The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia when read in order of publication. It’s the first, however, that doesn’t have all 4 siblings returning to Narnia.
Lucy and Edmund are joined this time by their cousin Eustace, who gives off serious Dudley Dursley vibes.
In this installment, the 3 children meet up with Caspian (now king of Narnia) a few Narnian years after the events of book 2, and they all sail off on a journey to the far end of the world in search of 7 lost lords.
As a children’s book, I imagine it fulfills its purpose of entertaining children. It’s an adventure, and often that’s all that children find necessary in a book.
However, C.S. Lewis seems to have fallen into the trap that many authors do when writing a book series. After writing a book or two, they’ve already created a world for the series to live in. Eventually these authors end up using this world to simply write adventures for adventure’s sake.
But what then stops the author from writing 50 or 100 books?
If you’re simply writing an adventure because you have a world in which you can, why stop? Just keep cranking out book after book, inventing adventure after adventure in this fictional world since they no longer seem to be serving a bigger purpose.
I feel that every book in a series should have a specific purpose when looking at the overarching storyline.
While books 1 and 2 have a bigger purpose than simply being an adventure, book 3 does not. It’s an adventure that would be entertaining for a child, with each new chapter bringing something new to the reader. However, once you start wanting more from books than simply an adventure, it falls short.
Also, I miss the Narnia from book 1. The Narnia that they fought for in book 2. The Narnia of talking animals and mythical creatures – no humans. I mean, that was what made the 4 children stand out in the first book. They were sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. They were special.
But now, with the exception of a talking 2-foot-tall mouse named Reepicheep and the few creatures they run into on their journey, the world seems overrun with humans.