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This edition of Lewis's classic fantasy fiction is packaged specifically for adults. Complementing the look of the author's non-fiction books, and anticipating the forthcoming Narnia feature films, this edition contains an exclusive P.S. section about the history of the book, plus a round-up of the first six titles.

288 pages, Paperback

First published September 4, 1956

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About the author

C.S. Lewis

761 books39.4k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Clive Staples Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Lewis was married to poet Joy Davidman.
W.H. Lewis was his elder brother]

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,833 reviews
Profile Image for Sean Kennedy.
Author 46 books962 followers
December 28, 2010
When I used to read the Chronicles as a kid, I would usually stop at Dawn Treader or Silver Chair. Now I realise that as a kid I was a lot smarter than I gave myself credit for, for "The Last Battle" is an absolute shocker of a book. It is racist, sexist, fundamentalist rhetoric disguised as children's literature.

Those 'darkies' (yes, that's how they're referred to in the book, along with stinking of 'onions and garlic') are invading Narnia again, at the guidance of a monkey (groan for obvious racist parallels once more) parading around a false Aslan. Thank goodness those pure white children are called upon once more to put things right! Oh, except for Susan, of course, who is apparently slutting around the real world because she can think of nothing but 'nylons and stockings' and as Peter says gravely, "She is no longer a friend of Narnia."

And that is the dangerous fundamentalist thought throughout this book. Susan, who seems to be discovering her sexuality, is denied entrance to Narnia. She was a Queen of Narnia, and saved it many times in battle. But, no, piss off, Susan. You're not good enough anymore. But the 'deathbed conversion' of the false Aslan still allows him to go to Narn - I mean, Heaven.

I just can't let the fate of Susan go, even days after finishing this book. All the Pevensy children (bar Susan, of course) discover they and their parents are dead at the end of the story and with a final 'yay!' like a brainwashed Rod and Todd Flanders, skip merrily up the steps to heaven. No chance at life for them. But Susan is left in the real world, with her siblings, parents and cousin all wiped out.

This is the final message you want to leave to your kids? No wonder this book is so popular with fundamentalists. In the end, their rhetoric is 'you're either with us or against us'. It doesn't seem very Christian at all, does it?
Profile Image for Maria.
122 reviews33 followers
November 30, 2010
I think this is the first book I've ever hated. And that list is pretty short. As a child, it really distressed me - I didn't understand much of it, and it confused me why its tone was so very different from the other Narnia books. Then, when I reread it a few years ago, it just pissed me off. The message about religious pluralism is refreshing, sure, but the book just plain reads wrong, and I will probably never get over Lewis's treatment of Susan. I guess if you don't believe in God, you deserve to lose your entire family in a train crash. Awesome.

I suppose there is some hope in that Susan did not die - maybe her family's gruesome deaths will help her find God, and then a train will kill her too, and she'll join Peter, Edmund, and Lucy in Aslan's country! Bleargh.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
376 reviews2,810 followers
May 27, 2022
Racist and Sexist and Ditto What Philip Pullman Said!

The Last Battle is the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In the land of Narnia, a fake Aslan has appeared creating chaos and disorder in the magical land. How will CS Lewis pull together the entire series in this final book?

To be clear, this book is not a children's book, and it was extremely dark. To cut through some of the darkness, the author should have sprinkled a bit of humor throughout the book as in the first two books of the series. This is an end-of-the-world scenario, an epic good versus evil battle, but I was underwhelmed, and I was noodling on how it could have been written better. Immediately, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman came to mind. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, The Last Battle is racist and sexist. As part of their battle strategy, the Narnians engaged in some form of blackface to disguise themselves as the enemy. Cringe. Total cringe. Also, one female character was excluded from all of the glory because she is "interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations." Think I am exaggerating? Philip Pullman is quoted regarding Narnia, "a peevish blend of racist, misogynistic and reactionary prejudice; but of love, of Christian charity, [there is] not a trace."

In this particular book, Pullman's idea rings doubly true, "As a critic . . . I rate him [CS Lewis] very highly, but I do detest what he was doing in his fiction." Although I have deep appreciation for the imagination of CS Lewis and how he paved the way for Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass, the racism and sexism in this book do not get a free pass.

100 Books to Read Before You Die According to the BBC:

2022 Reading Schedule
Jan Animal Farm
Feb Lord of the Flies
Mar The Da Vinci Code
Apr Of Mice and Men
May Memoirs of a Geisha
Jun Little Women
Jul The Lovely Bones
Aug Charlotte's Web
Sep Life of Pi
Oct Dracula
Nov Gone with the Wind
Dec The Secret Garden

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.6k followers
November 15, 2021
The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7), C.S. Lewis

The Last Battle is a high fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by The Bodley Head in 1956. It was the seventh and final novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

The Last Battle is set almost entirely in the Narnia world and the English children who participate arrive only in the middle of the narrative.

The novel is set some 200 Narnian years after The Silver Chair and about 2500 years (and 49 Earth years) since the creation of the world narrated in The Magician's Nephew.

A false Aslan is set up in the north-western borderlands and conflict between true and false Narnians merges with that between Narnia and Calormen, whose people worship Tash. It concludes with termination of the world by Aslan, after a "last battle" that is practically lost. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژانویه سال2002میلادی

عنوان: ماجراهای نارنیا - کتاب هفت آخرین نبرد؛ نویسنده: کلاویو استیپلز لوئیس؛ مترجم: امید اقتداری؛ منوچهر کریم زاده، کتابهای کیمیا، تهران خیابان ولی عصر، بالاتر از میدان ونک، سال1379؛ در شش و173ص؛ چاپ دوم سال1382؛ چاپ سوم سال1385؛ چاپ چهارم سال1393؛موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

عنوان: آخرین نبرد؛ نویسنده سی ‌اس لویس‏‫؛ تصویرگر پولین بینز‬؛ ‏‫مترجم فهیمه رحمتی؛ تهران، آسو، سال1397؛ در168ص؛ شابک9786008755876؛

عنوان: آخرین نبرد؛ نویسنده سی.اس لوئیس‏‫؛ تصویرگر پولین‌دایانا بینز؛ مترجم پیمان اسماعیلیان‌؛ ویراستار شهرام رجب‌زاده؛ تهران: قدیانی، کتابهای بنفشه؛ سال1387؛ در264ص؛ شابک9789644178559؛ چاپ دوم سال1390؛ چاپ سوم سال1394؛

عنوان: آخرین نبرد؛ نویسنده: سی.اس. لوییس؛ مترجم زهره گرامی؛ ویراستار فاطمه ستوده؛ تهران، پنجره‏‫، سال1387؛ در184ص؛ شابک9789648890860؛ چاپ دوم سال1390؛

نارنیا دنیایی است، که در آن، حیوانات نیز سخن میگویند؛ جادو امری رایج است، و خوبی، به جنگ با بدیها میرود؛ آغاز داستان آفرینش «نارنیا»، در روز نخست، با آواز «اصلان شیر»، و سخنگو شدن حیوانات، با جادوی «اصلان» بوده، و پایان داستان در همین کتاب «آخرین نبرد» آمده است، تا سرگذشت «نارنیا»، و ماجرای کودکانی را بگوید، که نقش اصلی، در تاریخچه ی دنیای «نارنیا» را بازی می‌کنند؛ در هر کتاب از این هفتگانه (به جز اسب و آدمش) کودکانی از همین دنیای ما، به صورتی جادویی، به «نارنیا» میروند، جاییکه از آن‌ها خواسته می‌شود، تا به «اصلان شیر» یاری برسانند؛ زندگی آنها در این جهان است، و تمام ماجراهایشان در «نارنیا»ی خیال انگیز میگذرد، حالا، سرانجام فصل نخست داستان بزرگ را، که هیچکس بر روی زمین، آن را نخوانده است؛ آغاز میکنند، که تا ابد ادامه مییابد، و در آن هر فصل، بهتر از فصل پیشین است؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 08/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 23/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 28 books13.4k followers
August 15, 2017
A dismayingly poor conclusion to the series... I honestly don't understand why a fair number of people apparently like it. (I believe it even won some kind of award). The writing is flat and uninspired compared to the earlier volumes, and the preaching has completely taken over the narrative. Oddly enough, a lot of it also comes across as extremely immoral. Let's not even get into the question of whether the treatment of the Calormenes and their god Tash is racist or bigoted. The thing that really annoys me is the way that foolish, deluded Puzzle, who acts as front man in a religious coup by agreeing to don the lion skin and impersonate Aslan, is somehow given a free pass. Why, exactly? He was only obeying orders? It seems to me that this is reductio ad absurdum, taking the notion of Christian forgiveness to its logical and extremely nasty conclusion, and I still have no idea what C.S. Lewis thought he was doing. If George W. Bush could read, he would probably find this book rather comforting.

[Update, Oct 2014]

The following passage from Knausgård's Min kamp 6, which I read yesterday, expresses the point I wished to make rather better than I did (my translation):
Grace removes all distinctions, in grace we are all equal. The radicality of this idea is so great that we can hardly grasp it. But it is this, and nothing else, that Christianity is about. There are no differences between people. The worst person is worth just as much as the best. Jesus said: if someone strikes you, turn the other cheek. He is a person like you, he is you. It is an inhuman thought, because it is thought outside our social structures. It is indeed a godlike thought. Adolf Hitler has just as much worth as the Jews he gassed to death. It dissolves our identities, they have been created by difference, and that is what makes Christianity unrealisable, we cannot think ourselves away, it is too much to lose, it is all we have.

[Update, Aug 2017]

If I understand him correctly, Donald Trump is saying the same thing in his already-famous 'many sides' speech. No one is worth more than anyone else, Trump apparently wants to tell us. The neo-nazi who drives his car into the crowd of protesters is worth just as much as the woman he kills, because we are all children of God. But as Knausgård notes, this is a difficult idea for mortals to comprehend. And to be honest, I believe Trump could also have phrased it better.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,504 reviews734 followers
September 22, 2021
Time to say goodbye to the wonderful land and reality of Narnia, again :) The last battle and the fate of Narnia sees Eustace and Jill taken from what appears to be a dangerous and possible fateful situation happening on the train they are on, to just a as dangerous Narnia, where malign forces have amassed to pillage the country! A surprisingly dark and compelling Narnia awaits them, with Narnians either enslaved or dead! The first half of this book is one of the many highlights of the series, as for once we see that the British kids and the Narnian heroes just cannot find a way to beat the opposing forces!

Ultimately Lewis makes the mistake so many writers made before and after him, failure to complete a series with a good, or at least viable ending, because in looking to give Narnia a fitting and momentous finale Lewis goes native, in my opinion. It could be argued that he wanted to end it all with all-out clear cut Christian symbolism? Either way, in the end, this is the last, and sadly weakest book in the series, which promised so much and went totally awry in the end! 6 out of 12.

It would be remiss of me not to express a deeply heart felt thank you and testament to the wonderful art of Pauline Baynes that has been a constant source of wonderment that originally was one of the key things that enthralled me with this series. For those of you not aware she also drew for Tolkien's Middle Earth!
Profile Image for Roya.
191 reviews376 followers
June 26, 2016
If I had the energy to describe how bad this is, I still wouldn't be able to describe how bad this is.
Profile Image for Luke.
37 reviews
March 5, 2009
Lewis understands the way the world works better than any other writer I have ever read. It's likely due to his appreciation for story and powerful imagination fed by scripture. This book was eye opening for me to feel truth about how deception and our societies work in rebellion to God, through a fictional story. It was painful to recognize the major battle and struggle that is so slippery and subtle in our own lives. It would feel better to feel the stark good vs evil contrast in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but it wouldn't be as cutting or true as this "Last Battle".
Profile Image for Josie.
1,394 reviews29 followers
April 14, 2007

I mean, seriously? The happiest ending possible is for everyone to die and go to heaven? At first I thought that since Susan had stopped believing in Narnia and Aslan, she didn't get to go to "heaven", but then I realised she wasn't actually on the train so she's still alive. How absolutely horrible, losing her siblings and her parents. But you know, better that than being dead. Sorry, C.S. Lewis, I'm not converted.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
May 12, 2020
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!”

Aaaah! I can't believe I am done with this series... honestly, I did not expect to be so much involved with it by the end. When I read the first book (I read them in publication order, so my first one was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), I thought: "well, this is a cute story, I like it well enough"; then I went on and I wasn't really a fan of the middle books. But then I read The Magician's Nephew and this one and woah! I was blown away by the beauty and poetry of it all.

The last chapters of this books, the last chapters of the Chronicles of Narnia, are one of the most poetic and beautiful things I ever read; and I won't lie - I was moved to tears. It's just, the beauty of Aslan is just too much. I can't believe I waited since adulthood to read this whole series! And I am so glad I pushed through those middle books. Now I am sure I will re-read this series some time in the future! Beautiful.
Profile Image for Iben Frederiksen.
294 reviews167 followers
December 22, 2019

The Last Battle, is chronologically the last book in the series of Narnia - it is coincidentaly also perhaps the last book I would ever reread lmao.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I found boring and dull, but oh boy at least it didn't make me want to throw it into the sun after reading the last page. I'm giving it two stars instead of one, only because I initially liked where the story was going, as well as enjoying a lot of the newly introduced characters.

- SPOILERS from here on out! -

This book is so fundamentally different from the other six books in the series - the other books are wonderfull adventures, that have hardships sure, but all of them have a happy ending - a happy ending is of course not the only way to end a good book, but it is the classic formula for middle grade stories, that C. S. Lewis' other books in the series all follow.

Not only does the Last Battle take place in a Narnia that is so utterly miserable and depressing that you can hardly believe what you're reading, it also brings Lewis' religious preachings to a nauseating climax from which you can no longer ignore the religious undertones - no, the fact that Aslan is God, and Narnia = Heaven is shoved right into your face.

Lewis brings back the fan faveourite Pevensie children as well as all the other children who visited Narnia over the series - this should be something that would make the reader happy right?? Why sure! I thought it was great for a hot minute, until Peter and Aslan announced that Susan had turned into a superficial whore, who could no longer be welcomed into Narnia (heaven).

Also... The ending??!! I always imagined that the books would end with the Pevensie children (and everyone else) returning to Narnia, once they were old and grey (and dead) so that they could finally go into Aslan's country. But no, they straight up die in a train accident, and Aslan and the children are happy about this??? wtf. In my opinion, the religious undertones just take up waaaaayy too much of the story in this one.

Now onto my general rant about C. S. Lewis...

On one hand, I think he is absolutely brilliant, the world of Narnia is such a beautiful place, and I love the way he builds his world as well as the atmosphere he creates - when I was a kid I wanted so badly to go exploring through Narnia, to befriend beavers and satyrs and fight evil villains for the good of Aslan. Worldbuilding and storytelling are things Mr. Lewis does very very well.

However, when it comes to characterization I feel like Mr. Lewis was so insanely lazy in his creation of characters.
If not for their physical descriptions, I would not be able to tell Eustace and Edmund, or Lucy and Jill apart. The children of these books have NO personalities whatsoever. They are blank slates! Now, of course sometimes it can be good with a main character who is a little bit of a blank slate - in this way readers can easily put themselves in the characters shoes. But that effect is overdone here. Instead, the children of Narnia are all the same pure and white, english children.

Now Lewis' books about Narnia were of course written in the 1950's, which explains a lot my problems with the characters - the weird and stiff relationships the Pevensie siblings have with each other... Despite them being brothers and sisters. The lack of personality in the characters can also be explained by this.
However, there are some things I can't excuse from Mr. Lewis, and that is his blatant sexism and racism (the calormenes) which is so clear throughout the entire series and which just really put a damper on my enjoyment of the books.

In conclusion... I like the idea of Narnia and the stories we follow - I like it as an adventure - but I dislike the overall message Mr. Lewis tried to tell about what kind of people deserves to go to heaven... So, I'll say this controversial bit - I do like the movies more than I like the books and I hope that whatever Netflix decides to make, whether it's a tv series or some new movies, that they focus more on the magical and amazing adventures and less on the religious undertones.
94 reviews599 followers
March 12, 2015
Once I started thinking about racism and degrading other religions I couldn't take this anymore. There was no way to unsee those things and just read it as a fun children's book. What a waste of time. Sorry not sorry.

Oh, and the story itself was boring and aggravating.
Profile Image for Annie.
1,356 reviews4 followers
March 5, 2016
The first part of this book was so difficult for me to get through. I hated how Narnia had become so tainted. Everything was so utterly depressing, but thankfuly, things did not stay that way. The last half is so wonderful. I hardly knew what to do with myself after reading it for the first time.

Of any of the worlds I've read about, Narnia is the one I would most like to visit or better yet, live in forever. I think that speaks to C.S. Lewis' ability to understand the longing of the human soul to be united with God.
Profile Image for Rachel Matthews.
246 reviews30 followers
September 4, 2013
Warning: Spoilers.

Okay, before I begin I need to add that I am not Christian or religious. Not even a little bit. That's not to say I completely dismiss the notion that there could be a God, just that I personally do not believe in one.

I loved the Narnia books, especially the ones that centred around the Pevensie children. As a child I'm not sure what my reaction was to The Last Battle, when I was a teenager I read it again and felt a little...uncomfortable.

Now this isn't going to be a slander on C.S.Lewis and how racist/misogynist some of his tales were, (because in some cases they were.) Because I don't think it's fair to scrutinize him with the logic of someone who lives in 2013 when at the time he wrote the books it was only 1956.

The Last Battle should be something you immediately love, all of our favourite characters return to Narnia and not just the Narnia that we all fell in love with, but a new, better Narnia. Amazing, wohhoo! Except someone is left behind.

I am of course, talking about Susan.

Susan is left behind and alive in our world, not being able to return to Narnia because she no longer believes and is more interested in "lipstick, nylons and invitations."

Now I understand the message Lewis was trying to give, that you shouldn't cast aside your spirituality or faith for more frivolous superficial things, that you should always remain faithful despite where life takes you. I get the message and I think I could have lived with it if it were for one thing; No one seems to care.

They discuss Susan for a total of what, a minute? Calling her silly before Peter abruptly says something along the lines of "let us talk of more pleasant things...oh look a tree, let us taste it's fruit." WHATTTTTTT?!?

This is where it gets me, these kids have all been through magical adventures together, grown up together and have that bond that only siblings have. They've just been told that they have died in our world and are going to live forever happily in Narnia while Susan is...(well it's implied) going to hell for essentially liking lipstick and nobody blinks. Her siblings act as though they don't care, or worse that they are angry;

"Our sister Susan," Answered Peter, shortly and gravely, "Is no longer a friend of Narnia."

This is the Susan that throughout all the other books looked out for her brothers and sisters safety, ruled over Narnia as Susan the Gentle and nobody cares that she has more or less been condemned? The hypocrisy here is that in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, they all went through such desperate lengths to save Edmund but apparently Susan was just not worth the trouble.

Lewis did state that Susan might find her way back to Narnia later in life, "in her own way." And you know I hope she does, but when she gets there I'm not sure her family deserves her.

Anyway, the writing for the Last Battle is just as vivid and beautiful as the rest of the books and of course the Christian allegory is still there. The battle scene itself is incredibly well-written and the ending is just that...An end to a wonderful series. It's just a shame that the end for Susan wasn't nearly as nice as it should have been.
Profile Image for Adrian.
539 reviews194 followers
September 23, 2018
I've pondered long and hard over this review and the rating. To be honest, it seemed a little short and a little sparse on storyline and
That said on reflection it was still a good read, we met a few great new characters Puzzle; Poggin; Jewel and Farsight, as well as King Tirian, and we did get to .
So all in all I feel justified in giving it 4 stars in line with its fellow Narnia chronicles.

I cannot believe I have now read all 7, and whilst I realise they are meant for children younger than me ("lol") I really enjoyed them and as with all great series', I wish there were more to read.

I know some people have accused C.S. Lewis of being racist (duh !), and of the books having too many religious overtones (or undertones) but in my view they are good stories that have a message that all humans should agree with, that of understanding, respect, tolerance and above all love for one's fellow man.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
1,966 reviews1,385 followers
September 18, 2017
This is my seventh journey into the fantastical lands of Narnia, as I have chosen to read the series in chronological rather than publication order.

What a fitting end to such an epic series! Despite having a darker message and more serious tone than the other stories, I enjoyed this just as much as the previous books.

It has been centuries since the last sighting of the mystical Aslan and his name has turned from legend to myth. With some falsely using his name and status, and others denouncing him altogether, it is left to the returning children from our world to save Narnia once again.

Despite a similar running theme, this seemed aimed at a more adult audience. There was some dark imagery and an overall more sinister tone. However, as an adult reader myself, I enjoyed these new aspects.

I adored seeing the return of old faces and, without them, this would not have been a proper conclusion. I am sad to say goodbye but I know I will be returning, probably soon, to one of my new favourite fictional lands.
Profile Image for Allison Tebo.
Author 17 books307 followers
December 7, 2017
This is only a partial review - someday - I will give this book the full review it deserves.

There are very few books that move me to my core. The depths of sadness and the heights of exhilaration captured in this book never fail to carry me with them.

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis stirs a part of my soul so deep, so unknown - I can barely explain it. It awakens a desire for a place I have been searching for all my life. Hope soars through me as I stare into utter darkness, and I find myself knowing that I was born to fight - with everything in me - to the death for my Lord. That I am called to stand in the shadow of the Stable Door.

It also features one of my favorite male heroes of all time - King Tirian. Tirian could have ignored the call, he could have hidden at his hunting lodge and carved out a semblance of pleasure and prosperity - but he ran to the battle, he ran to his people, he ran to Aslan.

And he was the only person in Narnia that JUMPED through the Stable Door.

May I also run to the battle - may I someday jump through that door - mocking defeat and death and dragging the enemy in with me because I KNOW: "We all rest between the paws of the Lion."

“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
Profile Image for Lisa (Harmonybites).
1,834 reviews324 followers
August 11, 2010
I might be giving this 3 or 4 stars were it not for the penultimate paragraph of the book. My first Narnia book was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I did think the imagination and imagery striking but found the Christian Allegory too blatant. Friends told me however, that with the exception of The Last Battle, those aspects aren't so prominent in the later books, and that much of the series is wonder-full. So I found it from then on up to this book.

Well, it could be said I'd been warned--but it actually wasn't the allegorical aspect per se that threw me. Maybe it's just I'd grown inured to that aspect by this book, or maybe that I'm not as familiar with Revelations as the Gospels, so I didn't feel like I was ticking off, oh, this is Judas, this is the crucifixion, etc. The story is rich in ideas, imagery and symbolism. I loved the echoes of Dante and Plato.

On the whole, the issue of that last page aside, what disturbed me most was how the Calormenes were described. There have been accusations Narnia is racist because of how Lewis depicts this southern adversary of Narnia, and I think that unfair. I think we overuse the accusation "racist" so it loses it's impact when we use it other than to mean the belief that race defines character and ability. Lewis clearly does not believe this given positive Calormenes characters like Aravis and Emeth. In fact, I rather loved the message Lewis sends through Emeth--that it doesn't matter in whose name we do good or evil, whether Muhammad or Jesus--only that the act is good or evil.

Nevertheless, it was disturbing to have Calormenes described this way: Then the dark men came round them in a thick crowd, smelling of garlic and onions, their white eyes flashing dreadfully in their brown faces. And then there are the repeated cries of "darkie" from the crowd of dwarfs. (Admittedly those particular dwarfs are villains in this book--not people to emulate--but I imagine reading those passages aloud to a child and I cringe).

There's also, to borrow Gaiman's phrase, "The Problem of Susan." Susan, we find out early in the book, is no longer a "friend of Narnia" because she denies Narnia exists now and cares these days only about lipstick and nylons and such. I can rather forgive Lewis this. He's trying to make a point I think that even those who once knew the right way can drift away and forget what's truly important. I don't see misogyny in choosing Susan for that role anymore than it's anti-male to choose Edmund for the traitor role in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Moreover, given the strong female characters in the Chronicles (especially Jill in this story) I find cries of sexism less than convincing.

But then there's that last page...


This is the next to last paragraph in the book and series:

There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call it in the Shadowlands--dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."

This reminded me of when my Grandmother died, the priest turned to me, my mother and aunt and rebuked us for weeping--because "she's now in a better place than you are." I know what I felt towards that priest in that moment as I looked at my mother's and aunt's stricken faces--rage.

And then I thought of Susan--no longer "a friend of Narnia" dealing with the sudden violent deaths of her friends and family and I felt the same kind of rage at Lewis.

Yes, I know--Christians believe Heaven this wonderful thing. And within the book and series the ending has its logic. But I for one felt slapped by that paragraph--I can't imagine wanting to give this to children, that one paragraph seems so malignant in its celebration of death. You guys giving this book five stars--you really want to give a child a book where dying young in a trainwreck with your entire family--parents, siblings, a cousin is the happy ending? Really?

A friend told me about Gaiman's counter to this "The Problem of Susan"--it's in the short story anthology Fragile Things. That story has some disturbing imagery, and I know some that love Narnia have called it disgusting and "blasphemous." (Definitely not a story for children--adults only here.) All I can say is having come to the end of this series I found it cathartic. (And going back to reading Gaiman and Pratchett's Good Omens, about an angel and demon working to stop the apocalypse, can only help...)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Daniella Houghton .
94 reviews72 followers
May 14, 2010
I agree with the reviewer who said this was the worst ending ever. Not only does it have the worst ending, but the book itself is the worst ending to any series that I have ever read. Period.

Seriously, Mr. Lewis, what the hell is this though? Aside from the phenomenally craptacular ending--where we're supposed to believe that the very best thing that could possibly happen is for everybody to die--this book was just a whole lot of suck. It seemed to have no point whatsoever, except that Lewis decided he was done writing Narnia stories, and instead of leaving it open for fans to imagine what adventures might've come after, he figured he could cram some more Christian allegory in there and thoroughly traumatize his young audience by killing off every single character they'd come to love. Except Susan, because we shun the nonbeliever, shuuuunnnn.

Whatever. It was completely unnecessary, and the "but it's okay because they went to heaven" ending made me roll my eyes so hard they were in danger of falling out, but it didn't piss me off half so much as the convoluted End Times theme. What the fuck? There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to it whatsoever, at least that I could pinpoint. Basically some jerkass old ape (I see what you did there, Mr. Lewis) dresses up this gullible ass in a lion skin and starts ordering the Narnians around as the mouthpiece of Aslan, so instead of punishing Shift for his wickedness, Aslan DESTROYS THE WORLD. Because that's not overreacting or anything. Apparently Lewis ascribed to the angry, vengeful God of the old testament. I mean, wow. Was it because the Narnians were so easily deceived by the false Aslan and their love for him turned to fear and revulsion? Because it seems to me to be largely a result of Aslan's long absence, combined with the apparent inherent stupidity of Narnians, that made them susceptible to the lies of Shift and the Calormenes, which Aslan in his omniscience would've known would happen if he stayed away. So, in other words, he punished THE ENTIRE WORLD for something that he could've prevented and chose not to. Nice. But maybe I just don't get it, wicked atheist that I am.

Anyway. Unless you're a hardcore fan of the Narnia series, or OCD like me, I recommend skipping this one. It's not worth your time.
Profile Image for Lee  (the Book Butcher).
236 reviews60 followers
April 24, 2021
The 7th and final Narnia book also one of the worst in my opinion. Probably has the most Christian symbolism in the series other than the magician nephew. which is not a bad thing or even why it's considered the weakest in the series.

Look its hard for me to complain about the series ending this way. I knew it would end this way all along. we all knew how it would end. I remember reading this as a kid and thinking that can't be how Narnia ends. The ending should fill me with righteous joy. The fact it leaves me underwhelmed is a small part of the reasons i have drifted from Christianity. I don't really want to elaborate on that here but i was always aware that Christianity never made me feel the way i was suppose to or appeared to make others feel. but enough about my personal disappointments.

I also remember the story about the ape dressings the donkey up as Aslan. i liked it as much as any other story in Narnia reminded me of Sunday bible school. but the first half of the book speeds by and once the Calormens get involved thing seem even more rushed. Lewis' portrayal of the Calormens/Muslims is cringe. also why did Lewis viciously write out Susan that was weird right?

even though the series ends as a disappointment for me. it's still a great series. I'm a headstrong 30 year old i can see this same ending making me cry with nostalgic joy after some more life experience.
Profile Image for Jenna Leigh.
189 reviews
May 2, 2013

SPOILERS! Don't keep reading if you don't like 'em!

Gosh, I love The Last Battle. As a Christian, Aslan's compassion and mercy in all of the books is moving, but it is especially highlighted in this novel.

Some people may not like the ending. I know my sister didn't, especially because of the fact that Susan isn't brought into the new Narnia with the other Pevensie children. My thought has always been(and this is purely my own interpretation/speculation) that Susan will eventually be saved. She is going to be faced with the fact, that in the real world, her entire family was killed in a train crash, and that type of grief will cause her to rethink her worldview.

I never had this problem, other than just being sad that Susan was no longer a part of Narnia, but other people have had a problem with Susan being lost because as J.K. Rowling once said:

"There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She's become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that."

I don't think the reason that Susan was lost was because she "found lipstick", I think it was meant to illustrate in a way that was easier for a child to understand—these are children's books, remember—that Susan had, at some point, made a decision to turn away from what she knew to be true and good in favour of shallow, temporal things that would never fill her. She basically chose to turn away from the blessings that Aslan and Narnia would give her. It wasn't that she wasn't good enough to be accepted, it was that she felt she was too good to accept what was being offered to her.

Well, that's my two bits.
Profile Image for Kimberly Dawn.
163 reviews
March 19, 2019
“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”


In the final days of Narnia, many of the Narnians have been deceived by a false prophet, an evil ape named Shift, who devises a plot to turn the people and animals against Aslan, the Great Lion. Eustace and Jill arrive in Narnia in response to King Tirian’s prayer for help. Jill and Eustace help Tirian and Jewel, the talking unicorn, and display much bravery and courage, but ultimately they are outnumbered.
Shift the ape summons the demon Tash to Narnia. Those who worship Tash intend to make human sacrifices of King Tirian and his helpers. Instead, a door is opened to Aslan’s world. Those who love Aslan are ushered in immediately into Aslan’s world to forever live in his presence in a world without fear, pain, or sorrow. A world of beauty and abundance, youth, health, goodness, and love.
The Chronicles of Narnia can be read on many levels, as there are many Biblical allegories to explore. Yet, first and foremost, the Narnia novels are meant to be enjoyed for the highly imaginative, adventuresome fantasies they are. So magical, mystical and fun, Narnia is a world not to be missed.
Profile Image for Amber.
114 reviews4 followers
May 29, 2008
This is my favorite of the Narnia books. I love how it begins, and especially how it ends. I enjoyed it immensely as a child, but as an adult it strikes a much deeper cord. The Christian allegory of these books is really summed up and finished here in a beautiful way. I really enjoyed all of Lewis' subtle hints about what he believes, and was surprised by how many things I agreed with. I love that the Taarkan is told that all who do good in the name of Tash are really doing it to Aslan, and those who do evil in the name of Aslan are really accepted by Tash.
The only thing I didn't like was the loss of Susan- and her unwillingness to believe in Narnia anymore. But, I think that was also foreshadowed in Prince Caspian, and I think that Lewis had another point he was trying to make there, as well, about where our hearts and focus are in this life. So, even though it made me sad, I understood some of the reasoning behind it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
504 reviews361 followers
July 20, 2020
This final book in the Chronicles is a bittersweet tale. In The Magician's Nephew, the first book of the series in its chronological order, we see the creation of Narnia and in The Last Battle we see the end of it, at least the end of Narnia as we saw created (if that makes any sense). We meet the last King of Narnia, King Tirian, who as a true Narnian fights with valour, although it is a losing battle. It is kind of sad to read the end of Narnia as it was so true and alive to us readers through seven books. But it is inevitable the story should be so. We are to witness the creation as well as its end.

The story of The Last Battle is in a way good against the evil and the losing battle is an indication how evil through greed, trickery and lies corrupt the mind of the forces that allies with good. To me, this was the most thought provoking story of the chronicles. I was very much impressed by the message the author was trying to convey through the fall of Narnia.

But to get to the happy side, we see a reunion of all Narnian friends. All the human friends of Narnia from the first king Frank and queen Helen, Digory and Polly, Peter, Lucy and Edmund to Eustace and Jill return to Narnia. And the beasts, from Reepicheep to Fledge, the flying horse are returned too. All these humans and beasts now live happily with Aslan in his kingdom and we all know where that is in our hearts.

With the read of The Last Battle, I have completed the Chronicles of Narnia. Through these seven books I lived in the wonderful world of Narnia and really enjoyed living there. I had wanted to read the complete chronicles for years and I'm pleased to have done so. And I'm very happy to say that Mr. Lewis certainly didn't disappoint me.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,332 reviews106 followers
April 21, 2020
This is a series that ends perfectly, everything nicely tied up and feel good (apart from Susan but every situation has a Susan).

I enjoyed this reread so much, I had totally forgotten how this wrapped up and to see Lucy and Mr Tumnus again was the icing on the cake.

Reading childhood favourites is a risky business but I'm glad I did. While I saw some bits of christianity here and there I didnt find it as extreme as some do, the overriding message I got from this is that Humans are pretty awful in most situations and Lions should rule the world.
Profile Image for Cindy Rollins.
Author 20 books1,885 followers
March 13, 2019
"All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well." Julian of Norwich

Here is CS Lewis's attmept to comfort us with visions of heavenly truth. I think he succeeds. The first time I ever really desired Heaven was after reading this as a 19yo young married girl. Today as I finished reading it to my student, I felt my heart ache again longingly. I ache for that heavenly realty.

As I read off each of the people the children were finding in the "further up and further in" Narnia, Drake, my student, would jump out of his chair and hoot for joy. You gotta love a 12 year old boy!

I found myself happiest to see Puddleglum again.

I hope I am not saying goodbye to Narnia forever. Gotta figure out a way to have Zoom read alouds with my grandchildren.
Profile Image for Angela R. Watts.
Author 29 books192 followers
June 22, 2018
I'm at loss for words. Just... wow. This was incredible. One of my top favorites in this series. It was... Epic. The writing was gorgeous and the characters were amazing and the ending... Fantastic.
Profile Image for Elaina.
314 reviews172 followers
December 5, 2018
Whew....those last couple pages though 😯😅

It feels like such a long time since I first got into this series....

Initially, I was thinking this was only going to be a 4 star read, but once I started getting near the end I enjoyed it a lot more. I was hoping that the Pevensies would have more page time, but I was happy they were at least in it for a little while.

I'm really gonna miss reading about the Narnia world for the first time though :/ Definitely going to be rereading the series in the future though!! Might even read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe again around Christmas. That was the first time I read it, on Christmas Eve a few years back and it made the experience more enjoyable to me :)

Y'all have probably heard the news about Netflix making a series or movies out of the books, right? I'm both excited and nervous to see what they do lol What are y'alls thoughts on that? 😝😂😅

Quote just because :)

“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,617 reviews54 followers
June 29, 2022
I've finally finished the Narnia series!
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