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The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
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Title:The Horse and His Boy
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:HarperCollins (2005), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (1954)


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English (144)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)

A boy by the name of Shasta is found as a baby and raised by Arsheesh, a Calormene fisherman. As the story begins, Shasta overhears Arsheesh agreeing to sell him to a powerful Calormene feudal nobleman, Anradin. He is relieved to discover that Arsheesh is not his real father, since there was little love between them. While Shasta awaits his new master in the stable, Bree, the nobleman's stallion, astounds Shasta by speaking to him. He is a talking horse from Narnia who was captured by the Calormenes as a foal. He tells Shasta that Anradin will treat him cruelly, and Shasta resolves to escape. The horse suggests that they escape a life of servitude by riding north together to Narnia. They meet another pair of escaping travellers, Aravis, a young Calormene aristocrat, and her talking horse, Hwin. Aravis is fleeing to avoid a forced marriage with Ahoshta, the Tisroc's grand vizier.
The four must travel through Tashbaan, the bustling capital of Calormen. There they encounter a procession of visiting Narnian royalty, who mistake Shasta for Corin, a prince of Archenland, who was separated from their group earlier that day. Unsure what to do, Shasta goes with the Narnians and overhears their plans to escape from Calormen to prevent a forced marriage of Queen Susan with the Tisroc's son, Rabadash. Shasta escapes when the real Prince Corin returns.
Meanwhile, Aravis has been spotted by her friend Lasaraleen. She asks Lasaraleen not to betray her, and to help her escape from Tashbaan. Lasaraleen cannot understand why Aravis would want to abandon the life of a Calormene noblewoman or refuse marriage with Ahoshta, but she helps Aravis escape through the palace. On the way, they hide when the Tisroc, Rabadash, and Ahoshta approach. Aravis overhears the Tisroc and Rabadash discussing the Narnians' escape. Rabadash is still determined to have Queen Susan and wants to invade Narnia to seize her. The Tisroc gives Rabadash permission to invade Archenland and Narnia while High King Peter is preoccupied battling giants to the north.
Aravis rejoins Shasta and the horses outside Tashbaan, and tells them of the plot. The four set out across the desert, and a lion (whom they later discover to be Aslan) frightens them into fleeing swiftly enough to outrun Rabadash's army. Shasta arrives in Archenland in time to warn Archenland and Narnia of the approaching Calormenes. When Rabadash and his army arrive at the castle of King Lune in Archenland, they find their prey waiting for them, and a battle ensues. There is no clear outcome until an army from Narnia, led by Edmund and Lucy, reinforces the defenders. The Calormenes are defeated, and Rabadash is captured. Anradin is among those who fall in the battle.
Rabadash rebuffs King Lune's offer of conditional release, and is transformed by Aslan into a donkey. His true form will be restored if he stands before the altar of Tash at the Autumn Feast. However, he will become a donkey permanently if he ever strays thereafter more than ten miles from the Temple of Tash. For this reason, Rabadash pursues peaceful policies when he becomes Tisroc, as he dare not risk the ten mile limit by going to war.
The victorious King Lune recognizes Shasta as Cor, the long-lost identical twin of Prince Corin and, as barely the elder of the two, the heir to the throne. He was kidnapped as a baby to counter a prophecy that he would one day save Archenland from its greatest peril, but Shasta's timely warning has fulfilled the prophecy. Aravis and Shasta live in Archenland thereafter and eventually marry. Their son, Ram, becomes the most famous king of Archenland. ( )
  bostonwendym | Jul 25, 2016 |
Shasta, a youth growing up in Calormen as the son of a poor fisherman, has always longed to know about the Northern countries. The fisherman, Arsheesh, can really tell him nothing but when a rich Tarkaan offers to buy Shasta as a slave and the boy learns he's not actually the fisherman's son he decides to run away. The Tarkaan's horse, who turns out to be a Talking Horse from Narnia, offers to teach Shasta to ride and take him away to the free lands of the North.

This is one of two of the Chronicles of Narnia to be set entirely in that world, and the only one in which the main characters are entirely of that world and only secondary characters ones you would recognize from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As such, it's not a good entry point into the series. It is, however, one of the most adventurous following Shasta and his companions - for he's soon joined by another pair of runaways - as they journey to Narnia. Sometimes when I was a child I even named it as my favorite, though with an adult's eyes I can note every trope. Despite all its shortcomings, it's still a sentimental favorite reread. ( )
  bell7 | Jun 21, 2016 |
A fun romp around the less known parts of Narnia! ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |

This time around it surrounds a young boy and his horse in a heroic type, rags to riches tale. The adventure element was high as the child tries to escape being sold to a cruel master and travels to Narnia with a talking horse, Bree. Along the way they meet a girl who is also escaping, although she's privileged and leaving for a much different reason, with her talking horse as well. Each character has their own personal reason to get to Narnia, all escaping different enemies, each with their unique character flaw to transform. It's similar to a medieval fairytale romance set in a royal time.

The characterization in this one helped make the story the success it was. While it was a good story, there was additional charm with the players. I loved the horses and their conflicting personalities, adorable things. Bree is funny and far from humble, while Hwin holds a supreme gentleness and nobility. Shasta is a very likeable hero with his morals and strength, but also his insecurities, doubts, and humorous thoughts. Aslan is present again in this one, and pretty heavily. He repeats in this book several times the same he said in others - that he would only tell the person their story and not others. There was a particularly awesome scene, almost creepy with the ending whisper, on Him answering to Shasta who He was. I really loved King Lune too, he was jolly, kind hearted and hilariously well-natured.

We get to see Lucy, Edmund and Susan again. This time they are in their King and Queen station and, while it's nice to see them in their element, it doesn't really seem like them from the other stories. Could be because it's not told from their viewpoint, or else because they are only seen as royalty here. There's a fun, short cameo with Tumnus too. Their high speech again, though, argh!

There's no great, huge villain, but a series of them - from lions, slave-owners, and invading, spoiled princes. The only time the book lagged was when Susan and Edmund debated on the best action to take while still in the Prince's town. I thought that could have been shortened a little, but this didn't take from the story much.

It may seem unrealistic to have Aslan himself in so many stories, while before it made sense because of his connection to the children and them fulfilling their prophecy. Here it ends up making sense as the end reveals this is also part of another prophecy which was foretold in years past. The scene with the boat reminds me a little of the story of Moses as a baby in the basket. The ending was a surprise and I love how CS Lewis wrote it. It finished on a sweet, charming note unlike some of the others. Maybe it held less sadness because the players were already in the world they were supposed to be in and wouldn't be leaving it.

Regarding the order of the story, this is one of those that had been exchanged with another in the Publication Versus Chronological changes. A big change too, swapping from being book five to becoming book three when republished later chronologically. Besides it being during the children's reign over Narnia, there is no difference in time that would affect series reading. Still happy I stuck with the original publish sequence. As book five, it's a delight after reading the last two to revisit the world as it was with the Kings and Queens in their prime and look back on that era to see familiar faces again.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
The most interesting, but the most troubling because of the racism against the 'dark Calormen.' ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
In the opinion of this admirer, "The Horse and His Boy" is relatively unispired. It does not glow as much as the incomparable first book of the series, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It has not as much gay satire and plain excitement as several of the others. Just possibly the Narnian fields are suffering from overcropping, and could stand lying fallow while other fields are put back into cultivation.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Chad Walsh (pay site) (Oct 17, 1954)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Georg, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammar, BirgittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helakisa, KaarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lavis, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neckenauer, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Allsburg, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To David and Douglas Gresham
First words
This is the story of an adventure that happened in Narnia and Calormen and the lands between, in the Golden Age when Peter was High King in Narnia and his brother and his two sisters were King and Queens under him.
And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do NOT combine "The Horse and his Boy" with "The Chronicles of Narnia".

Unabridged. Please do NOT combine with any abridged edition.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0020442009, Paperback)

original CS Lewis classic!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:16 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A boy and a talking horse share an adventurous and dangerous journey to Narnia to warn of invading barbarians.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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