Confession time, ladies: I can be a bit prejudiced sometimes. I'm being completely honest. I started reading The Horse and His Boy immediately after finishing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I very much disliked how it was not directly focused on the Pevensies. I had just met them, after all, and wasn't quite ready to accept the fact that all seven books did not revolve around these four very likeable children. So, I put the book down and formed the opinion that it was dry, boring, etc... without even finishing the first few chapters (not for nothing am I called Lizzy Bennet :P). Just two or three years ago I went back and read it, just to say I had finished it before making a cemented opinion. Well . . . *blushes profusely* I loved it. I now make sure to read a book before forming an opinion relating to its content (or at least hear a semi-detailed run-through from a friend if the book contains questionable content that I want to ascertain before beginning the volume myself).
Now that that little snippet of background is behind us, let us begin this review.
The Horse and His Boy
By C.S. Lewis
*Summary taken from the back of the book
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 fahter.
My Thoughts: You already know what my initial thoughts were relating to this incredible book, so we can focus on my emotion from the second reading. I was completely and utterly riveted by it. I couldn't put this book down. I especially liked how Lewis gave the reader a view of what it would have been like to live during the Golden Age of Narnia when the Pevensies were on the thrones at Cair Paravel. Of course, we get a teeny preview when they are chasing the White Stag in the second Narnia book, but this was really and truly placed during their rule, which I enjoyed quite a lot. There are several other things I liked about The Horse and His Boy, but it would give away major plotlines to include them in this review. All the more reason for you to go and read it right now, though!
Pros: Another marvelous allegory. The characters are very endearing and draw you in right away. Upon reading it for a second time, I found no part of the story to be exceedingly slow -- the pace was very even, going up at moments of great tension or excitement.
Cons: If we're speaking of violence, there is one scene where a girl has her back mauled by a lion. As bad as that may sound, it is really not as bloody as you would think, and I hate to even include it as a con since it plays such an essential role in the development of certain characters. Other than that, none.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I recommend this book for ages 9+
A Bit O' Reading For the Day:
" 'Child," said the Voice, 'I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.' " — The Horse and His Boy, chapter 11