Have You Read These Fantasy Classics? Part One

There are some fantasy classics sold as children’s books which are timeless stories for all ages.  I really have to start this list with The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  These seven books were written way back in the 1950’s, but are still just as readable today.  If you buy a set today, the current publisher has arranged and numbered the books chronologically, not the order in which C.S. Lewis wrote them.  In my opinion, the best way to read them is in the order which he wrote them, which would be: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician’s Nephew; and The Last Battle.   My favorites are the first three books.  (I must have read all seven books at least five times.)

Not too many people have never heard of these books, but not all have actually read them. If you have seen the movies, but not read the books, then you simply must read the books.  The movies are a poor substitute and each movie changes the story and parts of the characters so it becomes really annoying to watch the movies when you love the books as much as I do.  (For one small example, in the movie of Prince Caspian, Peter and Caspian are constantly fighting and striving to be the person in charge.  This never happened in the book.)

Aslan, the great Lion, is a continuing character in all the books.   I remember when first reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as a child, I was struck by the symbolism of Aslan.  When I read about him being killed on the great stone table for the wrong that Edmund had done, and later coming back to life, I stopped and said to myself, “Wow! That’s just like Jesus!”  That very symbolism is what some people who are unbelievers object to, but I feel that is what gives these books depth, instead of just being a pretty story.  Good versus evil is present in all of the books and eventually good always wins.  For a child, (and even now as an adult when I re-read these books), this is very satisfying.

My nine year old grandson read this series by himself when he was around eight years old and enjoyed them every bit as much as I did all those years and years ago when I read them for the first time.

So, if you, by some chance, have not read these classic fantasies, then I suggest that you try them.   If you have a child too young to read them, try reading the first three books aloud to them, a chapter at a time.  If your child is old enough to read them alone, then give the set to him or her as a gift, but I’d suggest reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe first, and the rest in the order as C.S. Lewis wrote them.  I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have.

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About Sue

From the time, as a young girl, when Sue read the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, she was hooked on fantasy. She loves to read fiction and write within many genres, but she always winds up going back to fantasy. For years she has had fantasy stories spinning around in her head and now that she is retired from many years of teaching, she is putting those stories into book form. She has many interests, including quilting and playing the mountain dulcimer, but writing is the most satisfying of all. Sue lives in the great state of Maine with her husband of 38 years. She has been a factory worker, a waitress, a librarian, and a teacher. Her biggest job was being a mother and she has three grown children. Now that she is a grandmother, she is enjoying that role immensely.

Posted on April 28, 2014, in Authors - Sue Santore, Genre - Fantasy Stories, or browse all books and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I try to wait. I try not to be the first to comment, let someone outside our circle say something. But– Narnia! I can’t hold back anymore!
    What a classic set of books, honestly for broad appeal and great message, what can compare to CSL? I personally did not mind the liberties Hollywood took with the movies so far- and I know the Lewis estate has had close creative contact and control over it. Edmund is by far my favorite character and his sibling-rivalry line to Peter “I know- you had it sorted”- come now, you must admit that’s brilliant stuff. Such a wonderful character arc. And I think all four of the actors playing the kings and queens are marvelous.
    My favorite, based on how wonderfully it hangs together and how beautifully it reads aloud, is “A Horse and His Boy”. But there isn’t a bad tale in the bunch. Thanks for the memory-flood, Sue!

  2. I agree, Will, that all the books are good. Personally, I like best the ones with the original four main characters, Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmond, but all of this series of books are worth reading. I remember how, as a child, I used to wish I could go to Narnia!

  3. I’m so with you in this! LOVE Narnia *happy glow* All of my children read them, and now I’m enjoying knowing that my grand-kidlets are visiting Narnia as well.

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