Prince Caspian

Last night I hosted my monthly book group-- ostensibly an excuse to get together and gossip and eat snacks (last night it was homemade bread with homemade cream cheese and homemade pickles!)
Kehau picked "Prince Caspian" by C.S. Lewis to present. She began describing the story and the setting-- it's been thousands of years since the white witch, and a group from outside of Narnia has moved in and taken over. All of the true Narnians have been forced into hiding while the imposters rule. And the official schools don't teach about the true history of the place-- just a sanitized and superstitious version of things. The woods and the rivers are seen as dangerous places full of maleveolent forces. And young Prince Caspian is the rightful heir of... the Narnian conquerors. But he begins learning the true story of the place-- the magic, Aslan, the talking beasts-- from a half-Narnian tutor who evidently can "pass" as human. Eventually Caspian escapes from his cruel Uncle, and sets off into the woods, even though he's one of the invaders, to find the true Narnians. When three Narnians discover him, one dwarf suggests they get rid of him-- after all, he is one of their enemy. Then, for some reason, the Narnians not only leave him alive but they make him their ruler!
And with that she was basically finished with her summary. I was riveted. What an amazing Hawaiian re-reading of the story. Public schools forbade Hawaiian language, and with it the transmission of Hawaiian culture, skills and values. The Hawaiian jungles and valleys are reputedly full of nightwalkers-- magical powerful ancient spirit-warriors who will eat you if you can't declare your lineage. But since Hawaii isn't a children's story, you will not be politely coronated king.


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