Another post and another map!
I always think of this as the third book in the Narnia series after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian, even though there are others that may be set earlier in the timeline. It was always my favourite and I think there are three reasons for this.
Firstly, if you’ll forgive me stating the obvious, it’s a voyage, and I’ve said before how much I like a book with a journey. The Dawn Treader is Caspian’s ship in which he set sail to find the seven lost lords of Narnia who were banished by Caspian’s evil uncle Miraz. It’s actually a rattling good adventure with all kinds of excitements along the way, from sorcerers to dragons to giant sea serpents.
Secondly it’s much less dark than the previous two books, possibly because there is no main evil character. When I think back and try to recapture the impressions of the book, its all sunlight on water, breeze singing in the rigging and waves under the bow.
Thirdly, there is Eustace, who arrives in Narnia as a spoiled brat and leaves having achieved a measure of nobility. For me the book will always be the story of his redemption, how a cowardly, bullying boy who sees the worst in everyone and everything can change for the better. It’s a nice message and one that was important to me when I was a young lad.