We’d rather be in Narnia.

When I was younger, I used to believe that if I found a wardrobe that was old enough and big enough and filled with enough over-sized fur coats, I just might make it to Narnia. I’m not saying I don’t still believe that, but as time passes, I realize that the best way to escape to Narnia is to pick up one of the books and get reading. C. S. Lewis was born on this day, November 29th, in 1898 which makes today a special day. Without C.S. Lewis, there would be no Narnia, and without Narnia there might not be any Artemis Fowl, His Dark Materials, Lemony Snicket, Coraline, or worse – no Harry Potter.  The Chronicles of Narnia books have inspired and/or influenced many of today’s adult and children’s fantasy authors and for good reason – they’re awesome! The Chronicles of Narnia has sold over 100 million copies in over 45 languages worldwide. If you don’t know about Narnia, then you must be living under a rock somewhere.

Okay, so we all know about Narnia, but do many people really know much about C. S. Lewis? For those of you who haven’t seen Shadowlands, here is some interesting information about the man behind Narnia. Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland. When he was four years old, his beloved dog “Jacksie” was run over by a car and from that day forth he refused to answer to any other name than Jacksie (although later he settled on Jack, which his friends and family called him for the rest of his life). He spent his childhood reading and was really fond of the Beatrix Potter (most well known for The Tale of Peter Rabbit) stories about talking animals, which probably inspired the creatures of Narnia. He was also very interested in mythology, Greek literature, and stories about nature and life in the North; all of which influenced his writing. Lewis studied at Oxford University and was wounded in WWI, but continued writing throughout his entire life. Oh, and he was close friends with J. R. R. Tolkien, who the world knows as the author of The Lord of the Rings.

Today we’re recommending a series by Aaron Redfern inspired by Tolkien that we think Lewis would have appreciated:

The Long Way (Part One)
In a move that defies all logic and likelihood, a young boy named Spiff is called upon to carry out the most important quest that has ever been undertaken. His mission drags him headlong across the face of the world, through a veritable pantheon of hardships and threats that are at once chilling and baffling. Along the way he meets dragons and madmen, and learns that the lovable and the monstrous are two sides of the same coin.
Conceived as a darkly whimsical loose retelling of the Tolkien saga,
The Long Way poses the question that high fantasy rarely cares to ask: Why?

The Forgotten Way (Part Two)
Two years after the events of The Long Way, Spiff still bears his scars both outside and in. Haunted by his memories, he is compelled to leave the peaceful existence he has known and set out on the second great journey of his life, accompanied by his friend, the Merai girl Miriel. Together they strike out, knowing only that they travel south–to the end of the world if they must.
Stories never really end.
The Forgotten Way is about what happens after the world is saved and everyone else has gone home.

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