Title: The Last Battle.
Author: C.S. Lewis.
Genre: Literature, fiction, YA, children's lit, fantasy, religion, adventure.
Publication Date: September 15th, 1952.
Summary: During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge — not an invader from without, but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, Aslan hasn't been seen in centuries, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers, including Eustace and Jill, can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear.
My rating: 7.5/10
♥ "The stars never lie, but Men and Beasts do."
♥ "But I know there are liars on earth; there are none among the stars."
♥ "Give the password," said the chief soldier.
"This is my password," said the King as he drew his sword. "The light is dawning, the lie broken."
♥ They did not try to comfort one another with words. It wasn't very easy to think of anything to say that would be comforting. Tirian had never dreamed that one of the results of an Ape's setting up a false Aslan would be to stop people from believing in the real one.
♥ "People shouldn't call for demons unless they really mean what they say."
♥ "I was with him in his last hour and he gave me this message to your Majesty: to remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy."
♥ "Kiss me, Jewel," he said. "For certainly this is our last night on earth. And if ever I offended against you in any matter great or small, forgive me now."
"Dear King," said the Unicorn, "I could almost wish you had, so that I might forgive it. Farewell. We have known great joys together. If Aslan gave me my choice I would choose no other life than the life I have had and no other death than the one we go to."
♥ No one except Farsight the Eagle, who has the best eyes of all living things, noticed the face of Rishda Tarkaan at that moment. And from what Farsight saw there he knew at once that Rishda was just as surprised, and nearly frightened, as everyone else. "There goes one," thought Farsight, "who has called on gods he does not believe in. How will it be with him if they have really come?"
♥ "Stand fast, Jewel. If you must weep, sweetheart" (this was to Jill), "turn your face aside and see you wet not your bow-string. And peace, Eustace. Do not scold, like a kitchen-girl. No warrior scolds. Courteous words or else hard knocks are his only language."
♥ "You see, said Aslan. "They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out."
♥ "But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done for him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious one, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek."
♥ About half an hour later - or it might have been half a hundred years later, for time there is not like time here - Lucy stood with her dear friend, her oldest Narnian friend, the Faun Tumnus, looking down over the wall of that garden, and seeing all Narnia spread out below. But when you looked down you found that this hill was much higher than you had thought: it sank down with shining cliffs, thousands of feet below them and trees in that lower world looked no bigger than grains of green salt. Then she turned inward again and stood with her back to the wall and looked at the garden.
"I see," she said at last, thoughtfully. "I see now. This garden is like the stable. It is far bigger inside than it was outside."
"Of course, Daughter of Eve," said the Faun. "The further up and the further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside."
Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden but whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains. But they were not strange: she knew them all.
"I see," she said. "This is still Narnia, and more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the stable door! I see... world within world, Narnia within Narnia..."
"Yes," said Mr. Tumnus, "like an onion: except that as you continue to go in and in, each circle is larger than the last."
♥ And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. 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 forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.