Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The third book in The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the fifth in chronological order. It was originally published in 1952.
Lucy and Edmund Pevensie are sent to visit their obnixious cousin Eustace Scrubb. While on this trip, they chance upon a new portal to Narnia, as they are drawn—with their cousin—into a painting of the ship Dawn Treader.
Landing in the ocean, they are immediately rescued by the crew of the Dawn Treader, captained by their old friend, Prince Caspian—now known as King Caspian the Tenth. It turns out that Caspian is on a quest to find the seven lost lords who were loyal followers of his father, Caspian IX. He has vowed to search for a year and a day.
Eustace continues to behave very badly, complaining loudly about the ship, and threatening all sorts of legal action. He almost immediately gets into a fight with the valiant and honorable mouse-warrior Reepicheep, but apologizes to avoid a duel.
From this point, the novel takes place in a series of episodes, as the adventurers journey from island to island, encountering many wonderous things. In structure, it is much like the tales of Jason and the Argonauts, the Odyssey or Sindbad.
The Dawn Treader’s first stop is the Lone Islands. There, Caspian, Reepicheep, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace are taken captive by slavers. Caspian is sold to a Lord, who turns out to be one of the seven missing lords: Bern. Together, Caspian and Bern bluster their way into the palace of Gumpas, Governor of the Islands. They reestablish the dominion of Caspian over the islands, rescue their companions from the slavers, and put an end to slavery in the lands of Narnia.
After leaving the Lone Islands, a storm wrecks the Dawn Treader, and the voyagers are forced to take refuge on Dragon Island to make repairs. Eustace gets separated from the party and is transformed into a Dragon. He suffers much in his new form, but also undergoes a great deal of personal growth. In the end, just as it seems as though the Dawn Treader’s crew will have to leave him behind, Aslan appears and helps Eustace change back into a human. Their stay on the island also reveals the fate of Lord Octesian.
At sea once again, the Dawn Treader encounters a sea monster, and then continues on to an island where they discover a pool of water that transforms things to gold. A gold statue at the bottom of the pool may well be the body of one of the missing Lords.They name the island “Deathwater” and continue on their voyage.