The Lion's World: A journey into the heart of Narnia

The Lion's World: A journey into the heart of Narnia - Rowan Williams I've been a big Narnia fan ever since my Dad started reading me the series -- before I can remember! -- and I've been reading analyses and criticism of C. S. Lewis since my early teens. So, when I started this book, I really wondered whether it would impart anything new.I am delighted to say that this book is a great read, and very illuminating besides! I would recommend it wholeheartedly to anybody with an interest in Narnia. And Monica Capoferri's illustrations are an added bonus -- they are stunning, and very different from any other Narnia illustrations I've seen. Kudos to her!So, what did I find so wonderful about the book?Not the style, actually. Rowan Williams writes extremely well, but not always gracefully -- at least not in my opinion. He himself is not the master of English that Lewis was.However, he brings out some very interesting themes, while addressing many contemporary ideas about Lewis and Narnia, citing (for instance), modern children's authors like [a:J.K. Rowling|1077326|J.K. Rowling|] and [a:Philip Pullman|3618|Philip Pullman|], whose works he praises highly. He also cites other critics, who were Lewis's contemporaries, and some of whom are very amusing. Some of Williams's most interesting elucidations of Narnia arise from his answers to these critics.Questions addressed in the book include:-Why is there no religion in Narnia?-Can people really know themselves?-Why is it so important that Aslan is "not a tame lion?"-Why "tell no one any story but his own?"-How can anything be "bigger on the inside than the outside," and what does this say about humanity?And many more!While grappling with some of the really tough questions Narnia gives rise to, Williams also connects the seven stories with the rest of Lewis's work, notably the Space Trilogy and "The Great Divorce."I found the book fascinating, and well worth reading, and I think that anybody who is interested in Narnia or Lewis will definitely agree with me.NOTE: I give Williams a lot of credit -- he may even have made me like [b:The Last Battle|84369|The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7)|C.S. Lewis||1059917] a bit better (it's my least favorite of the Narnia series).ALSO NOTE: I almost gave this book four stars instead of five, because I did not love the writing. But it is a very good book, well produced, and with lovely illustrations which are though-provoking in themselves.