The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderEdmund and Lucy Pevensie are staying with their horrible cousin Eustace and his family while their parents are in America. Eustace is an unpleasant boy he believes he knows everything. They know that he wouldn’t believe in Narnia.
One afternoon the three of them are looking at a painting on the wall. Lucy sighs the the ship in the picture looks like it could have come from Narnia. And doesn’t the water look so real? Next thing they knew, they were getting splashed. Then they were swimming in an ocean. Fortunately, they are near the ship. It is a Narnian ship. Prince Caspian is sailing east to see if he can find the missing seven nobles who left Narnia rather than being killed by the prince’s usuper uncle. He has a strong, dedicated crew and Reepicheep the Mouse with him. Reepicheep hopes to sail to the end of the world and Aslan’s land.
Edmund and Lucy are excited to be back in Narnia in a new adventure. Eustace is furious. The boat is too small, he is made to work, and everybody hates him. He demands to be put off in the next port so he can go to the English consulate. He doesn’t understand that he is in a world that knows nothing of England.
On the first island where they stop they discover slave traders. Fortunately, they also find one of the missing nobles. They barely escape being sold as slaves. As they travel eastward they meet a sea serpent, a dragon, invisible people, and many more adventures than they could have imagined.
I have loved The Voyage of the Dawn Treader since I first read it over thirty years ago. The overwhelming force is the valiant Reepicheep, not that the others characters are any less for it. Lewis infused all the charm of Narnia while allowing the children to remain real people for the age group that is targeted. It is part of the Chronicles of Narnia, the classic children’s novels. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader continues the fantasy with the Christian overtones. Yet these are not in-your-face Christian message novels. The book is excellent no matter which way you read it – as a message or as a straight fantasy novel – because it is a great fantasy.