This year I will read all of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series– five of them, and will complete a goal on my 2014 Manifesto. So curl up with a cup of hot coffee, your fuzzy socks, and a blazing fire, and let’s get reading.
‘During the Golden Age of Narnia, when Peter is High King, a boy named Shasta discovers he is not the son of Arsheesh, the Calormene Fisherman, and decides to run far away to the North – to Narnia.’ The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis is the tale of how Shasta sets out on a journey to what he supposes is his homeland, and on the way discovers himself. He learns of friendship, loyalty, and humility.
The story begins with Shasta escaping from his father Arsheesh who he discovers isn’t really his father. He learns that his ‘dad’ is about to sell him to someone far worse, and so Shasta leaves with Bree- the stranger’s talking horse who is really from Narnia. Along they journey they run into Aravis and her talking horse Hwin who are also running away to Narnia. they team up and through many perils discover plots of battle and kidnap. They must race to save many lilves, and Shasta must risk life and limb to fufill his destiny and discover his true family.
This story is incredible, tying together different storylines seamlessly. Shasta meets Aslan and discovers he was there for him, interceding at moments throughout the story- and even before- to help him. The main theme of this book is the folly of pride and the wisdom of humility. Several characters exhibit pride in its different forms, and by story’s end are taught a lesson, or turned into a lesson for others.
In the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis uses an underlying Christian theme to drive the storyline. the previous theme of pride vs. humility is in accordance with James 4:6, ‘The Lord Jesus (in the form of the character Aslan) is presented as the all-powerful Sovereign who directs both the fate of nations and the hearts of individuals with equal precision.’ It also brings to mind parallel verses Matthew 23:12 and Luke 14:11, ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
I very much enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it!