Friday, January 14, 2011

THE Chronicles PART 2: Final Battle and Final Verdict

I have this thing about a book's a phrase that basically sums up my thoughts on whether or not a book should be in a series.

Make it epic, or don't make it at all.

Did I think C.S. Lewis made The Last Battle epic?
Errrrmmmm, well, kinda sorta.
I know, I know. What kinda answer is that?

Here's my reasoning:
It was so small.

I know it's not great to compare books because it's a different author and different story, but in this case, I don't think Lewis would mind, I mean, afterall J.R.R. Tolkien was his good friend and writing buddy. So let's take Tolkein's famous stuff and set it in a fighting ring against Lewis'.
Ding! Ding!

Huge battalions of men, elephants, orcs, dwarves, elves, horses, and even hobbits pittled against each other.
Small grouping of 30 or so warriors, animal, human, centaur, fawn, and dwarf, against a by far bigger group with the advantage of terrorism and fear.

Ordinarily, I'd automatically say hands down, no contest, Tolkein wins. Who's the winner between Tolkien and Lewis? There isn't one. Both are epic. Here's the thing. (This is also why this post is not a review and doesn't belong under Library Literature, I'm telling you a bit of what happens). Lewis wasn't really talking about the battle as the "Last Battle." (Insert your own interpretation here) He was talking about the final battle between life and death or life, or life and immortality with a higher being. The wars in Narnia were long lost before this final moment, the land of Narnia had already been spent.

^This is what makes the Chronicles of Narnia epic.^
^This is what also makes me go errrmmmmm.^
I was expecting The Last Battle to be epic, I was expecting it to be phenomenal, full of action and moments where I held my breath,  and while there were a few of those, it was not the kind of battle I expected. So in that way I was slightly let down. However, the final chapter of the Chronicles did give me something I absolutely didn't expect (when I didn't really get the battle I wanted) and that was resolution. It was complete. That above anything is what I love to see. I want more adventures in Narnia, I want more of everything, but I am satisfied as far as the plot and story lines go for the series.

Now the question you've all been waiting for.....
Does it make THE shelf?
Yes. (Technically, it isn't posted on that page/tab yet, but it'll make it there.)

So, what's your reaction? Surprised? Not at all? Any comments on the fact that Tolkein's books didn't make the shelf? (I guess we know who the winner is now:) Any books that make your "THE BOOK" shelf? Let me know in the comments!


Carolyn V. said...

I'm still trying to decide if I'm surprised or not. I love your comparison, I never though of the stories that way before. =)

buddeshepherd said...

Narnia has always been small...
The last battle always depressed me because it came down to just a very few of the faithful left. Most of the talking animals had gone back to being regular animals. The glorious age was over.
I think Lewis also saw this as similar to the end of Great Britain which I think one could debate, may have happened already.
The old ways were over for Tolkien as well. THe Elves left and the times were changing. The golden age ended.
Lewis ended the world of Narnia as well.

Lydia K said...

I've forgotten that last battle in Narnia. Hmm, does that mean something? I definitly remember the Tolkien one, but I'm probably cheating because I read that series so many times!

Lydia K said...

Grr, spelled "definitely" wrong. My bad.