How to Read The Chronicles of Narnia Books in Order

Here is how to read The Chronicles of Narnia books in order, both in order of release / publication and also chronological order.

C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series is much beloved by children and adults alike. Yes, it’s heavy-handed with its message, but at least it has a proper conclusion, unlike some series which, even now, have been left dangling. (No, I’m not remotely bitter that it’s been 12 years since A Dance with Dragons was published.) But if you want to get into the Narnia books, where do you start? If you’re planning on picking up the C.S. Lewis fantasy novels, here’s how to read The Chronicles of Narnia Books in order.

A List of the Narnia Books in Publication Order

You probably know that The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is the first Narnia book. Maybe you’ve even read it, decided to try some Fry’s Turkish Delight on the strength of the book, and immediately regretted it.

But where do you go from there? There are seven books in the Narnia series, and the naming scheme isn’t exactly obvious. What’s wrong with 2 Wardrobe 2 Narnia? Well, here are the books in the order I think you should read them, the order C.S. Lewis wrote and published them in:

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  2. Prince Caspian
  3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  4. The Silver Chair
  5. The Horse and His Boy
  6. The Magician’s Nephew
  7. The Last Battle

If you’ve read the first book and are expecting every single novel to be about the Pevensie children, that’s not always the case. There you go; it’s that simple. Or is it?

How to Read the Narnia Books in Chronological Order

Some Narnia fans have argued that the books should be read in chronological order, not publication order. If that’s the way you want to read them, below then is the “correct” chronological order. The official C.S. Lewis website actually numbers The Magician’s Nephew (written as a prequel) as Book 1 and The Horse and His Boy as Book 3. Also, boxed sets tend to feature the books in this order:

  1. The Magician’s Nephew
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  3. The Horse and His Boy
  4. Prince Caspian
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  6. The Silver Chair
  7. The Last Battle

However, C.S. Lewis himself was very diplomatic about the whole situation. Replying to a letter from a fan, back in the 1960s, he stated, “Perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone reads them.”

Make of that what you will. I’m in favor of reading them in the order they were written, but if you want to read them chronologically, you have that option. So, if you were wondering how to read The Chronicles of Narnia books in order, that’s what you need to know.

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.