A wild gallop for freedom.
Narnia…where horses talk…where treachery is brewing…where destiny awaits. On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.
This is the other book that has contention over the order. Even though it’s only been a couple days I was already confusing myself when I thought I had started reviewing them out of order and had to go and check. The fact that different publishers have different orders makes it worse, we need a universal agreement on what it should be. Personally I like this order better, but it was because this is the order I first read them in so I don’t know whether that makes me lean towards this set other than the fact it’s the way I know. It really should not be an issue and I am a little annoyed these stories can be interchangeable. There is actually a reason why I like this book being in the third place instead of fifth is because the content of this story is referred to in the fourth book The Silver Chair and it was good to understand the reference. If you have an entire book explaining events and circumstances that refer to a minor mention in a previous book it looks odd. This way we are given the story and we see how the legend has lived on later on. To add to this confusion, there is actually a chronological order that keeps it in a timeline of the events rather than the published order; I think I liked it better before I knew any of these issues to be honest, it does your head it.
Either way, I rather liked this book. Because so much of this series refers to the sainted Pevensie children, any time they vary away from them it is a pleasure. They are still there in part of course, but they are not the major focus. This story is set during the reign of the four siblings that we brush over in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and explores the countries Calormen and Archenland which apparently are neighboring lands south of Narnia. What was great about this book was the fact we got to see a greater part of the world, and the fact it was just outside Narnia meant we were shown that it wasn’t the only land, nor was it the only one with Kings and political issues or war.
Initially we follow a young boy called Shasta who runs away with a horse, Bree, but soon they join another pair who are also journeying to Narnia. In the beginning we follow the travels of the group as they head through the land and through towns as they head north. There are developments in the story as Shasta is victim of mistaken identity , and it is through this we get to see the Narnian connection and the first references to the Pevensie Royals. Since the Wardrobe book brushed over their reign it is good that we actually get to read about some of the events that happened during those years. Considering they are talked about for years after the fact, and essentially becoming legends it was a bit unfair that we only got to see a few of their achievements. I don’t really want to talk more about the plot because I think it is better read than have it explained to you. Lewis pretty much explains the journey through these two lands and the adventures the group encounters as they try and reach their destination. There are battles, politics, and surprisingly a bit of mystery and confusion that make you guess where it could lead. It was a great little story that is rather sweet. If you think about it The Horse and His Boy really could not be in the series because aside from the reference later on there are no real events that impact directly on the future books, but I’m glad it is in the series, you get rather attached to Shasta as you go along.