My reading of the Narnia books when I was young was a bit disjointed, because I relied on the library. This was the second of the books that I read, even though it’s fourth in the series (I consider the order of the books to be the published order – reading them chronologically is a bad idea). I was therefore incredibly confused with none of the Pevensies were anywhere to be seen, and the main characters were Eustace and Jill. Still, it’s a grand adventure, and I remember enjoying it.
Eustace and Jill stumble into Aslan’s country while trying to escape from some bullies at school. They’re at the top of a high cliff, which Eustace falls from, trying to rescue Jill, who is mesmerized by the height. Aslan saves him by blowing him to Narnia. He then tells Jill that they are there to rescue Prince Rilian (the son of King Caspian), who disappeared a number of years ago. He gives Jill four signs by which to find him. She is then also blown to Narnia.
Once there, they journey to the north with Puddleglum, the Marshwiggle, a comically depressed character that lends them a voice of reason. After many adventure, they find Rilian, who is reunited with Caspian just before Caspian dies. Aslan then brings them all back to his Country, where Caspian is turned back into a young man, and goes back with Eustace and Jill to their world just long enough to deal with the bullies.
This book doesn’t have as overtly Christian themes as some of the others. Jill does muck up the first three signs, and it’s clear that paying careful attention to the fourth is a redemption of faith, and faithful following. And Caspian’s transformation in Aslan’s Country is clearly a scene in heaven.
All in all, a good book. I hope they can make a movie from this one, because it’s a straightforward adventure story that would translate well to the screen.