Book Review: “The Horse and His Boy”

“The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia #3)” by C. S. Lewis

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy, Classic

Other Chronicles of Narnia books

Summary from Goodreads:

Shasta is a young boy living in Calormene with a cruel man who claims to be his father. One night he overhears his “father” offering to sell him as a slave, so Shasta makes a break and sets out for the North. He meets Bree, a talking horse who becomes his companion. On their way they encounter Aravis, a high-born girl escaping an arranged marriage, and her talking horse. Despite their differences the children and horses learn to work together to reach the freedom they long for. In the meantime, they uncover a Calormene plot to conquer Narnia.

Review

I’m finding The Chronicles of Narnia a bit difficult to totally get into. Series are always a bit funky when you deal with different characters for each book. The Horse and His Boy is no different. Of the 3 Narnia books I’ve read so far, this is the one that’s the most out there. It’s partly because the book doesn’t actually take place in Narnia and it has a different vibe to it. It doesn’t have the same charm and loveliness that The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe have which is a shame.

I did think it was an interesting turn to have the book not take place in Narnia. I was under the impression that Narnia was the only place in this ‘other world’ but to find out that it’s not was really cool. Unfortunately that opens a whole mess of other questions from me because I want to know everything. None of those questions were answered though.

I’m hesitate to judge the book too harshly until I see everything come together. Maybe part of the problem is the order I’m reading the series in? I have faith in Lewis though.

The bottom line? Eh, not my favorite of the Narnia books so far.

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Horse and His Boy”

  1. It’s not my favorite of the Narnia books either. Something about it never fit with the other books (like you mentioned, probably because it didn’t take place in Narnia) and it’s been so long since I’ve read the series that this book is sort of vague for me. I was hoping to read these books again this year but haven’t gotten to them yet.

  2. This one was my favorite out of the entire series, but I’m pretty much alone on that opinion. Most people tend to prefer The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I think that part of the reason why this one appealed to me was that it had a darker tone and focused on characters who had rougher lives than the kids in the other stories. In most of the other books, it’s people from our world entering Narnia and having adventures. In this one, everything that the characters go through seems more real because they are within the confines of their own world.

  3. Oh, wow, reading this third. Huh. I read them in publication order, which I still think is better, and this one has come to be my favorite. It has some awkward racial issues, I acknowledge, but it also has lots of hilarious and/or lovely bits. Lazaraleen is maybe my favorite thing in the whole series.

  4. I am having a hard time getting into rereading these books, too. And this one was such a struggle for me to get through. It’s not that I disliked it, I just… didn’t care. And I’ve kind of stopped my Narnia rereading project, but thanks to your reminder, I’m going to get back on it soon.

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