Books, General

The Horse and His Boy | Review

Title: The Horse and His Boy

Author: C S Lewis

Rating: 1 Star

Dates read: 09 Aug 18 – 14 Aug 18

Publication date: 06 Sep 1954

Publisher: Geoffery Bles

Genre(s): Childrens, Classic, Fantasy

Description:

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 centre of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.

I really honestly try to avoid writing really negative reviews. I try my hardest to find the positives in books I don’t enjoy as much, and strive to work out what elements were just bad for me and not bad overall. Occasionally though, that’s not possible, and the simple fact is that the book itself isn’t that good. That’s what happened with The Horse and His Boy.

I began reading The Chronicles of Narnia too late realistically to get the full enjoyment from what is a children’s series of books. There are plenty of children’s books I have enjoyed as adults, but I think this book just didn’t sit well with me as an adult. The simple fact was I forgot what I had read on one page when I turned over to read the next because the story itself wasn’t captivating.

I feel like I should have liked it. It featured talking horses, and runaways. It featured elements of travelling through new and mystical worlds and exploring new places. For whatever reason, this didn’t entertain me.

Part of me wonders if this was, in part, down to an absence of the Pevensie children. They featured in the novel in minor roles, but the story itself surrounded the four runaways, two children called Shasta and Aravis, and two horses named Bree and Hwin. I didn’t hate them, I really can’t say I found them intolerable or in any way unbearable, I just didn’t like following their stories. It was great that the whole story was set in Narnia and followed native Narnians, but I found that this fact also removed any tangible link to the story as I read it.

As ever, Aslan featured in true lion form to guide the path of the children/horses (in this case by terrifying them off the path they were on). I think my adult self finds reading about Aslan less mystical than if I was a child. The religious overtones of these books is so blindly obvious that it is somewhat distracting as someone who is not religious and doesn’t particularly enjoy reading about religious overtones that are not relevant for the story other than to draw comparisons to Christianity in the real world.

I don’t want to give up on this series, and know that it’s not just me who has reported a reading blip with this story in the context of the series. I want to finish them, as much for my reading challenges and aims, as to say that I have finished them. It’s just a shame that I feel like I am reading it somewhat for the sake of it and to complete The Chronicles of Narnia, and not for true enjoyment.

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