The Last Battle, C S Lewis, HarperCollins Inc, 1956, 228 pp
(Warning: Contains spoilers)
Now we come to the end of The Chronicles of Narnia and everyone goes to heaven. I see why I did not ever read the whole series as a kid. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the best, the strongest of the series. The Voyage of the Dawntreader is almost as good. Maybe I did read them all and those are the only two that stayed in my memory.
In The Last Battle, an evil ruler from Calormen tries to take over Narnia by suborning a Narnian ape named Shift. The ape is indeed shifty and shiftless. He puts forth Puzzle, a donkey dressed in a lion skin, in place of Aslan, trying to fool the public. Narnia is clearly in a decline. Even Eustace, Pole and King Tirian cannot save the day in the last battle.
When the real Aslan arrives he brings the whole world to an end and the good characters are united in eternity with Lewis telling us that life in England and Narnia was in the Shadowlands and that for us, "this is the end of all stories...only the beginning of the real story."
Well, he had to end it somehow and I suppose he and most children want the good guys to win forever. What if we could?
(The Last Battle is available in paperback on the fantasy shelves at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)