C.S. Lewis’ sprawling Narnia series has entertained and enchanted generations of kids. But due to it being first released almost 75 years ago there have been many different editions, versions, and at some points suggested reading orders too. So if you’re excited to step through the wardrobe into the wintery magic of Narnia, then we’re here to tell you how to read the books in order and give you a brief rundown of what you can expect from the famous series.

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Although the original Chronicles of Narnia movies ended before adapting all of the books, Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Netflix adaptations of the series are set to bring the story back to the screen once again.

Is There a Correct Order to Read the Books?

This is an interesting topic among fans as there has been disputes over the reading order of C.S. Lewis’ beloved novels for decades thanks to different editions and boxsets. In this piece we’ll be suggesting the original published order which follows the order in which they were written and published. In the ’90s the books were reordered to be chronological to the events of the stories in a rather controversial move. That would eventually become the most well-known order in the US, but fans and scholars generally agree the original publishing order is the best way to experience the books. Though it’s important to note C.S. Lewis might not have agreed.

The author himself once answered this question in a letter to a young boy who was considering reading them in chronological order rather than published order as his mother suggested. “I think I agree with your order for reading the books more than with your mother’s. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn’t think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last. But I found that I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone read them.”

Seeing as he ended his letter by saying it doesn’t matter, we’re taking that as approval for us to present the classic publishing order, but if you want to try out reading the books in chronological order too we’re going to put it below our full write up of the series.

Includes 7 Books

The Chronicles of Narnia Book Set

This set also comes with an additional trivia book.

The Chronicles of Narnia Hardcover Set

Includes 7 Books

The Chronicles of Narnia Hardcover Set

Features custom book covers that depict Aslan.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Kindle Edition

The Chronicles of Narnia

Grab all 7 Kindle books in a single bundle.

How to Read the Narnia Books in Order of Release

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

The fantastical book that started it all, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows a family of young children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie who are sent away to the country during World War 2. While staying with their strange new carer Professor Digory Kirke the children find a wardrobe that allows them to enter the magical world of Narnia where the evil White Queen rules and the animal and human inhabitants await the return of the rightful leader Aslan. One of the most famous Portal Fantasy books in literature history there’s a reason that this story has captured the imaginations of so many readers of all ages throughout the years.

The first Chronicles of Narnia movie, based on this book, was released back in 2005.

2. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)

After a year away from Narnia, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy find themselves back in Narnia where they once ruled as Kings and Queens. While only 12 months have passed in the real world, in the magical Kingdom 1300 years have passed making them legendary figures. A new oppressive regime of men are in charge of Narnia and the Young Prince Caspian is desperate for the help of the royals who once ruled over its most peaceful time. Expanding the lore and world of Narnia drastically this is an adventure-filled chapter in the lives of the Pevensie children as they’re thrown into a battle for the place that means so much to them all.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was the second book to be adapted into a film within the series back in 2008.

3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

While staying with their horrible cousin Eustace, Lucy and Edmund — along with their less than enthusiastic relative — are sucked into a strange painting and into another Narnia adventure. Reunited with Caspian who is now King, the trio join the crew of the titular ship on a seafaring romp that will take readers to new regions of Narnia and reveal a shocking truth about Aslan. A coming of age for both Edmund and Lucy this is a vital addition to the Narnia canon and a resolute favorite among fans of the series on page and on screen.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was the final book to be adapted to film back in 2010.

4. The Silver Chair (1953)

Moving on from the original Pevensie children, this story focuses on a now reformed Eustace who has grown and learned immensely from his time in Narnia. When he befriends a bullied girl named Jill and takes her under his wing the two are transported to Aslan’s land where they meet the regal lion sends them on a mission to find the missing son of King Caspian.

5. The Horse and His Boy (1954)

When a young boy, Shasta, is offered up by his father as a slave he flees with a talking horse owned by his would be slaver. Together the pair venture across the mystical land of Calormen aiming to make their way back to Narnia. On their way they’re swept up in a wild case of mistaken identity that leads them into the heart of the Archenland royalty. While this is a big swing away from the original Narnia characters you can still expect to see a few familiar faces.

6. The Magician’s Nephew (1955)

This prequel novel is set in the millenia before we first visited Narnia and features expansive exploration of its creation and establishment by Aslan. The theological aspects of C.S. Lewis’ writing are at the forefront here with many biblical themes and stories adapted to the page. The author actually began writing this tale after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but it took him half a decade to finish the book, hence why it was published as the penultimate book.

7. The Last Battle (1956)

Returning to the classic Narnia timeline, the final book in the series continues the story of Jill and Eustace — albeit over 200 years since we last saw them in Narnia time — though the pair don’t arrive til later into the story. That’s because in Narnia a false idol has been presented and the descendant of King Caspian has to deal with that new wrinkle as the real Aslan decides the fate of the place he once created. Once again the theological aspects of Narnia are on full show here so if that’s something that has interested you this is a must read finale to the saga.

How to Read the Narnia Books in Chronological Order

Just in case you do want to try the books in chronological order rather than by release, here’s how that order too:

  1. The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
  3. The Horse and His Boy (1954)
  4. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
  6. The Silver Chair (1953)
  7. The Last Battle (1956)

Rosie Knight is a contributing freelancer for IGN covering everything from anime to comic books to kaiju to kids movies to horror flicks. She has over half a decade of experience in entertainment journalism with bylines at Nerdist, Den of Geek, Polygon, and more. Rosie is a published comics author who has written titles including Godzilla Rivals vs. Battra and The Haunted High-Tops. She co-hosts the weekly Crooked Media pop-culture podcast X-Ray Vision. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing Dragon Ball FighterZ or rewatching weird old horror and martial movies in her free time. She loves making comics and zines as well as collecting VHS and reading much manga as humanly possible. You can find her on social at @rosiemarx.

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