Finally got around the this one, though I'd meant to long before the movie ever came out. After so much contemporary, this was a terrific palate-cleanser.
Unlike 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' the movie version deviates significantly in certain places--though I'm pretty neutral in terms of my preferred version. I don't necessarily disagree with the creative liberties that were taken. But more importantly, I don't believe that the movie failed to convey the essence of the book.
Again, the allegorical tale is engaging and beautifully written classic fantasy--with touches of both Christianity and European mythology. The descriptions are lilting and beautiful. The wisdom conveyed is timeless and elegantly worded.
This reader's favorite aspect would have to be the pronounced character development in Edmund between this book and the previous one. Leave it to Lewis to create a personality I initially want to see killed off and not only redeem him, but turn him into the one I can most relate to.
While I always liked 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe', my favourite Narnia novel has to be 'Prince Caspian'. It's got everything; the talking animals, jokes, brilliant main characters and it's set almost entirely in Narnia.
What I like about it, I think, is that the Pevensies have to deal with returning to a land that's not only hundreds of years older than when they last saw it, but when they themselves are much younger. It's adolescent Peter pulling himself together and being the High King, and Edmund finally redeeming himself that really make me love this book. My only quibble is that I think Lewis is unfair to Susan - but then, I think he often is, as is proven by events in 'The Last Battle'.
It's a brilliant book, but you do need to have read 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' first.