I heard Dr. Ward speak back in the summer of 2006, and I was instantly both a fan and a skeptic. His theory about the reason for seven Chronicles of Narnia is fascinating, beautiful, andso I thoughtimplausible. But since Dr. Ward was a very compelling speaker (and hes coming to speak at the school where I teach; see his tour schedule at www.planetnarnia.com ), I bought the book and am in chapter four at the moment. Wow! Im more a fan than ever, and barely a skeptic. Ive come to the conclusion (like Jim Como) that if Dr. Ward is wrong, it doesnt even matter, because his reading is completely lovely, plausible, useful, scholarly, thorough, and everything else a critics reading can be. But its more, too. It seems that he is inside of C. S. Lewiss head, thinking CSLs thoughts after him (if thats not sacrilegious!), quoting from all CSLs works as glibly and facilely as if he wrote them (or more; CSL was notoriously forgetful of his own writings, though of nobody elses), tying together disparate elements with ease and grace. His memory is prodigious, his scholarship impeccible, his writing clear and organized, his case lively and delightful. If Narnia needed any boost in popularity or any raising in the academic mind, here it is!