Summary: Two children by the names of Diggory and Polly are tricked by Diggory’s uncle, a brilliant but cowardly man, to test out a pair of rings that he has invented. He belives that these rings will bring people into other worlds and back out again. Instead of finding themselves in another world, however, they find themselves in a mysterious between-place. It is full of trees and small pools of water are scattered everywhere. They try wading in one of the pools and find themselves in another world. This world is dead, but they accidentally wake up a sorceress who is determined to escape her world. She follows the children back into England which (of course) causes no end of trouble so they try to bring her back. Howver, a mistake is made and instead of traveling back into Jadis’ world, they end up in Narnia, accompanied by Diggory’s uncle, a cab driver, his wife, their horse, and a piece of lampost the witch had broken off to use as a weapon. It is the first day of Narnia’s existence and they watch as Aslan names the animals and gives them the gift of speech. Jadis is terrified of Aslan and throws the piece lampost at him before running away to hide. When the post hits the ground, it immediately grows up into a lampost, which is the same one Lucy sees the first time she enters Narnia. Aslan names the cabdriver and his wife the first King and Queen of Narnia and declares that Narnia will never be right unless it is ruled by humans. After Diggory and Polly go back to England, they bury the rings and a bit of wood in their backyard, so that no one can ever go to the between-place again. The wood eventually turns into a fine tree and as an adult, Diggory has a wardrobe made out of it and places it in his manor in the country (this is the same wardrobe that later transports Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy into Narnia for the first time.)
This is my least favorite book in the series. See, I promised I wouldn’t say it was my favorite again! The story is good and very enjoyable to read. But it is so different from all the other books, until the very end when we are finally in Narnia. It gave lots of interesting background details I appriciated, like who the Professor was from the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and why he wasn’t at all shocked to hear that Lucy had found another world in the back fo his wardrobe. It also explained how the random lampost ended up in the middle of the forrest. It was great to see the love that Aslan had for the population of Narnia, and how he created it and had dominion over it. We again get to witness the utter fear and horror of sin when confronted with the Creator. Its worth reading, and I’ve read it several times, but no where near as many as any of the other books.