The Last Battle
|Author||C. S. Lewis|
|Series||The Chronicles of Narnia|
|Genre(s)||Children's fantasy novel, Christian literature|
|Pages||184 (1st edition)|
|Preceded by||The Magician's Nephew|
In this final installment of the Narnia tales, C.S. Lewis brings all of the characters of Narnia together to witness the end of the world they love. The story begins generations after the rule of Rilian, the son of Caspian. Narnia has enjoyed generations of peace and prosperity. Tirian is the present king of Narnia who rules with the help of his friend the Unicorn, Jewel. He is warned by Roonwit, the Centaur who studies the stars, that evil is coming to Narnia. The evil comes, strangely enough, in the form of an Ape named Shift. Shift finds a lionskin and intimidates sidekick, the simple donkey, Puzzle, into wearing the lionskin to impersonate Aslan. Shift then makes and agreement with Calormene to have the phony Aslan allow the Calormenes to cut down talking trees and enslave the Narnian animals. The Narnians, believing Puzzle to be the true Aslan,do what they are told, but lose their love and belief in the essential goodness of Aslan. They are told that Aslan and Tash (The Calormene God) are one.
By the time Tirian finds out what is happening it is too late. He is soon captured by Shift and the Calormenes. While he is tied up he prays to Aslan asking for help. Suddently he has a vision of a room where the seven human friends of Narnia are meeting. The next thing he knows is that Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole (of the Silver Chair) are there to help him escape. The three of them go to rescue Jewel where they also find Puzzle and free him from his forced role as the phony Aslan. They then gather a small force of loyal Narnians to fight the Telmarines. As the Narnian's fall back, losing the battle, they are forced into a barn. There they find a surprise, for the barn is larger on the inside than it is outside. Indeed, there is a whole world in the barn. In this barn they see the actual Calormene God, Tash, who comes and takes a Calormene leader who called on him but did not truly believe he existed. Then suddenly Tirian turns and sees the seven human friends of Narnia, including Peter, Edmund, Lusy, Lady Polly, Digory, as well as Jill and Eustace all regally dressed. Looking out the door, they see Narnia destroyed. After the door is closed, they all turn and go further in to this new world, which they find is just like the old world, only better, as they meet up with past Narnian heros as well as Aslan, himself. Looking out from Cair Paravel, they also see England in the distance. Aslan comes to them, telling them that their life in the "shadowlands" is past. This is the true place, and a great adventure awaits them. (They have actually all died in a railway accident). It is here that the symbolic nature of the story and its resemblance to the events of Revelation becomes clear. Now Aslan appears to them in the form that we still cannot see to show them the Truth.