Review: “The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis

For the love of books

Chronologically the last and final volume in The Chronicles of NarniaThe Last Battle is a narrative about Armageddon, the Last Judgment, and the end of the world.

Analogies to the New Testament, especially the Book of Revelation, are visibly interwoven into the storyline, e.g. the destruction of the sun and the moon.  C.S. Lewis includes Platonism to explain his vision of the end of Narnia and its true existence, a parallel to the “reality” of the real world.  All protagonists as well as many lesser characters from previous volumes in the series are together in this novel.  In fact, the author surprises the reader with some revelations of his own about Narnia and certain characters.  Aslan and the god Tash are described in greater detail and they are declared to be complete opposites.

Moreover, the last battle in Narnia is between Calormen and Narnia, two countries with secret enmity for each other and worshipping two different figures, Tash and Aslan, respectively.  These differences were first emphasized in The Horse and His Boy, and are finalized in The Last Battle.  The last king of Narnia, King Tirian, is aided by Eustace and Jill along with his loyal friend Jewel to fight the Calormenes in a final, graphic battle.  The Calormenes have been preaching to all Narnians through an ape named Shift and a subjected donkey named Puzzle.  They not only state that Aslan and Tash are one and the same, but also command under the joint name of “Tashlan” that all Narnians must submit to the authority of the Calormenes.

Though the reader witnesses the destruction of Narnia, the author does not let Narnia pass away without a worthy replacement.  This novel is both mesmerizing and profound.  The wisdom of Plato and the imagination of the author combine to create a triumphant culmination to an excellent series.

Original review: Part 7: ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis, Examiner.com

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