I know it was written as a prequel to the others, and that some feel that it doesn't really belong, but really I rather like it. The other-worldliness of Charn and the contrast between that dying land and the youth of Narnia is lovely. And it's not just for the contrast: I think I just like the world-building aspect, and the fact they can be drawn in so short a piece of book. I'd have loved to hear the tale of Charn, but I suspect it would be a very sad one. I'd have loved to see the scene of Andrew and Jadis actually having dinner together too, since I really can't quite manage to imagine it.
Uncle Andrew seems a really rather pathetic character, even at the beginning when he's scaring the children, And it's strange to suddenly look at the title and think "hang on a minute, what about Polly?" though Digory was the one who was given a difficult choice and chose wisely. Nobody was going to be really fleshed out into a very fully formed sort of figure in a such a short children's book, but I do rather like Polly.
The question now is whether to read all the others straight away or to just slot them in now and again between other things. I'll probably go for the latter. But for now I do find myself thinking a little on the idea of people shutting things they don't want to believe in out of their life. Can't help but notice that I *don't* believe in God, and it's interesting that that could be in some way my fault for deliberately shutting it out. But I've never seen any reason to fear that he might exist. And poor Andrew of course found there was no way he could be cured.