The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Better than I remembered it

Not my favorite book in the series, weird structure

Book Info

Book Title:  The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian

Publisher:  Geoffrey Bles

Writer:  C.S. Lewis

Illustrator:  Pauline Baynes

Release Date:  October 15, 1951


First Edition

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie find themselves once again drawn to Narnia one year after their adventure in the wardrobe.  The Pevensie find time moves differently in Narnia and the land they once loved is gone with the Telmarines crushing all the magic from world.  As a ruthless warlord named Miraz usurps the throne from his nephew Prince Caspian who still believes in the magic of the land, and Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan find themselves caught up in a war to free the people they once ruled.

Written by C.S. Lewis with illustrations by Pauline Baynes, The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian is the second book in C.S. Lewis’ classic Narnia tales following The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe which was first published in 1950.  Originally titled Prince Caspian:  The Return to Narnia, the book has been adapted a couple of times including a big screen version in 2008.  The book is the fourth volume in the renumbered version which puts the stories in chronological order instead of by publication date.

I read The Chronicles of Narnia over and over again as a child.  I always loved reading the first book, but always hated when I reached Prince Caspian.  I found the book a bit tedious and didn’t love the structure of the story which destroyed the magical nature of Narnia and put a dull story about Prince Caspian in the center of a tale and a lackluster ending battle.


Collier Edition

Rereading Prince Caspian, it isn’t as dull as I remember it, but it still isn’t my favorite.  It is interesting to see Lewis begin to develop his major themes in Prince Caspian and the role of the outsiders evolving the land of Narnia is a parallel to the Normans invasion of England and the blending of cultures that resulted.

I also find this book a bit sad because you can already start to see Susan’s fate.  In the first novel, it is often said that Susan attempts to be too motherly (aka too adult) and in Prince Caspian she is the least likely to believe in the fairy world (and cannot see Aslan for the longest).  Lewis had a strange vendetta against this character and you learn that her choice to become an adult too quick cost her in the final book The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Last Battle…it is a bit odd and it seems random but you can seeds being planted in the first two stories.

With the conclusion of The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian, Lewis provides his first shake-up.  Susan and Peter are too old for the magic land and Edmund and Lucy get a last chance.  Despite this not being my favorite book, the movie adaptation of Prince Caspian might be my favorite of the film versions which expanded upon ideas in the book and shaped it into a better tale.  The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian were followed by the superior The Chroncles of Narnia:  Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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Related Links:

The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian (2008)

The Chronicles of Narnia:  Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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