‘The Horse and His Boy’ Is Underrated, But It Shouldn’t Be

Three reasons why ‘The Horse and His Boy’ by C.S. Lewis is one of the best books in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ series.

Book Culture Classics Fantasy On This Day Recommendations Young Readers

The seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia series have sold over 100 million copies around the globe, and without a doubt have made some of the most important contributions to children’s fiction in the last seventy years. Of the seven Narnia books, the one that I believe does not get nearly enough praise is my personal favorite, The Horse and His Boy. It is one of the three Narnia books that has still never been made into a movie or a tv show adaptation, and it is one that not spoken about nearly as often as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Prince Caspian. Here are three reasons why it deserves more hype.

1. Talking Horses

Two of the main characters, Bree and Hwin, just so happen to be horses that can talk. Who doesn’t love a book with talking animals? While other books in the Narnia series also feature talking horses, in this book, the horses are both fully developed characters who are essential to the plot. Bree is the horse that belongs to the principal character, Shasta, and he is the one who sets the entire adventure into motion.

The book begins with Bree warning Shasta that he must run away from his new master, who Shasta has just discovered purchased him, since he is known to be exceedingly cruel to his slaves. The mare, Hwin, is a friend to Aravis, the female lead. Hwin and Aravis join Bree and Shasta on their journey, and they become a group of runaways fleeing from their past lives.

Narnia, The Horse and His Boy

2. Lasaraleen

If you haven’t read The Horse and His Boy yet, then you are sorely missing out on reading about one of the best side characters in the entire Narnia universe. Lasaraleen is a friend of Aravis and she aids the group of runaways in their quest. She is wealthy, superficial, and prone to hysteria and gossiping. What more could you want in a friend? Although she doesn’t understand why Aravis would want to leave the life of a Calormene noblewoman behind, she supports her in her efforts and makes sure no one gets in her way. She also has some of the best quotes of the book.

“And anyone I catch talking about this young lady will be first beaten to death and then burned alive and after that be kept on bread and water for six weeks. There.”

Narnia, The Horse and His Boy

3. Separated at Birth

Lastly, if you still needed another reason to buy and read this book immediately, it has the “twins separated at birth” trope. I won’t give any spoilers, but it does play an important part in the plot of the story. Who doesn’t love a good family reunion?

Although it was published nearly seventy years ago, on September 6th, 1954, this timeless installment in The Chronicles of Narnia series is not one you want to miss out on.

For more on the magical world of Narnia, click here.