Bonita Jewel’s Review:
For some reason, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has always been my favorite book in The Chronicles of Narnia. As a young child, when I read mysterious words spoken to Lucy Pevensie at the end of the book (don’t worry, no spoilers), I felt magic and wonder infusing this world. I wanted to discover Him here, just as He had promised Lucy.
But I’m getting ahead of the story. It begins with one of my all-time-favorite first-sentences-of-a-novel: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” Eustace is the cousin of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. The two younger siblings are spending the summer with their aunt, uncle, and cousin – whom they call “Scrubb.” He does his best to torment them, and finds ammunition in his knowledge that they have a “pretend” country: Narnia.
One afternoon, Edmund and Lucy are looking at a painting in her room. A sailing ship in the middle of an ocean. The two are commenting on how much it looks like a Narnian ship when Eustace enters the room and starts teasing them. To his horror, the painting suddenly grows larger and begins moving. Eustace, Edmund, and Lucy find themselves standing on the frame of the painting and tumbling into the ocean.
The two siblings have returned to Narnia . . . and Eustace is their unwilling companion. Prince Caspian is now king of Narnia, and has embarked on a quest to find seven lords who disappeared when his evil uncle Miraz had sent them away to explore the Eastern Isles beyond the Lone Islands.
The companions discover much in the uncharted seas and lands beyond the known world of Narnia. Their greatest discoveries, however, are what they learn about themselves. A magical book. A lair of jewels. A figure of pure gold. What might such mysteries reveal? And will Aslan ever appear as Edmund and Lucy hope he will?
Recommended age: Six and up. This book welcomes discussion with younger children about selfishness, redemption, courage, and obedience.
Jessica Rose’s Review:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an amazing book. It is my favorite of the series with it’s quests, characters, and scenery. It gives us a tour of lands beyond the Lone Islands and it lets us see the wonders of the last sea. It also zooms in close to the temptations and feelings of its characters and the amazement that drives them on. I hope you will or have enjoy(ed) your voyage as much as I have.
Lucy Pevensie and her brother Edmund are sent to their aunt and uncle’s house while Susan their older sister is going with their parents to America because”she would get far more out of a trip to America than the youngsters” and the professor only had room for Peter who was studying for finals. They do not really want to go, as their aunt and uncle were “advanced” people with a son who liked beetles pinned on paper and long books about machinery. Edmund must share a room with Eustace so one day he escapes to Lucy’s room where they start talking about Narnia. Eustace starts making fun of their “imaginary” country because Edmund cannot punch him in his house. Then suddenly they fall into a painting of an ocean and a ship which is rapidly swallowing the rest of the room.
Lucy and Edmund find themselves in Narnia once more, along with their grumbling cousin. The ship called the Dawn Treader is the vessel of their old friend Caspian who has now become King of Narnia. He is sailing to find seven lords who alone were unafraid of the sea and were banished to it. With him sails Reepicheep, a small mouse with a big mission. To sail to the edge of the world and hopefully find Aslan’s country, following the signs of a rhyme spoken to him long before.
Adventure awaits them. They encounter a slave trader, mysterious invisible beings, a retired star, a tunnel of nightmares, and an enchanted pool. Through the many foes that await them perhaps the greatest are the ones inside – jealousy, temptation, pride, and anger. Will they make it to the end of sea, the utter east, Aslan’s country? Or will their hidden thoughts betray them?
Recommended age: 7-107