‘THE HORSE AND HIS BOY’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
A Wild Gallop For Freedom
‘The Horse and His Boy’ is the third book of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis, although it was fifth book that he wrote in the series. This book is divided into 15 chapters and is a true thrilling tale.
This is a book that I knew little about when I came to reading the complete Narnia series. Many have said that it’s one of the best in the series and I greatly enjoyed reading it from Calormen to Narnia.
Unlike other Narnia tales, the story doesn’t start in our world in England. It’s all set in the world of Narnia itself as it takes place during Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy’s happy reign of Narnia in ‘LLW’.
The story starts in the desert/Arabian Nights land of Calormen. A boy named Shasta runs away with a Talking Narnia horse called Bree, after discovering that he’s not the son of the fisherman Arsheesh.
Shasta and Bree run for Narnia and the North and soon meet another horse and rider, a girl called Aravis and a mare called Hwin. The two horses and riders soon go together on the journey to Narnia.
‘The Horse and His Boy’ is a gripping tale, as it introduces the reader to a new land called Calormen, which could be considered enemy lands of Narnia. It takes a while before we end up in Narnia itself.
Calormen is a harsh country where the ruler, the Tisroc lives. The Calormens are sometimes selfish and cruel. They believe in their own god Tash and have similar traits to ones from the Arabia Nights.
The hero of this story is Shasta, a boy who is unhappy with living in Calormen until he’s given the chance to run away to Narnia. He does not realise he will be one of the luckiest people in the world.
There’s also Bree, a Talking Horse who has fought in the wars of Calormen. He wants to return to Narnia so much and be free. But sometimes Bree can be a coward before he ends as a wiser horse.
Shasta and Bree meet Aravis, a young princess who runs away from her family and life in Calormen. Aravis can be quite snobbish and pig-headed towards Shasta, but she grows to be a changed person.
Aravis is joined by a Hwin, a female mare/horse who is very gentle and kind-hearted. Hwin is the one who stopped Aravis from committing suicide and tells her of Narnia before they ride off to reach it.
The story also features an appearance of Queen Susan, King Edmund and Queen Lucy from ‘LLW’. High King Peter doesn’t appear in ‘The Horse and His Boy’, as he’s fighting some Giants in the North.
There’s also the character of Corin, who is an identical lookalike to Shasta. Shasta gets mistaken for Corin by King Edmund and Queen Susan in Tashban, Calormen before he swaps his place with Corin.
The story has Shasta and the others journeying through the harsh desert. It was engaging to read scenes where Shasta struggles in the desert land and he is among the stone-like Tombs of the King.
And of course Aslan makes an appearance in ‘The Horse and His Boy’. He is there watching over Shasta, Bree, Aravis and Hwin as they journey towards Narnia. Aslan is sometimes as a lion or a cat.
The evil Calormens attempt to make an attack on both Narnia and Archenland, when led by the rash Prince Rabadash. Rabadash soon pays the price for his rashness and ends up being pretty ridiculous.
‘The Horse and His Boy’ is a wonderful Chronicle of Narnia to read in book form. I hope that this will get made into a movie someday. It would have been great to have seen this in the Narnia film series.
‘The Horse and His Boy’ (Book) rating – 9/10
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