worthy cause, and the uncontrollable chaos of politics. Slightly worrying are the casting of an apparently Middle-Eastern kingdom as devil-worshippers, the general feeling that the British class system is alive and well in Narnia, and the slightly mysogenistic criticism of Susan who as a young woman "has reached the silliest time of her life and wants to stay there for as long as possible". I think we can forgive this slight transgressions of political correctness in view of the time in which the novel were written; the "green" views concerning the cutting down of woodland and (horrors!) the march of civilisation would find, though, some resonance today.
The Christian element of the book is very firmly stated, especially in the second part, which is more or less a description of the Second Coming and the End of the World! Heavy stuff for a children's book! However, it works surprisingly well and a child will enjoy the story and probably find the sub-text at least posing some questions for them.
Technically the production is excellent, as might be expected from the BBC. It is the right length, seems to be unabridged (though I have not checked) and the voices and sound effects fit together nicely without being overdone.
I would recommend this, but not before you have read (or listened to) The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe plus a couple of the other works in the series.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Version Of The Book You Can Get, 25 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 7) (Paperback)
This is my favourite of all the Narnia books. It has a fantastic, chilling ending. It can be read by anybody and indeed should be. It is the only book to have all the main human characters in and most of the famous characters from the series. Their are many versions of the Narnia books available to purchase but In my opinion this is the finest one. The words and lines are evenly spaced, there are fantastic colour drawings, the words are of a perfect size to read and it is printed on laminate paper. It is also worth noting that Pauline Baynes, who's colour drawings are in the book, drew the original drawings for the 1950's version of this book. All in all, this book is excellent!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Farther Up and Further In!", 12 Jan 2007
By 
R. M. Fisher "Ravenya" (New Zealand = Middle Earth!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 7) (Paperback)
Say what you will about the correct reading order of C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles of Narnia", one thing is certain - "The Last Battle" needs to be read last. It is not simply because it was written and published last in the series, that it clears up all loose ends in the previous installments and leaves no possible room for any sequels, but because it will change your entire understanding and perception of the last six books. Do what you like with the other books' reading order, but trust me on this one: "The Last Battle" needs to be read *last*.

It has been over two hundred years in Narnia after the events in "The Silver Chair", when Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole saved Prince Rilian from imprisonment and restored him to his father and the throne. Now Rilian's descendant King Tirian enjoys the solitude of his hunting lodge with his best friend, Jewel the unicorn. But there is treachery in Narnia like nothing the country has ever faced before...

A dishonest ape named Shift has found a lion-skin and forced Puzzle the donkey to wear it. Now he lords over the Talking Beasts of the forest by pretending to be the mediator between them and the great Lord Aslan, who remains hidden in a stable and only emerges by the dim light of a campfire at night. Soon the game (which began as a way for Shift to obtain food without any effort) has gotten dangerously out of control. Convinced that Puzzle is the real Aslan, the Talking Animals are scared and confused at his changing attitudes toward them, and the Calormenes of the neighbouring empire have taken advantage of the situation by invading Narnia. Once Tirian is captured by his enemies, he remembers the great stories of the past in which children from another world appear to help Narnia in need, and appeals to the true Aslan for another such occurrence. Right on cue, Eustace and Jill appear to free the King and lend their aid to the free Narnians in fighting for their beloved homeland.

All of the books in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series contain Biblical allusions, but "The Last Battle" is easily the most allegorical considering it is best described as Narnia's Armageddon. To put it simply, this is the end of Narnia (and don't think that's a spoiler, as the very first sentence of this novel is: "In the last days of Narnia...") and as such, we have allegorical representations of the Antichrist, the false prophet, the fate of non-believers, Heaven, the Final Judgement, the Second Coming and the End of the World. It's a pretty hefty topic for a children's novel, and both the story and style of the book is weightier than any previous book in the series, with plenty of death, violence and tragedy. This creates an interesting paradox overall, considering "The Last Battle" is the most spiritual, the most controversial, the most disheartening and ultimately the most upbeat book in the series.

The Calormenes are called "darkies" throughout the story, and are indisputably the villains; what with their part to play in the destruction of Narnia and the worship of their pagan-god Tash, an element of one other books in the series ("The Horse and His Boy") that has raised accusations of racism. Yet Lewis makes what is perhaps an attempt to compensate late in the novel by introducing a young Calormene named Emeth, who is permitted to enter Aslan's country based on his virtue, even though he never believed nor followed Aslan in his lifetime; a thought that may appeal to many, though it does not exactly fit into Christian teachings. As always, the author's dogma is a little muddled, for in all of his books Lewis plays by his own rules, by his own sense of right and wrong - this ranges from previous attacks on vegetarians and co-ed schools to his own opinions on who deserves salvation and who doesn't.

This leads into the second major point of controversy within the book: the fate of Susan Pevensie, the onetime Queen of Narnia. To put it bluntly, she's not here and her siblings dismiss her as someone who is no longer a friend of Narnia. Why? What could have possibly caused her abandonment from Narnia and Aslan? Surely something truly terrible! Well, no actually. Lewis pinpoints the cause as Susan's interest in "nylons and lipstick" and an interest in "grownup things". A beloved major character is excluded from the final installment of the series on the grounds of puberty? What?! Her fate becomes even more tragic when further information is revealed over the new "situation" of her siblings and parents (readers will know what I`m talking about, and what it must mean for poor Susan). I was very young when I first read "The Last Battle", and I recall how upset I was at the treatment of Susan - it stands to reason that other children will feel the same.

Okay, those are my issues and now they're off my chest. On to better things. "The Last Battle" makes fantastic use of Lewis's poetical prose, and the book carries a sense of both bittersweetness and grandeur, particularly in the chapter "Night Falls on Narnia". Though Tirian is somewhat indistinguishable from Caspian and Rilian before him, his friendship with Jewel is immensely touching, as is his relationship with the children who come to his aid. Far from the squabbling duo in "The Silver Chair", Jill and Eustace acquit themselves excellently throughout "The Last Battle", reaching hero-status in their efforts to aid the falling Narnia.

"The Last Battle" is also Lewis at his most philosophical (perhaps it's no coincidence that Professor Kirke mentions Plato), as he explores metaphysics, the boundaries of belief, the relationship between the real and the unreal, the existence of life after death and the nature of God Himself; in some ways "The Last Battle" is more akin to Lewis's apologetic Christian writings, such as "Surprised By Joy" or "Mere Christianity" than any of the other Narnian books, in that Lewis uses it as a basis for many of his spiritual concepts and ideas. As mentioned, "The Last Battle" carries the most obvert Christian messages, particularly in a declaration Lucy makes toward the end of the novel. The stable door, which begins as a convenient holding-pen for the fake Aslan soon takes on new theological meaning, with a surprising symbolic connection to our own world.

Lewis makes excellent use of components introduced in his previous books, calling up the strange creatures and that Jill and Eustace discover in "The Silver Chair", the Narnian concept of stars explored in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", the magical transporting rings in "The Magician's Nephew", even the use of the phrase Son of Adam and Daughter of Eve that was used so long ago in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It all culminates in a wonderful reunion at the conclusion of the book that may just brings tears to your eyes - especially when Lucy rediscovers her first and best Narnian friend.

Make no mistake, this is a fitting end for the trilogy and if the new movie franchise gets this far I'll be first in line for a ticket - but I'm removing a star in honour of Susan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end, 25 April 2011
The final book in the narnia series, The Last Battle deals with a scheming chimp who finds a lion skin and convinces his donkey friend to pretend to be Aslan, sending Narnians to work for the Calormenes and give money earned to him for "Aslan's Treasury". When King Tirian, the great great grandson of Prince Caspian, realises Shift is a fraud he is overthrown by the Calormenes...at which point he calls in the help of the true Aslan.

Without ruining the ending, this book deals with the end of Narnian times, tying it in nicely with the lives of all the human children who featured in the previous 6 books.

This book, as with the others, has a very Christian theme to it, alluding to the end of time, as in Revelations, where all will come before God and be judged. Those found to be faithful will progress into Heaven, here known as the 'true' more 'real' Narnia.

A fantastic ending to one of the most loved series of all time, C.S.Lewis made this perhaps the darkest of all the Narnian novels, dealing with death and loss of faith as key themes. However, the ending is most fitting and true to it's biblical counterpart, as intended by the author.

I have noticed a few reviews on here stating that the books are too Christian or preachy, so I feel I should make it clear that these books are intended to be so. C.S.Lewis was a fantastic Christian author, as any who have read books in his signature classics will know, and as such he wrote the entire Narnian series to signify the story of the Bible, albeit much condensed and softened for children to read. If you are wholeheartedly against Christianity and find any allusion to it offensive, this is not the book for you. However, I must say, for myself reading these books 20 years on from the first time, they are just as enchanting and thrilling, and it is up to you to take what you will from them! Most of all though ~ Enjoy!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting finale to the Narnia series, 26 Nov 2002
By 
William Fross (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This book is a fine ending to the Narnia series: and far better when read after the preceding six, in my opinion. It has a rather different atmosphere to the others, I think- a bit less gung-ho adventure, a touch more symbolism. I think kids reading it will enjoy it a little less, as it isn't exactly clear what's going on.
It is difficult to discuss the book without giving away plot elements. But, as with the first book in the series, in wrapping things up The Last Battle is more overtly based on a Christian worldview than the other books in the series. This is no problem, in my opinion, as it gives the seven books a certain coherence and continuity; and the last paragraph is one of my favourite from any book. But this probably reflects the fact that I am a Christian.
This is one book where your own beliefs may affect your enjoyment of it. Still, if you want closure to the rest of the series- this is the one to read, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio version - Superbe, 18 Jan 2005
The narration of this book by Patrick Stewart is extraordiarily good. He has a wonderful speaking voice, of course, but more than that, the different characters are portrayed with such a range of tones and accents that one can almost picture them. I dont know if Patrick Stewart has recorded any more Audiobooks, but I certainly hope he will do more in the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fast delivery, good quality, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 7) (Paperback)
Came within 2 days which was sooner than expected. The copy I bought was advertised as used, but almost as new, and this was the case - spine not cracked at all, pages not bent. The quality was excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 4 April 2014
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This is a lovely book especially for 9-12yrs old. There are a lot of pages though but they are full of inspiration for older readers. BUY THIS BOOK IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read, 27 Mar 2014
By 
Kate (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am reading this with my son. We are both really enjoying it. The story is exciting and we both find ourselves wondering what will happen next. My son is 9 and quite able to read it alone, but because it is so beautifully written it's great to enjoy together. Only downside is it's the last in the series!
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The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 7)
The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 7) by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - 1 Oct 2001)
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