Title: The Horse and His Boy
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publication Date: 1954
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Series: Yes, this is book 3 in the Chronicles of Narnia, when read in Chronological order. This is book 5, when read in Publication order.
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A wild gallop for freedom. Narnia… where horses talk… where treachery is brewing… where destiny awaits. On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.
First off: I am reading these book in chronological order rather than in publication order as I think that makes more sense. Not that it really matters but just to clearify!
This was my first time reading The Horse and His Boy. I feel that this is one of the lesser known books in the series, I was certainly not familiar with the story! This story does not really take place in Narnia. The main characters Shasta and Aravis meet some castmembers from Narnia (talking animals and some well-known King’s and Queen’s!) but only are in Narnia for a few pages towards the end. The only reason I can think why C.S. Lewis included this book in his Chronicles is to shed some favourable light on Narnia because else it does not really add anything to the series.
The Horse and His Boy takes place in Calormen, a land to the South of Narnia. Two runaways meet and go off on a journey together to Narnia. I never actually understood why this book is called The Horse and His Boy because this book is just as much about Aravis, the female companion of the boy. Aravis was also a much stronger character than Shasta and she felt much better developed; Shasta was pretty much a blank canvas apart from the last three or so chapters.
The real masterminds of this novel are the horses: Bree and Hwin. They are the driving force and the only reason why they are all travelling to Narnia in the first place. I did not like Bree very much: he was very conceited and felt superior to almost everyone. This became most obvious in relationship to Hwin, the timid mare of Aravis. Hwin was smarter but almost always overruled by the arrogance of Bree.
There is nothing mayorly wrong with the book, apart from the somewhat vague reasons for their journey. There was nothing super right with it as well. I was just in the middle of the road for me. It was ok, but sofar the least of the books. I want to read more about Narnia itself and I hope to get more in the next book Prince Caspian. Therefore I gave this book 3 stars.