Review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia Chronicles #5)

Slowly but surely, we are getting closer to the end of the Narnia book series: this post will be about the fifth book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, yep, that’s how the book is called.

This book begins in a different fashion, compared to the previous ones. The first difference is that the protagonists are not the same as always; this Narnia book is not about the Pevensie family. So, my idea that the world of Narnia had any connection to this particular family was discarded.

The second point is that, as the story progresses, there are very philosophical points that begin to emerge in the different discussions between the characters. Clearly the most important of all is the concept of “the country of Aslan” and, at the same time, the origin of Aslan himself, and the mention of his father, “the Emperor over the sea”. About that last point, I want you to know, absolutely nothing is said about it: “yeah, Aslan’s father is the Emperor over the sea” “Nice, let’s not talk about it ever again… not even in the next books”, “Agreed”. I think that it is clear from the very beginning of the series that Aslan is a god, since he is the one who created the land of Narnia in the first book, “the Magician’s Nephew”. He also seems to have control over the dead, but none of this is explained clearly… maybe as the series come to an end, we will understand all this. (Or maybe not…)

As I have been doing with the other books, and because the German version has amused me a lot until now, I will show you how the name of the book has been translated into several languages.

  • “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” – original title in English.
  • “La travesía del Viajero del Alba” or “La travesía del Explorador del Amanecer” – in Spanish, like usual, there are two different versions, Latin American and Spanish. The meaning is very similar to the original, even though the use words more typical to its regions.
  • “Die Reise auf der Morgenröte bzw. Ein Schiff aus Narnia“ – German, like usual, means something different: the trip in the “Dawn“ or a ship from Narnia. From what we’ve seen in previous books, this one is actually not that bad.
  • “L’Odyssée du Passeur d’Aurore” – French, same as the original.
  • “Il viaggio del veliero“ – in Italian, they just say ”the trip of the sailboat”, they didn’t care about the original name of the ship.  
  • “A Viagem do Peregrino da Alvorada / A Viagem do Caminheiro da Alvorada” – in Portuguese, just as in Spanish, two versions depending on the regions they originate from (Brazil / Portugal), they mean more or less the same as in English, the name of the ship has been changed slightly.

Final comment: This book continues to add to a larger plot, I’m sure, but it still gives no indication of how the story will end, or who the protagonists will even be. I thought the same four guys as usual, but apparently not… In that sense, it is a little frustrating, this “not knowing”. In addition, the story goes up a level, as far as the “fantasy” is concerned: read the part of the story of the dragon, it is not a spoiler, but whoever has read the book will understand what I’m saying. But, I think that in general terms it is an entertaining book to read, with adventures, and a proper ending, which is almost mystical. (Note added after finishing reading the series: that mystical touch will only be accentuated more and more in the following instalments… and when you read the final books you will understand that… ah, no spoilers!).

Book quote:One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to facts.

Keep on reading,

GG Klimt

Questions to answer in the comments:
Have you read the series of Narnia? And what about “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”? Did you like it? Do you agree with my final comments? Have you read any similar books you would recommend, for someone who would like to read more of the same genre? Please answer all these questions in the comments!

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