Ally’s #27: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

I just wrote a nice, long review of The Last Battle, and my computer was kind enough to delete it :( I’m too lazy and annoyed to re-write it, so this is it…

The last book in the Narnia series is quite unique. There is so much confusion and deception, that it feels unlike any of the other stories. In previous books, the White Witch is our primary foe, but in The Last Battle, a number of characters come to the forefront as either fasle Aslans, quasi-Aslans, or anti-Aslans. The story is so tumultuous, that I rarely felt at ease reading through it. It lacked the restful, whimsical chapters that the other stories held.

In reading through this series chronologically, I noticed that the theology surrounding Aslan got increasingly complex. I was left with a few questions about the final scenes in The Last Battle. First, a Calormen soldier is welcomed into the real Narnia (Lewis’ version of heaven?) after a lifetime of worshipping Tash, and Aslan’s lengthy speech to him is quite perplexing. Likewise, I’m confused by the little troop of Dwarfs who are in the new Narnia, but are imprisoned in the darkness of their minds, unwilling (and unable?) to see the beauty around them.

While this last book was intense, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader still takes the cake as my favorite.

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2 Comments

  • July 8, 2012 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I agree Ally… I reviewed this book a couple years ago… the hint at universalism is present elsewhere in Lewis’ writings (The Great Divorce), as he was deeply influenced by the writings and theology of George Macdonald.

    However there are a couple positives from the book such as the expanse of the barn being greater and deeper than outward appearance.

  • Ally
    July 9, 2012 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the clarification, Mark. That ending really threw me for a loop! I agree…there are a number of positives from the book and the series as a whole.

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