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The Last Battle (Narnia) by C. S. Lewis
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Member:silverwing2332
Title:The Last Battle (Narnia)
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Other authors:Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)
Info:HarperTrophy (1994), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Fantasy

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The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (1956)

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English (120)  Dutch (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (125)
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English Literature
  CPI | Jul 29, 2016 |
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Narnia has had peace and prosperity since the reign of King Caspian X, but Roonwit the Centaur warns Tirian, the latest king of Narnia, that strange and evil things are happening to Narnia and that the stars portend ominous developments. In the north of Narnia, an ape named Shift had persuaded a well-meaning but simple-minded donkey called Puzzle to dress in a lion's skin (an echo from Aesop's story of The Ass in the Lion's Skin[6][7]) and pretend to be the Great Lion Aslan. Using Puzzle as his pawn, Shift convinces the Narnians that he speaks for Aslan and deceives a majority of them into serving the Calormenes and to cut down Talking Trees for lumber. The money will be paid into "Aslan's" treasury, held by Shift, on the pretext that it will be used for the good of the Narnians.
Tirian and his friend Jewel the Unicorn hear word of "Aslan's return", but recognize the farce that Shift has fabricated in league with the talking cat Ginger and the Calormene warlord Rishda Tarkaan: the lie that Aslan and the Calormene god Tash are one and the same. When he accuses the ape of lying, Tirian is tied to a tree far from the stable where Puzzle is being held. Tirian calls on Aslan for help and receives a vision of Digory Kirke, Polly Plummer, Peter Pevensie, Edmund Pevensie, Eustace Scrubb, Lucy Pevensie, and Jill Pole, though he does not know who they are. (Susan does not appear because she has stopped believing in Narnia, thinking it only some silly childhood game she played when younger and immature.) The people in the vision also see Tirian and, though Tirian can't speak to them, they guess he is a messenger from Narnia. A few minutes later by Narnian time – but a week later from their perspective – Jill and Eustace arrive in Narnia. They release the King and rescue Jewel and Puzzle. A band of dwarfs are also rescued, but because their faith in Aslan has been shattered, they refuse to help, claiming "the dwarfs are for the dwarfs". Only one dwarf, Poggin, is faithful to Tirian, Aslan, and Narnia itself. Tirian learns that Shift and Rishda have unintentionally summoned the actual Tash to Narnia and that Roonwit and the Narnian army have all been killed in battle.
Tirian and his small force advance on the stable to expose the truth of Shift's deception. However, after covering his tracks by demonizing Puzzle, Shift and Rishda weed out the trouble makers among the surviving Narnians by having them venture into the stable to "meet Tashlan". But Ginger, sent in to aid in the deception, runs out in terror, having lost his ability to speak. Emeth, one of Rishda's men and a devout follower of Tash, insists on seeing his god. Rishda tries to dissuade him, but Emeth enters the stable, and the dead body of another soldier, who was stationed in the stable to murder the rebellious Narnians, is thrown out instead. Tirian's group engages Shift and the Calormenes, but most of the remaining Narnians are slaughtered.
Tirian throws Shift into the stable, and Tash, revealed to have been haunting the stable since Ginger briefly entered it, swallows the ape whole. This event frightens Rishda, who offers Eustace, Jill, Poggin, and the dwarves as sacrifices to Tash to avoid his god's wrath. But Tirian, left alone and fighting for his life, drags Rishda into the stable and finds himself in a vast and beautiful land. Peter, Edmund, Eustace, Lucy, Jill, Polly, and Digory appear. Peter orders Tash to return to his realm, and Tash vanishes with Rishda in his clutches.
The kings and queens bear witness to the end of the Narnian world. All the inhabitants, including those who have died, gather outside the barn to be judged by Aslan; the faithful enter Aslan's Country while those who have opposed or deserted him become ordinary animals and vanish. The vegetation is eaten by dragons and giant lizards before Father Time calls the stars down from the skies into the sea as it rises to cover Narnia. The land freezes when Father Time puts out the sun and the moon. Peter closes the door, and Aslan leads them to his country, telling them to go further into the one true Narnia. (Digory alludes to Plato whose Allegory of the Cave describes multiple levels of reality.) They move up a waterfall to gates where they are greeted by Reepicheep and meet other characters from the earlier novels. They find they can see a real England. Aslan tells them that the English friends' of Narnia and the Pevensies' parents have all died in a train crash. (Susan, who was not on the train, is the only surviving member of the family, and Lewis does not say whether she eventually comes to Aslan's country later in life.) The series ends with the revelation that it was only the beginning of the true story, "which goes on forever, and in which every chapter is better than the one before." ( )
  bostonwendym | Jul 25, 2016 |
2004, Harper Collins Publishers, Read by Patrick Stewart

Narnia has long enjoyed peace and prosperity under the reign of King Caspian X, but trouble is brewing. In the North, an greedy ape named Shift convinces a simple minded donkey, Puzzle, to dress himself in a lion’s hide and pretend to be Aslan. By manipulating Puzzle, Shift – in league with the Calormene warlord Rishda Tarkaan – manages to persuade the Narnians that he speaks for Aslan – and convinces them to serve the Calormenes and to cut down the talking trees of Narnia. The proceeds of the work will go to “Aslan’s” treasury, for the benefit of all.

When Tirian and his magnificent unicorn, Jewel, learn of the deceit, Tirian accuses Shift and, in doing so, is captured. He calls on Aslan for help, and Jill and Eustace also return to Narnia. The group must engage Shift and the Calormenes. But many Narnians are slaughtered. The kings and queens bear witness to the end of the Narnian world. All the inhabitants, including those who have died, gather outside the barn to be judged by Aslan; the faithful enter Aslan's Country while those who have opposed or deserted him become ordinary animals and vanish. (Wikipedia)

Admittedly, I did not find this last installment terribly interesting, and the Christian overtones are a bit heavy-handed here. That said, Patrick Stewart, who narrates The Last Battle is sublime! And as a whole, the the Narnia Chronicles are easily recommended.

( )
1 vote lit_chick | Jun 23, 2016 |
A strong end to a great journey! Narnia will be missed, but always treasured and I can't wait to visit again! ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
The Last Battle ended up being a classy, deep finish to the epic series. It contains a depth of darkness and tragedy that isn't present as strongly in the others, but ends more peacefully and beautifully than any of them.

From the first page there's something going on, pace is strong and swift, and I especially loved the donkey Puzzle and the glimpse Tirian sees when he glimpses into the world of the children after shouting for help. Powerful imagery aided action sequences, all high with emotion from friendship and loyalty, hope and despair. Impossible for me to grow bored reading this one. Since it's a Christian viewpoint series, that of course is high to be seen at the end of the book as with all of them. CS Lewis's old-fashioned, high language style only added to the dimensions of this final Narnian fairy tale.

You get to see some surprise company and reoccurring visitors, all personalities again likeable. I especially loved the Unicorn as a new introduction, where Jewel was not only presented as mystical and majestic but dangerous and brutal on the battlefield. The last King was a good character, but I don't think he holds the same strength of charm as his predecessors. I do wonder on the fate of one the main original children...

There was a strange, ironic humor with Puzzles and the disguise which made me laugh until the story took an abrupt turn for a much darker side. Whatever else can be said, there's plenty of emotional scenes to make a dramatic impact on the reader. Supreme joy and supreme sorrow, CS Lewis ended the series on a serious bang, wrapping it up completely not only for the stories of one character, but several, and then took it even further.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
The Christian symbolism is clear enough, but the book can stand on its own feet as a deeply moving and hauntingly lovely story apart from the doctrinal content.
 

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eich, HansÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Georg, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helakisa, KaarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lavis, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pauline BaynesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Allsburg, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the last days of Narnia, far up to the west beyond Lantern Waste and close beside the great waterfall, there lived an Ape.
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Unabridged. Please do NOT combine with any abridged editions.
Please do NOT combine "The Last Battle" with "The Chronicles of Narnia"
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Book description
Das Finale der Chroniken von Narnia! Böse Zeiten brechen über das Land des Löwen herein. Der Affe Listig verkleidet den Esel Wirrkopf mit einem Löwenfell und gibt ihn als Aslan, den mächtigen Schöpfer Narnias, aus. Die Bewohner des Landes werden versklavt und nach Kalormen verkauft. Aslan bringt Eustachius und Jill auf seine eigene Art und Weise nach Narnia, um dem Betrug ein Ende zu bereiten. Als die Kalormen aber ihren Gott Tash ins Spiel bringen, beginnt der eigentliche Kampf. Wie wird er enden? Wird Narnia weiterleben oder untergehen? Werden die Kalormen die Oberhand gewinnen und Narnia vernichten?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064409414, Paperback)

The last battle is the greatest of all battles

Narnia ... where lies breed fear ... where loyalty is tested ... where all hope seems lost.

During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge -- not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear in this, the magnificent ending to The Chronicles of Narnia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:19 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When evil comes to Narnia, Jill and Eustace help fight the great last battle and Aslan leads his people to a glorious new paradise.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 22 descriptions

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