"All their life in this world and adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page; now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever and ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
Although this particular story leads you to the pit of Narnian despair, Lewis also points to the hereafter as a brighter tomorrow. The book concludes on a note of hope. It is as indescribable to me as it was to Lewis, although perhaps I'm more lacking in the words department.
I am most struck by the fact that, in this last book of the Chronicles, all of the previous joys and triumphs are washed away as being only a glimmer of better joys and triumphs. You feel elation as you read through these books. They inspire and build up the individual reader (in different ways). Yet Lewis concludes it by downplaying everything as being only an imitation of the greater possibilities that exist in The New World in Christ. He takes us to a place where death loses its sting and victory and only happiness can be known. It is the perfect conclusion to this series.
I like how Lewis used the character of Lucy to create the most joy. She was faithful to the very end, loving Aslan and Narnia and soaking in His true beauty. She is the most consistent character and I was glad to meet her again - in order to say goodbye properly.
Excellent book; excellent series. I'd encourage you to make the time for them and if you do - leave a comment as I would love to hear about your own journeys through Narnia!
See my review of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
See my review of Prince Caspian.
See my review of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
See my review of The Silver Chair / The Horse and His Boy.
See my review of The Magician's Nephew.