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21 December 2007 @ 07:26 am
THE HORSE AND HIS BOY by C.S. Lewis (3.5 stars)  
THE HORSE AND HIS BOY, the 3rd book in C.S. Lewis' THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series and the 5th one published, carries on the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy in a roundabout manner, as the four of them rule on Narnia's throne in the great castle at Cair Paravel.

This story centers around a boy named Shasta, an orphan boy raised by a Calorman fisherman from the South. For his whole life, Shasta had looked to the North, up the long rising hill, and wondered what might be up beyond that rise. Deep down, he felt some part of him belonged in the North. So when a Tarkaan royalty shows up at his master's house and offers to buy Shasta into slavery, Shasta decides he must run away. With the help of a talking Narnian horse named Bree (a.k.a. Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah), he flees to the North, toward the feeling in his soul and away from the clutches of slavery.

His path converges with Aravis Tarkheena, who is running away from her forced betrothal to the ugly Grand Visier. She too has a talking Narnian horse named Hwin. Together they brave the foreboding countryside, the crowded city streets, the desert wastelands, and the war fields as they run for their freedom and fall unknowingly into secret plots for espionage and war, finally discovering who they really are through their journeys.

A Narnian novel would not be complete without an appearance of the powerful lion Aslan, and he finds his way into the story in very symbolic and physical ways. While this story pales in comparison to THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, the story of an orphaned boy learning the true identity of his sonship is filled with Christian symbolism that will refresh the hearts of readers. If nothing else, C.S. Lewis has such a way with simple storytelling that one's inner writing critic might actually go to sleep and leave him able to enjoy the purity of the story.

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ryan_fieldryan_field on December 22nd, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Okay, now I feel guilty. You've done two great reviews in a row and I haven't done anything this month for the blog where I usually do a lot of work. I'm off to review something right now. ...Have a good holiday.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on December 22nd, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
No need to feel guilty. Though, be prepared...my semester is over, and I'm finally able to read. Woot woot! The reviews will be machinegunning away here in the near future.

If you don't mind, I'd love to get a link to your blog. Feel free to post it here or email me. Either way.

Merry Christmas!