Saturday, 12 October 2013

'''The Horse and His Boy''- Book Review

Author: C. S. Lewis
Published: 1954

Genres: Novel, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 3 out of 5


''The Horse and His Boy'' is the fifth published book in ''The Chronicles of Narnia''. It is kind of a midquel, as it takes place within the events of ''The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe''. (''The Horse and His Boy'' is set during the Golden Age of Narnia, during the rule of the High King Peter and his siblings).

Shasta is a boy who lives with a fisherman, Arsheesh. One day, he comes across a horse, owned by a guest who has come to Arsheesh. To Shasta's great surprise, the horse can talk. The horse reveals that he is from Narnia, where different kinds of beasts can talk. He had been kidnapped from Narnia, when he was young. The horse wants to go back to Narnia, and it becomes apparent that Shasta is also originally from Narnia, as his complexion is much different than that of the Calormene people. Shasta decides to run away the horse (whom he calls ''Bree'') to Narnia and the North.

On their journey, they come across a mare, Hwin, who had also been kidnapped from Narnia when she was young. Hwin's companion is a girl, Aravis. Aravis is running away to Narnia because her marriage has been fixed with a person whom she doesn't wish to marry. Shasta, Bree, Aravis, and Hwin unite and start going to Narnia together. But then they come across a dangerous plan.  Prince Rabadash of Calormen is furious because Queen Susan of Narnia has refused to marry him. The Prince makes a plan to capture Queen Susan. Shasta and his companions decide to prevent the plot and make the High King Peter and his siblings aware of the plan. Their journey is dangerous and difficult...

Compared to the earlier books in the series, ''The Horse and his Boy'' actually had less magic and also, less charm in it. I didn't really love it like I had loved the earlier books. While ''The Horse and his Boy'' is exciting and adventurous, I thought that the previous books had been more magical and engrossing. However, it was good to read about Susan, whom we hadn't met since ''Prince Caspian'', and Lucy and Edmund, who had last appeared in ''The Voyage of the Dawn Treader''. (Peter is mentioned, but never appears in this book). Susan, Lucy and Edmund make brief appearances here.

The four lead characters, Shasta, Bree, Aravis and Hwin, were really quite interesting. The characters were quite well developed, especially Shasta and Aravis. I found Lasaraleen really amusing. Prince Rabadash is the main antagonist of this novel.

The adventures, and the goal and attempt of the lead characters to try to save Narnia and Archenland from a disastrous attack, was really interesting to read. Overall, while ''The Horse and his Boy'' was certainly a really enjoyable read, I think I liked the previous books more, much more, than this one.

3 out of 5


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