The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven books featuring the wonderful land of Narnia from its creation to its last days. In Narnian chronological order the books are:
- The Magician’s 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.
The books can be read in Narnian chronological order, or in the order they were published. In that case the reading order is 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 1, 7. They make more sense the first way and that is the order that C. S. Lewis recommended after all the books had been published. The second book on the list is probably the most famous. It’s the one I read first and it’s the one that’s been adapted for film and television the most often.
The main characters in all the books except The Horse and His Boy are children from our world, most famously the Pevensie children: Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. There are also: Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer in Books 1 and 7, with Digory appearing as Professor Kirke in Book 2; Eustace Scrubb in Books 5, 6 and 7; Jill Pole in Books 6 and 7. In every book we meet Aslan the lion, a god-like creature. Other characters are talking animals and creatures from classical mythology and European folklore such as fauns, dryads, dwarfs and giants. More than 60 years after they were first published the books still feature the beautiful pen-and-ink illustrations by Pauline Baynes that help to make the stories a joy to read.
The Chronicles of Narnia is a delightful collection of fantasy stories, richly populated with the kind of characters I wished were real when I read the books as a child. Years later I still have the complete set and I read them all from time to time. There are passages that make me smile and others that make me cry. They are wonderful books that deserve their position as children’s classics.