Chronologically this is the fifth installment in the Narnia Chronicles and, to me, it is the funniest one so far. Lewis never openly criticizes modern books, modern parents or modern education, but his disapproval comes through loud and clear in his subtle and humorous comments. Because I’m a lover of beautiful and imaginative literature, I found his jabs at modern books to be the most hilarious.
In one of the book’s most famous scenes bratty Eustace encounters a dead dragon and goes into its cave:
Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon’s lair, but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books. They had a lot to say about exports and imports and governments and drains, but they were weak on dragons. That is why he was so puzzled at the surface on which he was lying. Parts of it were too prickly to be stones and too hard to be thorns, and there seemed to be a great many round, flat things, and it all clinked when he moved. There was light enough at the cave’s mouth to examine it by. And of course Eustace found it to be what any of us could have told him in advance – treasure. (p. 71)
Caspian and Reepicheep (from the book Prince Caspian) make a reappearance in Voyage and this book brings closure to their story. I liked Reepicheep in the previous book, but loved him in this one. All in all, Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a pleasant read. Now to get my hands on The Silver Chair!