The Silver Chair takes place a year and a lifetime after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. In our world, Eustace (no N apparently) has grown up slightly and is now attending a–gasp–hyper secular school1. He’s still for the most part the better character he grew to be on his voyages and it’s nice to see someone we’ve seen before. But in Narnia, his friend King Caspian is old, with a son of his own, missing for years in his own right. And of course Eustace screws up his first–and perhaps last–meeting with an old friend.
Along for the ride is the first new female character we’ve seen in a while: Jill. She goes to school with Eustance and the both of them are outcasts, being bullied. I like her. One problem we’ve always had with Narnia is that women/girls are either perfect (like Susan and Lucy) or evil (like the White Witch). Jill is a pretty decent yet still nicely conflicted woman. I love this.
Once they’re on their adventure, they pick upa native Marsh-Wiggle Puddleglum: He’s pretty much one of my favorite characters in these books. I use the same voice as Eeyore when reading him, but he’s not actually quite so depressing all the time and actually a hero in his own right. It’s fun to have a quirky, non-human point of view again.
Plotwise, I actually appreciate that Aslan gives them the quest and then peaces out and it’s mostly up to our heroes to save the day. No deus ex leo this time around–and they actually completely mess up their quest but it ends up okay in the end.
I enjoyed it.