What kid hasn’t longed for a secret passage way that leads to mystery and adventure? But sometimes such a longing backfires and that’s where The Magician’s Nephew begins. Crazy Uncle Andrew has magic rings, but he can’t find anybody who would want to wear them because they will make whoever does disappear and they will be transported to a brand-new and very strange land. You are about to meet Digory and Polly who will become Uncle Andrews extremely unwilling guinea pigs. These seven books called The Chronicles of Narnia by the one and only CS Lewis are written for the young and for the young at heart. Come join me for days of adventure through all seven books. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read these books before. You’ve never heard it like this! – Ray
Chronicles of Narnia, Book 1 The Magician’s Nephew Ch 1-15. Read aloud by Ray Mossholder. The story begins in London during the summer of 1900. Two children, Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer, meet while playing in the adjacent gardens of a row of terraced houses. They decide to explore the attic connecting the houses, but take the wrong door and surprise Digory’s Uncle Andrew in his study. Uncle Andrew tricks Polly into touching a yellow magic ring, causing her to vanish. Then he explains to Digory that he has been dabbling in magic, and that the rings allow travel between one world and another. He persuades Digory, effectively through blackmail, to take another yellow ring to follow wherever Polly has gone, and two green rings so that they both can return. Digory finds himself transported to a sleepy woodland with an almost narcotic effect; he finds Polly nearby. The woodland is filled with pools. Digory and Polly surmise that the wood is not really a proper world at all but a “Wood between the Worlds”, similar to the attic that links their rowhouses back in England, and that each pool leads to a separate universe. They decide to explore a different world before returning to England, and jump into one of the nearby pools. They then find themselves in a desolate abandoned city of the ancient world of Charn. Inside the ruined palace, they discover statuesque figures of Charn’s former kings and queens, which degenerate from the fair and wise to the unhappy and cruel. They find a bell with a hammer, with these words: Make your choice, adventurous Stranger Strike the bell and bide the danger Or wonder, till it drives you mad What would have followed if you had Despite protests from Polly, Digory rings the bell. This awakens the last of the statues, a queen (later known as a witch) named Jadis, who, to avoid defeat in battle, had deliberately killed every living thing in Charn by speaking the “Deplorable Word”. As the only survivor left in her world, she placed herself in an enchanted sleep that would only be broken by someone ringing the bell. The children realize Jadis’s evil nature and attempt to flee, but she follows them back to England by clinging to them as they clutch their rings. In England, she dismisses Uncle Andrew as a mere dabbler in magic. She discovers that most of her magical powers do not work in England, although she retains her superhuman strength. She enslaves Uncle Andrew and orders him to fetch her a chariot, so she can set about conquering Earth. They leave, and she returns standing atop a hansom with no driver, followed by a fire engine. There is a collision at the front door of the Kirke house, and police arrive. Jadis breaks off a rod from a nearby lamp-post and brandishes it as a weapon, hitting and stunning two policemen. Polly and Digory grab her and put on their magic rings to take her out of their world, dragging with them Uncle Andrew, Frank the cab-driver, and Frank’s horse, since all were touching one another when Digory and Polly grabbed their rings. In the Wood between the Worlds they jump into a pool, hoping it leads back to Charn. Instead they stumble into a dark void that Jadis recognizes as a world not yet created. They then all witness the creation of a new world by the lion Aslan, who brings various entities, stars, plants, and animals, into existence as he sings. Jadis attempts to kill Aslan with the iron bar from the lamp-post, but it deflects harmlessly off of him and begins to sprout into a new lamp-post “tree”. Jadis flees. Aslan gives some animals the power of speech, commanding them to use it for justice and merriment. Digory’s uncle is frozen with fear and unable to communicate with the talking animals, who mistake him for a kind of tree. Aslan confronts Digory with his responsibility for bringing Jadis into his young world, and tells Digory he must atone by helping to protect Narnia from her evil. Aslan transforms the cabbie’s horse into a winged horse named Fledge, and Digory and Polly fly on him to a garden high in the mountains. Digory’s task is to take an apple from a tree in this garden, and plant it in Narnia. In the garden Digory finds a sign reading: Come in by the gold gates or not at all Take of my fruit for others or forbear For those who steal or those who climb my wall Shall find their heart’s desire and find despair Digory picks one of the apples for his mission, but has to resist temptation to eat one for himself after he smells the apples. As he prepares to leave he is shocked to see the witch Jadis. She has eaten one of the magic apples, thereby becoming immortal, but her face is now “deadly white”; Digory begins to understand what the last line in the sign means. She tempts Digory to either eat an apple himself and join her in immortality, or steal one back to Earth to heal his dying mother. Digory resists temptation, knowing that his mother would never condone theft. The Witch then suggests he leave Polly behind, not knowing Polly can get away by her own ring. At this, Digory sees through the Witch’s ploy. Foiled, the Witch departs for the North. Digory returns to Narnia with an apple, which is planted in Narnian soil. A new tree springs up, which Aslan says will repel the Witch for centuries to come. Aslan informs Digory that a stolen apple would have healed his mother, but at a terrible price: anyone who steals the apples gets their heart’s desire, but it comes in a form that makes it unlikeable. In the case of the Witch, she now has her heart’s desire for immortality, but it only means eternal misery because of her evil heart. Moreover, the magic apples are now a horror to her, which is why the tree repels her. With Aslan’s permission, Digory then takes an apple from the new tree to heal his mother. Aslan promises the apple will now bring joy. Aslan returns Digory, Polly, and Uncle Andrew to England; Frank and his wife, Helen (transported from England by Aslan) stay to rule Narnia as its first King and Queen. Digory’s apple restores his dying mother to health, and he and Polly remain lifelong friends. Uncle Andrew reforms and gives up magic but he still enjoys bragging about his adventures with the Witch on their tour of London. Digory plants the apple’s core, together with Uncle Andrew’s magic rings, in the back yard of his aunt’s home in London. Years later the tree that grows from it blows down in a storm. Digory has its wood made into a wardrobe, setting up the events in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.