Skip to main content

The Horse and His Boy

Featuring Bit, Age 7

Our last read aloud of 2011 is complete. We just finished The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. I had read all of the Chronicles of Narnia to Bit when she was four and she enjoyed them then. This time however she not only enjoyed this but was pulled into the story. She was vocal and opinionated about everything and really engaged with the text. It was heartwarming for me as this is my absolute favorite of the seven books.
The Story
In Narnia it is the Golden Age as the High King Peter reigns with his siblings, but to the south of Narnia in the land of Calormen, a boy named Shasta has lived a simple and harsh life with his father in a fishing hut. Everything changes on the night a powerful Tarkhan wants to buy him as a slave and it is revealed that Shasta is not from Calormen at all. With the help of the Tarkhan's war horse, a talking horse captured from Narnia named Bree, Shasta escapes and head for the north and freedom. Along the way he and Bree form an alliance with a proud young Tarkheena named Aravis and her horse Hwin, also a talking horse from Narnia. They too are escaping life in Calormen. The four end up playing an intricate role in the fate of the northern countries of Archenland and Narnia, both of which find themselves under threat from Calormen.

Bit's Thoughts
 I really like this book. It was my second time reading it. I enjoyed it much more this time and thought it was very funny. Especially the end. My favorite character is Aravis. I think she is very brave. She wants to go out all by herself. There is a character in this book named Lasaraleen who really annoyed me. She was silly and mostly cared about frilly dresses and all that. Aravis was so much better. I'm very happy that Aravis had a happy ending.

My Thoughts
Yes, this one, overlooked by many and hated by many who do actually read it, is my favorite of the series. I love how it is classic fantasy. There is a group of companions, a quest, a kingdom to save, an enemy to conquer, secrets to be uncovered, and an unknown heritage to be discovered. All the tropes of classic fantasy written before they were really tropes. This is the tightest of the plots Lewis wrote in any of the Narnia books. The story is wholly contained within this one volume. You can go into it knowing nothing of the other books and have all you need. The character arcs in this are also well done. Particularly that of Aravis, who is my favorite Narnia heroine. (I wrote about that more here.) From a Christian perspective I also appreciate the theology in this book and the way Lewis wove it into the story more than in any of the others. It is far more subtle, although still obvious, and is so layered. No matter how many times I read it I pick up on elements I missed before every time.

Bit and I won't be starting a new novel read aloud until January. There will be too many interruptions in the next couple weeks. When we do start back up we will be reading Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.


Betsy said…
How can anyone hate this book???? Totally agree: the BEST of the series. I knew we were kindred spirits as soon as I found out you agreed with me :-).
Chachic said…
You read the Narnia books to Bit when she was four? Hmm my godson is five and maybe I should give him the Narnia books for his next birthday. I got him a Roald Dahl book for Christmas.
Brandy said…
We read them to her then because she asked. She was asking for novel read alouds at the age of 3. My son is no where near ready for them yet and he is 3 and a half. It depends on the kid. I think Roald Dahl is a great choice to read to a five year old and they will be books he can read early on once he becomes a fluent reader himself.

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein

Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t


On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a