Lately I have been reading a number of Narnia stories, mostly general ones, but a few relationship ones. I loved the Narnia series as a child, my book The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was much loved and thumbed through. I read it as a delightful fantasy only realising in late adolescence that while C S Lewis had borrowed from many mythologies that the central tenet of his book was that Aslan was Christ. My feelings were perhaps not quite as negative as Philip Pullman, whose acclaimed fantasy series His Dark Materials was written as critical response to The Chronicles, but I do agree with J K Rowling who says of them "...although I adored them when I was a child. I got so caught up I didn't think CS Lewis was especially preachy. Reading them now I find that his subliminal message isn't very subliminal." Lewis, however, maintained that the Narnia books were not allegorical, preferring to term their Christian aspects a "supposition". Whatever intended, the Narnia stories are a delightful children's fantasy that have a number of very problematic issues when read as an adult, Lewis' treatment of Susan for a start. Some of the fan fiction tries to address some of the problems - having to deal with growing up as adult Narnian kings and queens and then suddenly being returned to childhood in war torn England with all your memories intact... horrifying when you think of it, while others just revel in the joy of being in Narnia. Hopefully you might enjoy some of the ones I rec.
Golden Age of Narnia
- Breaking the Borders by Anastigmat Bad magic goes wild after the White Witch's death. In an effort to reunite Narnia with the rest of the world, its young monarchs encounter strange allies, mysterious foes, and uncover Narnia's forgotten history. Golden Age fic. Sadly unfinished, but the end of the last chapter (there are 24) is a kind of completion in its self. A clever, fascinating story that develops the world of Narnia and show cases the 4 children/monarchs along with some of their subjects beautifully. The notes at the end of each chapter are worth reading and if you're wondering why the author keeps referring to Jack, I certainly did, Jack was CS Lewis' nickname.
- I love not man the less, but nature more by rthstewart Humans rule Narnia, but Human rules don’t really apply in Narnia. In the first year of their rule, the Pevensies find out just how different Narnia really is. Written for the 2011 Narnia Fic Exchange. Wonderful, magical world building and a thoroughly enjoyable dip into the Golden Age of Narnia.
- Passing Seasons by naminwrites “Here was once a land of joy and plenty, once torn apart by the Long Winter and now twice torn apart by those who dare call themselves saviors of Narnia.” Summer brings new challenges for the Pevensies. A lovely story that brings together all of the cultures of the countries surrounding Narnia to great effect.
- The Carpetbaggers by cofax The day after Aslan left, taking the magic with him, just about everyone else left, too. After the coronation festivities, the real work begins. During/post "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". This is less the Golden Age and very much more a stark, realistic and practical introduction to Narnia and what it means to rule a country that has been governed through fear and treachery for over a 100 years. So no romping with the Dryads here, but highly practical lessons in diplomacy, politics, strategics, developing allies, fighting... The story does not skate over some of the terrible things that took place and can sometimes be bleak and harsh yet is still a wonderful tale with heroes and villains, great OC's as well as those we know already such as Mr Tumnus plus excellent character development for all the Pevensies.
- The Palace Guard by rthstewart. I promise to never cause you harm and to protect you from all ill and danger. I give you loyalty with love, respect with fealty, and discretion with honour. I place my body, mind and heart in service to you. I swear this Guard's Oath before Aslan and in His Name, until you release me, until death takes you, or the world ends. -Guard's Oath Sworn To Narnian Monarchs. Another fascinating story by rthstewart. We see Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy very much through their subject's eyes and therefore from their perspective. I very much like the way the author has characterised the four human monarchs.
- A Flight of Fantasy by Anastigmat A stolen Calormene schematic leads to high adventure. In which 'the Most Evil and Scheming Queens', Lady Aramis and a Calormene engineer employ the Guild to build a flying machine, set the Twin Terrors and a camel on the injured (and idiotic) Peter, rescue Edmund, and generally enjoy themselves. Very funny and clever.
- Suitor by Capegio Susan's siblings react to her first suitor. A short and amusing fic, light relief in a fandom that does appear to err on the side of writing the Pevensies in a rather serious and far too saintly a manner.
- Forging a New Age is Never Easy by burntcopper If the Pevensies stayed in Narnia at the end of Prince Caspian... This story is something of a wild romp and a very different take on the Pevensies, when it say in the tags, Pevensies are scary fuckers, believe it! I absolutely loved her take on Edmund and Bacchus.
The Pevensies back in England post the Golden Age of Narnia
- The Dance by PSW. Lucy joins the Dance, and Edmund soaks up joy. This is both a a glimpse of the Golden Age and a dealing with the return to England. A delightful short story that focuses beautifully on Lucy and Edmund.
- The Shadows Feel Like Home by burntcopper In which the Pevensies trip, fall, and somehow end up in Torchwood. It's not Susan's fault she shot an alien that was trying to kill Jack Harkness. This story is the 6th in the National Service Series. I enjoyed them all but this is my favourite. It is well worth reading the much shorter (one chapter) previous stories that build up to this one. It's a crossover, but the focus is very much on the Pevensies and how the very traits that made them such excellent monarchs in Narnia are seen so very differently, and mainly negatively, in modern times. As such National Series series can be seen as a dark albeit often very funny series.
- We need to talk about Susan Pevensie by dirgewithoutmusic or here A lion told her to walk away, and she did. He forbade her magic, he forbade her her own kingdom, so she made her own.Susan Pevensie did not lose faith. She found it. A short, sharp and interesting piece that empowers Susan rather than, as I see it, degrades and devalues her as the books appear to do. Although I accept that a perception of Susan's 'fate' is coloured by your attitude towards the heavy Christian symbolism of the books. I did read Neil Gaiman's short The Problem of Susan and while interesting I found the ending quite disturbing and much prefer this story which is part of a series.