Things never happen the same way twice.
It’s fascinating to read this back to back with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (as you should if you’re reading them in published order). For the children, only a year has passed, but for Narnia, it’s been far, far longer. So long, in fact, that talking animals, walking trees, and even Aslan himself are little more than myths and the Age of Man has come to a land we once knew.
It’s a fascinating way to tell the story from an adult’s perspective, but at the same time can be a little harder for children, since it jumps around rather more, between the perspective of new Prince Caspian (hopeful there is a little magic in the world) and the four children from the first book (called back from across the worlds). It’s especially odd, that other than the four original children and Aslan, all of the rest of the characters we knew about have been dead for a thousand years. I don’t think my children noticed that particular point, but it’s certainly an interesting one.
Overall, it’s a weaker story and wouldn’t really stand alone, but as a sequel it works. I do remember having read the entire series when I was a child, but I honestly don’t remember anything from any of the books but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So it’s quite lovely rediscovering all of them. Onward to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader! At least this time skip is shorter.
Side note: The Lord of the Rings movies–and popular culture–mean that Dwarves apparently must have a Scottish accent. I always find myself doing voices when reading aloud; switching accents entirely is rather mentally taxing.