The Chronicles of Narnia #2: Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia

by C. S Lewis

Paperback, 1995



Call number




Scholastic Inc (1995), Edition: [Scholastic ed.], 223 pages


Four children help Prince Caspian and his army of Talking Beasts to free Narnia from evil.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ncgraham
If one were to imagine C. S. Lewis’ seven Chronicles of Narnia as a large, rather dysfunctional group of relatives, I think Prince Caspian would be that difficult middle cousin nobody likes talking to—the black sheep of the family, if you will. Many fans consider it the worst of the series,
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while a sympathetic, defensive minority claims it as their favorite. Until the spring of 2008 I belonged to the former camp, but when I reread it during the excitement surrounding the release of the movie last year (a disappointment that I will try to gloss over) I realized what an incredibly powerful story it is. Now, reading it aloud to my younger sister, I find the magic is still there. Moreover, I cannot believe that I have read it and loved it for two years in a row!

At this point I should like to remind everyone that the book’s full title is actually Prince Caspian: The Return of Narnia. Why do I do this? Because I think it very important. The subtitle makes it clear that this is not only the story of a young Telmarine’s fight to overthrow his usurper uncle, but also of the Pevensies’ return to their former kingdom after thousands of years have passed in that world, but only one in their own. This duality is central to the tale, and gives the book its structure. Lewis interweaves his two plotlines, which eventually conjoin, in a series of blocks. First he devotes three chapters to the Pevensies as they try to discover together where they are after being called out of their world, then we get four chapters of Caspian’s story; after that there another three to four chapters showing the children’s journey to reach Caspian; finally, several more depict the simultaneous battle and romp by which Narnia is freed.

I have found that in discussing this book with other Narnia fans this indirect, non-linear construction is one of their primary complaints. It does not bother me much now, but I believe it was indeed one of the reasons that this Chronicle did not catch my imagination when I was younger. Another was the fact that there is relatively little action up until the “Sword and Sorcery” chapter about three-quarters of the way through. But this missing action frees up space for some simply superb character development. In this book one really begins to know the Pevensies as human beings. One sees Peter entering adulthood, Susan trying rather too hard to be an adult (isn’t it just like her, when they are all looking for food, to say that “it was a pity they had eaten the sandwiches so soon”?), Edmund beginning to atone for past wrongs, and Lucy growing in her relationship with Aslan. Indeed, her fan-named Walk of Faith is one of the book’s most beautiful and important passages, when she decides to follow Aslan through the forest even when the others cannot see them. Belief in times when doubt reigns supreme seems to be one of the book’s major themes, and one which differentiates it substantially from its predecessor The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which otherwise shares the same Narnia-saved-from-evil-rulers-by-Pevensies-and-Aslan formula. In a superstitious but atheistic society it is left to such simple creatures as the Prince’s nurse, a half-dwarf doctor, and a hideaway badger to stay true, hope, and remember.

My five-year-old sister says this is her favorite of the Narnia books that we’ve read so far (we just finished Voyage); maybe it’s my newfound enthusiasm pouring over. Though it is still not my favorite, I recommend giving it another try. You might see it with new eyes.
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LibraryThing member HippieLunatic
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis is more a story about belief and how that can draw barriers than it is an adventure. For the adult in me, that's a more interesting read, though I have to admit, it makes a more difficult movie (and therefore I can understand a lot of the changes the producers made).

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portrayal of the youngest child being the strongest believer is another theme within this, the second published book of the Narnia series. Lucy, a child whose faith is so pure, is the one who can lead the others. But Lewis is also clear that the child can be pushed away from faith easily enough, too.

I am not sure how I want to read into the idea that Peter and Susan are too old to return to Narnia (yes, I know Peter returns in The Last Battle). Is faith something that diminishes in adolesence and adulthood, only to return in a person's golden age? Or is it that as a child, faith can be magical? As an adult, faith has to be grounded in order to be lasting?

I'll be re-reading the entire series, for probably about the tenth time in my life. Then I'll make my final analysis.
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LibraryThing member tapestry100
It's funny, how you come at these books as an adult and take something completely different away from them than you would as a child. I read these books about 20 years ago when my uncle gave me a complete set for my birthday. I think as a child, I think I read them simply as a fantasy/adventure
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story. As an adult, I can see the subtle religious references sprinkled throughout, and while some may see this as a hindrance to the story, at least through the first 2 books (I go by the original published order, not the new chronological order), I can look beyond that to the story underneath.

However, in the case of Prince Caspian, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of story. It seems to me that the book can be broken up into two sections: the first being the Dwarf relating Caspian's understanding of his role of Narnia's future leader (the entire importance of this seems to be related to him over the course of one evening while star-gazing) and the second being Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy's trek through the jungle to get to Caspian. The ending seemed too contrived for my liking and far too rushed. It was all build up and no follow through as far as I'm concerned.

Looking at the story differently, it is a story about faith; about how faith can be hard to see sometimes, but it's always there and as long as you believe in that faith, it will lead you where you need it to. Overall a good moral to the story, if a little didactic in the telling.
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LibraryThing member phoebesmum
People are so generally down on poor old Lewis these days that it's hard to remember sometimes that he wrote a jolly good story and that's why these books are still in print. I reread this after we'd watched the film and was amused to be reminded that the Telmarines were not, originally, swarthy
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and heavily-accented (= Hollywood-bad), but English and rather common … which would, I daresay, also be bad. Worth noting: Telmarine revisionist history ("duller than the truest bit of history you ever read, and more untrue than the most exciting adventure story"), Nikabrik's foolish contention that the enemy of one's enemy is one's friend – not such a good idea when you're talking about the White Witch – and, of course, the almost-Bacchanal, where you can almost hear Lewis pulling up in his head: "Whoa, wait a moment – children's book, children's book …"
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LibraryThing member aethercowboy
It's been years since the Pevensie childen had been to Narnia, and when they get sweeped away while boarding a train, find themselves back in Narnia, though many, many years after their last visit.

Everything the know of Narnia has been changed, and the three find themselves in the midst of a war
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between the Telmarines, an invading race to Narnia.

They befriend dwarfs, badgers, a swashbuckling swordsmouse, and the rightful heir of the Telmarine dynasty, the titular character, Prince Caspian. Together they work to restore Caspian (the tenth Caspian of his dynasty) back to the throne in place of his usurping uncle Miraz.

While not as out-and-out EPIC as the Walden Media film made it seem, the book still has enough conflict and struggle to make it worth your Narnia-reading while. Recommended for fans of Lewis, especially those working through the Chronicles of Narnia.
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LibraryThing member cfink
Well, for some reason, I just love re-reading the Narnia Chronicles, even as an adult! I am not particularly religious, but I find the Lion quite compelling.

Prince Caspian, the 4th installment (chronologically, if not publish), brings back the original cast of characters and follows an
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adventure-quest plot more similar to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Our heroes are pulled back to Narnia after some time, only to discover things are not as wonderful as when they left. The rulers of the land fear the woods and the sea, and oppress animals that can talk.

The crew arrives as school children, but morph into the warriors we know them to be, and lead the young Prince Caspian to victory, and a restoration of Narnia as the Lion intended.
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LibraryThing member Othemts
I really like the premise of this section of the Narnia Chronicles, how Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter – children still with their memories of their royal lives – move through time to appear far in Narnia’s future. I like how the world evolved, yet legends of the past lived on. I really
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enjoyed much of this book more than I’ve enjoyed any of the Chronicles thus far, although I thought it got too cutesy at the end with all the talking animals dancing.

Lucy: “Wouldn’t it be dreadful if some day in our own world, at home, men started going wild inside, like the animals here, and still looked like men, so that you’d never know which were which?” (p. 101)
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LibraryThing member klc400
This is a great book for older children. There are also other books like it so if a child likes the book then they can read the other books by the author. I really would recommend it for children to read.
LibraryThing member kieselke
Prince Caspian is good. It’s about this prince who has to flee form his castle because his uncle wants to kill him. The prince runs away and hides in the forest of Narnia, where he meets some Narnians and they give him food and shelter. Prince Caspian needs help so he calls Peter, Edmund, Lucy
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and Susan for help. I liked this book I thought it was good because I like these types of stories so I really liked it. What I didn’t like about it was it can get a little slow but overall it was really good.
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LibraryThing member emhromp2
Prince Caspian is a very heroic book, which would lend itself perfectly for a movie adaptation. It is all about a battle and you can't imagine that the good side will win, but of course, as in all of the books, the good side will win.
LibraryThing member yoda2ryu
I read the first book in the Narnia Chronicles when I was in 4th grade. I didn't see much in the story then, but I liked it. I've had the seven books to the chronicle for years, but I just had to read the second one before the movie comes out. It was quite full of religious symbolism as in the
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first book, and a bit more down to earth as you can get in Narnia. All in all, it was a good and quick read.
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LibraryThing member antiquary
This and Horse and His Boy are my two favorites among the Narnia stories, partly because they happen more inside Narnia to
LibraryThing member bibliophile26
I liked that Peter, Lucy, etc. are back in the story and found it interesting that so much time had passed since they were the kings and queens of Narnia although only one year had passed in the real world.
LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
This book was good, as I would expect from Mr. Lewis, but I found it to be much less impressive than the previous three Narnia books. The plot isn't too thrilling or surprising, and the characters are all rather plain, except for Reepicheep, the brave and slightly arrogant mouse. Maybe it was
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because I was tired when I read this, but this book seemed very much like a typical sequel--an imitation of the original, lacking its luster and fire. But when you imitate a great work, the result is still worth checking out.
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LibraryThing member wirkman
More great kids' adventure and fantasy by Clive Staples Lewis, who provided a generation of us with the staple Christian apologetics.
LibraryThing member nandelh
This book has turned out to one of my favorites of the Narnia series. I couldn't put the book down while reading it. I loved visiting Narnia with Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy and seeing Narnia through their eyes. It is a good read.
LibraryThing member susan139
The second book in the series, the story follows on from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
LibraryThing member lidaskoteina
Gave up reading this about 1/3 of the way in, after having read Narnia Vol 1.
I just couldn't read any more of this series; I found it too cloying.
LibraryThing member GBev2008
A pretty disappointing follow up to "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" (Which I didn't find to be that great a book to begin with.) There's plenty of Biblical imagery for the Bible Scholars, but the final battle lacks any drama, and Lewis seems to wrap the story up too quickly. It's O.K., but
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not great.
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LibraryThing member bexaplex
Prince Caspian (the character) isn't very interesting—since he is pretty sympathetic in the beginning he never takes the Lewis-ish journey from jerk to king. But there are battles, Old Narnians, bacchanalias, and Aslan turning kids into pigs, and that makes up for Caspian somewhat.
LibraryThing member teharhynn
Not quite as good as the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, but it was interesting to see what they're working the new movie from.
LibraryThing member Anduril85
Another great book by C.S. Lewis alot of action in this one for those who are looking for it but a great behind it as always, a wonderful book, and one I recommend to everyone.
LibraryThing member the_awesome_opossum
In Prince Caspian, the Pevensies return to Narnia to help fight a battle between the Old Narnians and the Telmarines, who have taken over and all but sapped the magic out of the land. The story is sweet and engaging, and CS Lewis, as usual, can pack a good punch with the deeper meanings that run
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underneath his storytelling.
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LibraryThing member cry6546
Prince Caspian is the second book in the series Chronicles of Narnia. The four children are about to get on a subway train in England when suddenly they were taken back to Narnia. The children meet the Narnians which take them to Prince Caspian. Prince Caspian's uncle is trying to kill him so that
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he can be king. Prince Caspian, the children, and the Narnians battle against the Telmarines and overcome evil.

This story was very interesting. I beleive that the pacing was great to keep interest in the story. The best part of the story is that my students can understand issues that occurred in royalty throughout history such as killing for power.

I would have the children do a character web. There are many developed characters. I would then have them write about their favorite character and why it was their favorite. Another idea would be to create a mural of the story.
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LibraryThing member lppeters
I really liked how this book had the same characters in it as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I think that made it more enticing for me to read. I enjoyed the fact that in this world, the children had previously been Kings and Queens. I think that, if I were to read this to my class, it would
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be fun to have the kids make up a land where they ruled too. I think this is a great series to read aloud as a novel study because it has so much potential for the students to think critically and to get imaginative!
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Original publication date



0590254782 / 9780590254786
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