The Horse and His Boy

by C. S. Lewis



Reviewed by Ruby

Shasta, a poor boy living in Calormen, dreams of traveling north, for no reason other than he wants to know what's up there. One day a rich lord comes to his father's hut and wants to buy Shasta. We learn that Shasta's father isn't really his father, but he found him in a boat as an infant.

Shasta didn't really want to be sold, but his life with his 'father' hadn't been very pleasant to begin with. He talks to the lord's horse, asking him if he is a kind master and to his surprise the horse talks back. You see he is a Talking Horse, from Narnia to the north. He tells Shasta that the lord is very cruel and they run away together hoping to get to Narnia, because Bree, the horse, sees that Shasta is Narnian also.

On the way they meet another rider. It turns out that it is another Talking Horse and a runaway princess called Aravis. Together the four of them travel north, but they must go through the capital city to do so, where Shasta is mistaken for Prince Corin of Archenland, an ally of Narnia, by the King and Queen of Narnia (who are Ed and Susan), and is taken to their guest rooms. They are down here to see if Susan wants to marry the prince of Calormen. She doesn't and Ed figures that they can't just say 'no' and leave, so they come up with a plan to sneak away by boat.

Before anything could happen the real Prince Corin comes back and switches places with Shasta without anyone knowing.  Aravis in the mean time, meets up with a friend and she discovers a plot against Narnia.  Meeting up together once again, they head for Archenland, which is closer. They must hurry to warn the King that Calormen solders are invading.

They pass into Archenland where they meet a hermit. He sends Shasta on alone, because the horses are about to collapse and Aravis was injured. Exhausted, but determined, Shasta continues and warns King Lune just in time. The King then claims that Shasta is really his son, Cor, Corin's twin that had been kidnapped as an infant and then lost.

This is my favorite of all the 'Chronicles'. I don't really know why. It wasn't written any better, but I liked the plot. Even if it was a little cliché. Maybe it was because that I actually liked the characters. Shasta was more likable than all four children put together.

Grade: B