October 08, 2011
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Shasta is a boy who is about to be sold into slavery. The man who has been taking care of him has decided to sell him to a passing soldier. However, to Shasta's surprise, the soldier's horse can talk. And Bree (the horse) offers to take him to freedom and the North where Narnia lies. Together they will escape to freedom. Along the way they encounter another talking horse (Hwin) and the noble girl who is riding her. They too are escaping for the North. Together they must encounter great peril in order to get there.
The characters are all rather so-so in this book. The horses both aren't the strongest of characters, and in fact, Bree is rather annoying and conceited. The humans don't have a lot of their own personality. It was also kind of sad how all the Calormen's seem to be terrible people for the most part. I know every book could use a bad guy, but a whole race?
Lewis's writing is good, but in this one it falls short of all the other books. It just isn't a good fit for the rest of the books and while it provides some history, I actually found the story kind of boring and too easy. Everything happens to the positive and coincidences and good fortune are always in the knick of time. It just doesn't seem realistic.
Definitely not my favorite, and one I only read because I feel compelled to when I have the other books of the series out. Only those who really like the series should probably read this one or risk being disappointed.
The Horse and His Boy