Recommended for Whom?
Anyone who likes fantasy and can understand books of The Hobbit’s reading level. This was definitely my favorite book until I read LotR and is still one of my very favorite children’s books. I would encourage anyone, even adults, to read it.
- Rating: 5/5 stars
- Favorite character: Bree. He’s always been my favorite!
Shasta, a young boy living in the Arabian-like land of Calormen during the Golden Age of Narnia, learns one night that his father plans to sell him as a slave to a great Tarkaan (Calormen lord). After meeting a kidnapped talking horse from Narnia, named Bree, Shasta and the horse decide to escape slavery and go to Narnia. Early in their journey they are thrown together with Aravis, a girl running away from an arranged marriage, and her talking horse, Hwin. The four travel decide to travel together and after learning a terrible secret hurry to Narnia.
What is Good (Spoilers!)
At the beginning, Shasta is afraid of just about everything, but during his journey he becomes more courageous, and near the end risks his life several times to help others. Most of the main characters are prideful and arrogant when the book begins, but learn by the end, through some difficult lessons, to control their pride and apologize to those they have hurt.
What is Not Good
There are really no horribly negative aspects of The Horse and His Boy. One minor problem that some may have is that there are a few chapters in the middle that can be rather boring for young children as the characters travel through the desert.
Most of the characters use some form of deceit in order to escape, and when Aravis lies to her father in order to run away, one of her slaves is whipped for nothing. Shasta and Bree often steal food and clothing while traveling, but Shasta knows that it is wrong and does it anyway. However, all of this is portrayed as wrong, and the characters repent by the end of the book.
The Horse and His Boy is truly one of my favorite books. When I was younger, it was my favorite simply because of the horses (and because it took place in a fantasy world), but now, even though I’m fourteen, I still love reading it and may be in danger of memorizing every word in it from reading it so many times. 🙂 It’s clever and enjoyable to read, with some valuable lessons to learn along the way!