Bonita Jewel’s Review:
A year has passed since Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy returned from Narnia, where they reigned for years as kings and queens. They are on a train platform, preparing to separate from each other and return to school. No one is eager at the prospect.
One by one, they feel a strange and uncomfortable pull, but quickly realize it is magic and all hold hands. They find themselves standing in an overgrown wood not far from a sandy beach looking out on a dazzling blue sea. They discover, in the overgrown woods, ruins of an old castle, and come to realize that it is the castle they had lived in years before. Although only one year passed in England, hundreds of years have passed in Narnia.
When they rescue a dwarf about to be drowned by two soldiers, he tells them the recent history of Narnia, and of Prince Caspian. Since the four siblings left Narnia, a group of men called the Telmarines had taken over. They had gained such strong control that the talking animals and dwarves and fauns and satyrs had retreated into the furthest reaches of the forest and were now considered by the Telmarines to be myth.
Prince Caspian, the true king of Narnia, is the only hope of bringing peace and freedom to the talking animals and other creatures now in hiding. But he can’t do it alone. He needs the help of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy – long-ago kings and queens of Narnia who, for many, have faded into myth.
Recommended age: Six and up. This series welcomes discussion with younger children about justice, belief in the unseen, courage, and faith to follow what you know is right even if you’re the only one.
Re-readability: Extremely re-readable!
Jessica Rose’s Review:
Prince Caspian, an orphan, as a young boy loved hearing stories about the Old World. The world of Narnia before the Telmarines conquered it, some say it is legend, some say it never happened, but a few people like Caspian and his nurse believe the stories are true. One day Caspian remarks about the old world to his uncle Miraz the King of Narnia and his nurse who told him the stories disappears. An old tutor takes her place. He teaches Caspian about many things but best to Caspian his tutor, Cornelius, teaches he about Old Narnia. One night high up on a castle turret Caspian discovers that Cornelius is actually half dwarf. The days pass and Caspian is being trained to become the king; for his uncle has no children.
One night Caspian is woken up by Cornelius. His tutor tells him to flee the castle because Caspian’s life is in danger. His aunt just had a son, and Caspian is actually the true heir to the throne. Miraz had murdered Caspian’s father the king, and he would kill Caspian too, so that his own son will gain the throne. Cornelius tells Caspian that he had found Queen Susan’s horn that will summon help when it is needed so Caspian must only blow it at great need. Caspian rides out into the dark night on his horse, equipped with a sword, a few supplies, and a magic horn. However a dark night can easily hide foes, future friends, danger, and protruding tree branches.
Yet all dark nights must soon end and with the morning might come new things, especially in a forest. Caspian meets two dwarfs and a talking badger; the badger who is a true Narnian says that to prosper, Narnia must have a human king. Caspian attends a secret meeting in the woods and his dreams come alive. The Telmarines had not destroyed all of Narnia there was more here then Caspian could ever have dreamed- a hidden refuge people in need of a king. Caspian can not do it on his own and soon after a terrible battle he sounds the horn. Messengers are sent out.
Will they find four kings and queens come out of the past? A great army? The Lion who saved Narnia with His own blood? Or four young children escaping school terms. With the help not what they had hoped will Caspian and the true Narnians ever get Narnia back? Or will they dwindle away past all dreams. Can they believe in the truth that has long since disappeared?
“Prince Caspian” is a wonderful book. It shows the importance of trust, and doing what is right even if everyone else is not.
Recommended age: 7-107
Re-readable: Beards and bedsteads, I should think so.