Can I just start by saying what a dang awesome title this book has! It is sounds equally intrepid to the story Lewis lays out for us. The Dawn Treader….arghhhhh!
I was kind of glad to see the elder Pevensies (Peter and Susan) ditched in this book. They were growing irresolute in their views of Narnia and of Aslan after just one year back in England. Edmund and Lucy, however, maintained their childlike faith, but they too would be advised by Aslan when there visits to Narnia would come to an end.
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, we are introduced to some delightful, some bizarre, and some downright exasperating characters. In the first category, we have the (literal, not Hollywood) stars, Coriakin, Ramandu, and Ramandu’s daughter. In the second category, we have the foot-fetish dufflepuds of the Island of Voices, who are not only cursed with invisibility, but also suffer from severe feeble-mindedness. Edmund and Lucy’s cousin, Eustace Clarence Scrubb, overflows the third category all by himself. We also get a peek into the type of man and king Caspian has become in the span of time it’s taken Edmund and Lucy to return to Narnia.
While the previous book was slightly dull reading for me, this one is a page-turner. With each chapter, we have new characters to meet and new islands to explore. There are also obstacles to overcome, some individually and some as a team, that get increasingly difficult as The Dawn Treader nears the very end of the world where Aslan’s country begins.
One of my favorite parts of the story is the fulfillment of Reepicheep’s calling. As a wee little mouse, a Dryad prophesied the following over him:
“Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.”
Reepicheep, eternally hopeful, has the deepest desire of his heart fulfilled when the group is instructed by Ramandu that to break the spell that was holding fast to the Narnian Lords, one person/creature must be left behind when they reach the World’s End. Reepicheep didn’t just volunteer–he believed himself to be predestined from birth to fulfill that very role. I love to lean on the truth that God has created us each in such a way that the deepest, most outrageous desires of our hearts are fulfilled in Him, by Him, and through Him.