Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Chronicles of Narnia - The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

First published in 1954.

Narnia . . . where horses talk and hermits like company, where evil men turn into donkeys, where boys go into battle . . . and where the adventure begins.

During the Golden Age of Narnia, when Peter is High King, a boy named Shasta discovers he is not the son of Arsheesh, the Calormene fisherman, and decides to run far away to the North - to Narnia. When he is mistaken for another runaway, Shasta is led to discover who he really is and even finds his real father.

This is my favorite book in the series so far. I loved the imagery and the story that’s being told here and the will that this this weak little boy (because that’s what he really is) does have. I can picture almost an Egyptian-like feel to the world that Shasta’s in, and I really don’t think that’s unintentional.

As someone that’s as nonreligious as they come, even I picked up on the Moses in the reeds homage this story paid. I knew going in that CS Lewis had some heavy Christian themes in his Narnia series. I guess it goes right along with write what you know, right? At least he did something different with it. He was given an image to color and it looked like one that everyone else had. He just used different crayons.

I would have liked to have seen some more of Bree, though. He seemed to have a pretty big conflict towards the end of the story, with his dignity and walking back into his land a relative stranger. The story certainly hops around enough that that could have been a possibility to have in there instead of just a passing mention of what he did with his life at the very end. That part just seemed to be left hanging and, really, it was the only part that left me a little unfulfilled.

I liked the integration of the original children (well, the LWW children, anyway) into this very different tale. Being someone that’s pretty unfamiliar with The Chronicles of Narnia, I like how they’re used as sort of fishing wire to string the stories together, even at the very end of The Magician’s Nephew (although that would be only if you were even remotely familiar with LWW).

Overall, an excellent book and I can’t wait to keep plowing through the series.


prophecygirl said...

Nice review. This is my least favourite Narnia book, I just couldn't get into it.

Donna said...

Thanks! This one was definitely my favorite, with my least being either Caspian or Dawn Treader. Can't decide between the two.

Jen said...

I liked that one but my favorite was Caspien. (Susan is my favorite character so Im not enthused by Susan-less books)

Donna said...

You must have been pissed at The Last Battle then. I'll have my review for that one up soon but all I'm saying is WTF?

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