Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Horse and His Boy


C.S. Lewis
Chronicles of Narnia
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Geoffery Bles, 1954

The Horse and His Boy is the next book in the Chronicles of Narnia.

It opens up by introducing a new character, Sashta, a young boy found and raised by a fisherman.

One day a man offers to buy Sashta as a slave and as Sashta's "father" considers the offer, he meets the man's talking horse, Bree.  Bree explains that he is from Narnia where all the horses can speak, and offers to help Sahsta escape from Bree's owner because he would be a cruel master to his slaves.

Sashta accepts and he and Bree journey northward toward Narnia.  Along the way they encounter Aravis and Hwin, a girl and a horse also attempting to flee to Narnia.

Aravis is revealed to be an aristocrat who is fleeing from an arranged marriage and the four travel together.

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The quartet has to travel through the busy city of Tashbaan, and while there, Sashta is mistaken for a prince named Corin.  Sashta is taken to Queen Susan where we meet up with the rest of the Pevensies who have been sitting on the throne in the time between this book and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

We learn that Susan has been courted by a Calormene suitor who she wants to reject.  Sashta overhears these plans, and eventually escapes the King and Queens of Narnia when the real Prince Corin is found and returned.

Meanwhile, Aravis has been found by a fellow aristocrat who tries to help her escape Tashbaan.  While escaping, Aravis happens to overhear Queen Susan's suitor discussing an invasion of Narnia in order to seize her.  He plans on attacking as King Peter is busy battling giants elsewhere.

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Aravis, Shasta, and the horses meet up and Aravis shares what she has learned.  They begin travelling north again and are frightened by a lion (who turns out to be Aslan) into fleeing swiftly to Narnia.  Aslan's role in scaring them proves important as it allows them to outrun the Suitor's army.  

A battle ensues between the Suitor and Narnians, and eventually Edmund and Lucy return with reinforcements which turn the tide in favor of Narnia.  

The Suitor is turned into a donkey by Aslan as a punishment and a curse is placed upon him which ultimately forces him to remain peaceful.

It is then revealed that Sashta is the long-lost twin of Prince Corin and is slightly older.  Sashta becomes the heir to the throne.  Aravis and Sashta eventually get married.

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At the start of the book, I was surprised to be not in Narnia, but in a strange land in the south, quite different from what had been on display in earlier books.  For this reason I sympathized deeply with Sashta and Aravis' urge to get to Narnia--I wanted to get there too!

I think that C.S. Lewis uses this motivation to convey something about us as humans.  We are always longing for something, even if we're not quite sure what it is exactly.  

Aslan plays a big role in this story, and without his intervention Sashta and Aravis never would have outrun the army and made it to Narnia fast enough.  I think Aslan had a bit of intuition when it came to this subject, and knowing his parallel to Christ in this story, I suppose this is meant to be an instance of divine intervention.

I thought this book, like the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia, is worth the short amount of time it actually take to finish.  I wouldn't say it is my favorite in the series because I like things taking place in Narnia, like I said, and I missed being in that land for the majority of this book.

I would recommend this book, however, for it's themes and it's classic quotes.

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4 comments:

  1. LOVE IT! This one is my favorite of the books! ---Liah

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  2. This, along with the Silver Chair, is tied for my favorite of the Narnia series. Dawn Treader is a close second. :) It was very influential to me in writing my first book.

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    Replies
    1. Hm, cool! It is a short book, but it is certainly impactful.

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