Saturday, June 17, 2017

Recently Read: The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy is probably the least essential of the Narnia books (in its chronological narrative), but it's a rousing adventure nonetheless, distinct by virtue of it being from the viewpoint of someone who lives in the world of Narnia, but was not raised Narnian.

The protagonist, Shasta, has a ruthless Calormene father and steals away to Narnia on a talking horse, Bree. Bree turns out to be one of Lewis' strongest characters, a brave, haughty friend who is as flawed as any human. Along the way they combine forces with a young lady, Aravis, also escaping on a talking horse. They eventually cross paths with Aslan and the grown Pevensie children. Even old Tumnus makes a guest appearance.

For those who find satirical jabs at other cultures intolerable, The Horse and His Boy may be what's now euphemistically called problematic. Otherwise, it's a quite enjoyable and suspenseful romance.
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