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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How It All Began
Digory and Polly are exploring a passageway between their houses one summer morning when they stumble into Digory's uncle's study. Uncle Andrew dapples in magic, and tricks Polly into taking one of his magic rings. Digory goes after her, and they find themselves in a magic wood, a passageway to different worlds. Exploring further, they find evil as well as a land about to...
Published on 29 Oct 2003 by Mark Baker

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Magician's Nephew
Sixth book printed, first book chronologically.

I began re-reading the Narnia series after coming across a beautiful boxed set of all seven novels. Mainly this was out of nostalgia, as these were favourites when I was young, and I was interested to see how they held up as adults. I found them all to be written very clearly with provocative descriptive prose,...
Published on 7 April 2008 by David Brookes


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How It All Began, 29 Oct 2003
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Magician's Nephew (Paperback)
Digory and Polly are exploring a passageway between their houses one summer morning when they stumble into Digory's uncle's study. Uncle Andrew dapples in magic, and tricks Polly into taking one of his magic rings. Digory goes after her, and they find themselves in a magic wood, a passageway to different worlds. Exploring further, they find evil as well as a land about to be created.
This is a different story in the Narnia tales. First, we don't arrive at Narnia until after half way through the book. Second, this is the only book where actions in the fantasy worlds have direct impact on events in our world. For these reasons, it's a fun change in the series. The story in Narnia is simpler then the others, but it makes watching a new world take shape no less thrilling. And there are some important lessons on doing the right thing at the right time and getting out of life exactly what you expect.
There is quite a debate about the order this book should be read in. While it was published sixth, the events place it first. When I read these books back in third grade, I read them in publication order, and I enjoyed that because there are some surprises in here that explain a couple scenes in the first book. Admittedly biased, I think that reading them in publication order would make for the most enjoyment. However, the issues involved are very minor and any of the books can really be read in any order without spoiling anything important.
No matter what order you choose to read the books in, make sure you do. These are classic children's fantasy for a reason; they are fun stories that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 19 Jan 2004
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Through the worlds, 31 Dec 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Every good story has a backstory. So in "The Magician's Nephew," C.S. Lewis backpedalled to tell us the story of how Narnia began, the origin of the White Witch, and various other little questions that popped up over the course of his Narnia series. The result is a tense, slightly comic prequel that neatly ties up the various loose threads.

Two London schoolchildren, Polly and Digory, meet and befriend one another, despite Digory's misery over his mother's fatal illness. But they fall prey to Digory's arrogant uncle Andrew -- Andrew has created some magical rings that transport the wearer to another world, and he wants the two as guinea pigs. Polly and Digory only narrowly manage to return from a dying world.

But they had an unwelcome passenger -- Jadis, an imperious sorceress who plans to take over the world. Polly and Digory are appalled at what has happened, and try to find some way of transporting Jadis elsewhere, using the magical rings. But when they do, they find themselves encountering a world that is just being created, by a strange lion -- the world of Narnia.

The Narnia stories are getting more attention in the months before the movie is released. And though it's unknown whether "The Magician's Nephew" is going to be on the silver screen, it's a valuable read for movie-watchers and readers alike. Basically, if "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" raised any questions, then this can answer them.

"The Magician's Nephew" serves as a neat way of explaining some very weird occurrances -- where did that lamppost come from? Or the Narnian humans? Just where did the White Witch come from, since she doesn't seem to fit in Narnia's springtime utopia? This book pretty much tells it all, as well as providing a character -- Digory -- who is a quiet but important presence fifty years later.

But "The Magician's Nephew" isn't just a way of dealing with loose threads. It's also an entertaining story, full of strange magic and eerie dead worlds. But Lewis also includes some comedy, when Jadis is running amuck all over London, or when Narnian animals try to plant and water Uncle Andrew. Lewis does get a bit hamhanded with the allegory of Jadis and an apple, but the fast, tense storyline makes up for that.

"The Magician's Nephew" is not just a prequel to the rest of the Narnia series, but an entertaining fantasy novel in its own right. Definitely a must-read for fantasy fans.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore that plot summary!, 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Whoever wrote that plot summary can't have read the book recently! In fact, Polly & Digory are followed _out_ of Charn by the evil Empress Jadis and unwittingly bring her to a newly-created Narnia; Aslan gives them the task of mitigating the effects of their mistake. One of the best in the series, to my mind. The scene where the talking animals adopt Uncle Andrew as a pet is just hilarious; the description of Charn, especially the Hall of Statues, spine-chilling; and my mouth waters again to remember the toffee-fruit tree that Polly & Digory plant...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Narnia in the beginning never so real..., 10 Sep 2004
I first heard this production when I was young and it's a story and dramatisation that has has stayed with me because it is an incredibly colourful and faithful version of the original story. The passion and precision of the voices are really superb and manage to bring to life a myriad set of complex characters that could easily have sounded dull and dated, despite Lewis' amazing story-telling ability. This production allows the imagination to truely envisage Lewis' dreamland, which is probably because the actors are so well cast and embody the good and bad of the characters they play so well. A lot of effort has clearly gone into this dramatisation, so that it remains faithful to the spirit of the book and adds a realism the text could not.
With this particular edition, the C.D. quality is excellent- without the muffling sounds sometimes caused on audio cassettes and so there is no reason why this and the other 6 radio dramatisations should not be bought and treasured by all those people who loved the books and those who've never heard of Narnia- there is simply no other collection of stories better brought to life in audio.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put on the rings, 22 July 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Every good story has a backstory. So in "The Magician's Nephew," C.S. Lewis backpedalled to tell us the story of how Narnia began, the origin of the White Witch, and various other little questions that popped up over the course of his Narnia series. The result is a tense, slightly comic prequel that neatly ties up the various loose threads.

Two London schoolchildren, Polly and Digory, meet and befriend one another, despite Digory's misery over his mother's fatal illness. But they fall prey to Digory's arrogant uncle Andrew -- Andrew has created some magical rings that transport the wearer to another world, and he wants the two as guinea pigs. Polly and Digory only narrowly manage to return from a dying world.

But they had an unwelcome passenger -- Jadis, an imperious sorceress who plans to take over the world. Polly and Digory are appalled at what has happened, and try to find some way of transporting Jadis elsewhere, using the magical rings. But when they do, they find themselves encountering a world that is just being created, by a strange lion -- the world of Narnia.

The Narnia stories are getting more attention in the months before the movie is released. And though it's unknown whether "The Magician's Nephew" is going to be on the silver screen, it's a valuable read for movie-watchers and readers alike. Basically, if "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" raised any questions, then this can answer them.

"The Magician's Nephew" serves as a neat way of explaining some very weird occurrances -- where did that lamppost come from? Or the Narnian humans? Just where did the White Witch come from, since she doesn't seem to fit in Narnia's springtime utopia? This book pretty much tells it all, as well as providing a character -- Digory -- who is a quiet but important presence fifty years later.

But "The Magician's Nephew" isn't just a way of dealing with loose threads. It's also an entertaining story, full of strange magic and eerie dead worlds. But Lewis also includes some comedy, when Jadis is running amuck all over London, or when Narnian animals try to plant and water Uncle Andrew. Lewis does get a bit hamhanded with the allegory of Jadis and an apple, but the fast, tense storyline makes up for that.

"The Magician's Nephew" is not just a prequel to the rest of the Narnia series, but an entertaining fantasy novel in its own right. Definitely a must-read for fantasy fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and Imaginative, 6 Mar 2008
Though this is the first book of C. S. Lewis' famous fantasy series, The Magician's Nephew was actually the sixth book of the series to be published. Those who have already read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will therefore find that the novel reads rather like a prequel.

The story follows two children, Digory and Polly, who stumble upon another world after an altercation with Digory's Uncle Andrew, the Magician of the title, one wet summmer's day. The plot is constantly gripping, as the author moves us from Victorian London into the magical "Wood Between the Worlds" and back again.

Lewis' wonderful description of landscapes is so evocative that the reader feels they are travelling with Digory and Polly. From the gentility of Victorian London, to the gentle and hypnotic "Wood between the Worlds", then to the crumbling ruinous Charn, and finally into the rich green of Narnia. The characters are rich, enagaging and imaginative;sensible Polly, reckless and grieving Digory, terrifying Jadis, hilarious Uncle Andrew, and of course, magnificent Aslan. There is humour here too, especially in the wonderfully drawn character of the eccentric, repulsive and yet strangely loveable Uncle Andrew. And undergirding the story is Digory's sadness at his mother's terminal illness. C. S. Lewis deals with this sensitively and movingly, perhaps as he himself lost his mother as a child.

There are not many children's books that have so successfully combined magic, humour, pathos and adventure, and I thoroughly recommend this wonderful book, the best of the Chronicles of Narnia. This particular edition includes Pauline Baynes' oringinal line drawings, and a stunning colour version of Polly and Digory as the cover art.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the beginning....., 1 Aug 2004
By 
Amanda Richards "Hotpurplekoolaid" (ECD, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Whether you read these books chronologically (Narnian time):
The Magicians Nephew
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
or in the order they were published:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
The Silver Chair (1953)
The Horse and His Boy (1954)
The Magicians Nephew (1955)
The Last Battle (1956)
is entirely up to you.
Beginning at the beginning has always sounded like a good approach to me, hence this first review of the Narnia series.
Though written in simple style to be appreciated by young scholars, this book seems to echo with subtle and not so subtle references to the bible. A background check on the late great C. S. Lewis will reveal that he became a theist in 1929, a Christian in 1931, and later was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity by the University of St. Andrews in 1946.
His belief in the existence of one God, viewed as the creative source of man and the world, who transcends yet is immanent in the world, provides the foundation for the series, especially in this book and the magnificent classic "The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe." (Note: definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster)
"The Magician's Nephew" tells of the creation of Narnia by the great and powerful Aslan, and the temptation of a son of Adam, by a deceiver, with an apple from a forbidden tree.
This is the story of Digory and Polly, two friends who, upon an accidental meeting with Magician wanna-be Uncle Andrew, find themselves in a head spinning adventure involving other worlds, magical rings, an evil sorceress, a cabby and his horse, talking animals, and a collection of fauns, satyrs, dwarves and naiads.
We learn about the first King and Queen of Narnia, a heroic quest, a miraculous cure, and the planting of a tree and a lamp post, both of which we will need to move on with the series.
Even though a slim volume, The Magician's Nephew is deceptively deep and compelling.
WARNING: Reading this book leads to the compulsive reading of at least six other books.
Amanda Richards August 1, 2004
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for children captivated by The Lion, the Witch and T, 31 Jan 2006
By A Customer
After finishing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe snuggled on our bed I started this one with my 6 and nearly 4 year olds. We all adored it, dare I say, even more than TLTWand TW. It is funny, magical, very spiritual and a thrilling adventure.
The beginning, where mad Uncle Andrew is creepy with the two children in his little study is uncomfortable to modern readers so read it yourself first and prepare how you can skim certain bits (he seems to be a real old pervert and kids shouldn't think the way he talks is at all ok)
From then on, though, read it with them and wallow in it. It is funny and very exciting. We played it and talked about it by day and read it each evening.
I am mourning it now we've finished it! From what I read on amazon reviews the others in the series are less suitable for very young children so I think I'll have to hang on a year or two to return to Narnia. This, though, is definitely one for 6 years plus. My 4 year old understood enough to enjoy it and really liked the language and characters.
Buy it and enjoy!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Magician, 2 July 2004
This review is from: Magicians Nephew (Paperback)
Have you got 2 rings that can take you into a different world?
Polly and Digory have. This story is about 2 children that put a yellow ring onto their finger and can go into another world. This world is called Narnia. Digory goes and finds Polly and takes a green ring with him which can take them back to their own world. Then they travel to a different world and meet a cruel queen. Will they escape with their lives?
My favourite character is Digory because he gets into mysterious situations and he's very brave.
My favourite part is when Polly wants the ring, Uncle Andrew gives it to her and she disappears into another world because it is full of suspense.
I would recommend this book to 7-12 year olds who like adventure stories because it is about children of their age going into different world's and it's very strange
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