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The Horse and His Boy, Full-Color Collector's Edition (The Chronicles of Narnia) Paperback – August 22, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-British narrator Alex Jennings does a smashing job with C. S. Lewis' delightful classic (HarperCollins Children's, 1994), the third story in the Narnia series. The tale begins with a poor slave boy named Shasta escaping from his adopted fisherman father who plans to sell him to a brutish stranger. A dignified talking war horse named Bree helps Shasta flee. Jennings plays Shasta with refreshing gentleness-listeners get a sense of the boy's sensitivity and fear as he embarks on the adventure of his life. The talented narrator plays Bree with the right amount of dignity and haughtiness. This horse amuses with his witty observations about human behavior, and sense of equine superiority. The horse and his boy hope to travel north to Narnia, and encounter numerous adventures and strange characters, all beautifully portrayed by Jennings. The most memorable supporting characters are another escaped child, a tough girl named Aravis, and her talking mare called Hwin. Jennings brings these two adventure seekers to life with his crystal clear narration. Thanks to his skills as a storyteller, the action moves rapidly from one exciting episode to the next. Evocative music plays at the beginning and end of each side of the tape. This presentation will enchant young listeners and encourage them to read the other titles in the series. It is helpful for students to have read The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before enjoying this, but The Horse and the Boy stands alone as enthralling, self-contained entertainment.
Brian E. Wilson, Evanston Public Library, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Library Journal

This is an all-cast dramatization of the third book in Lewis's "Narnia" series. Those who have read all seven books will be better able to put this performance in context, but the uninitiated will enjoy this adventure tale in which, once again, intrepid children outwit nefarious grown-ups. Shasta is a young boy living in Calormene with a cruel man who claims to be his father. One night he overhears his "father" offering to sell him as a slave, so Shasta makes a break and sets out for the North. He meets Bree, a talking horse who becomes his companion. On their way they encounter Aravis, a high-born girl escaping an arranged marriage, and her talking horse. Despite their differences the children and horses learn to work together to reach the freedom they long for. In the meantime, they uncover a Calormene plot to conquer Narnia. The performances are energetic, and the characters easily distinguishable. This recording should not replace the book but rather should serve as an introduction to it. For family listening.ANann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: The Chronicles of Narnia (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrophy; 1st edition (August 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064409406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064409407
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (421 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on July 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Ok, before you even bother reading my review, buy the book (I'll wait here).
I hope you bought it. If you haven't, let me tell you why you should: The Horse And His Boy is an outstanding story. And that's not all-you can read it without having read any of the other Narnia books; not that you'd want to do that. All the Narnia books are wonderful.
The Horse And His Boy follows the adventures of Bree (a talking horse) and Shasta (a slave boy) who run away from their masters and journey to the magical land of Narnia. Along the way they meet a nobleman's daughter, another talking horse, a king and a queen, and a very special Lion (he's not a tame lion you know).
I love this book. I love all the Narnia books. C.S. Lewis is a great writer (now in glory). However, heed this warning: this book is only for children and those adults who are old enough to love fairy tales again. I hope that means you.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, "The Horse And His Boy" is probably my favorite. Venturing into exotic locations, with a likeable cast and a good thriller format, this is a pretty cool fantasy that gives some insights into what the cast of "Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" were doing during that time before they returned home.
Shasta is the son of a poor fisherman, and his life is pretty ordinary until a mighty Calormene (sort of a generic Mideastern civilization) Tarkaan comes to stay at his home. He overhears his father admit that he found the infant Shasta on a raft with a dead man, and the Tarkaan offers to buy him. That night, Shasta escapes with the Tarkaan's talking Narnian horse Bree, and by chance bumps into a runaway Calormene girl called Aravis, who also has a Narnia horse (Hwin).
The four plan to run away to the free land of Narnia. But they run into problems when they enter the city of Tashbaan -- the rotten son of the Tisroc (emperor) is planning to kidnap Queen Susan of Narnia and marry her whether she likes it or not. What's more, Shasta is caught up by the kings of Narnia, who think he's the prince of Archenland -- what's more, the prince looks exactly like Shasta. With the guidance of the mysterious Aslan, Shasta and Aravis must keep the Calormenes from attacking Narnia.
The later books in Lewis's series are probably a bit better than the first ones, literaturewise. This book introduces new and very interesting characters, as well as bringing back old ones like the kings and queens of Narnia, Tumnus, and Aslan, of course. The Christian subtext is probably faintest in this volume, and it's probably the least connected to the main storyline that runs through the series.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison ( on June 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
A young peasant boy (with a mysterious past) named Shasta and a talking horse named Bree escape their oppressive land to reach Narnia. They combine forces with a noble girl and her talking horse and discover a plot to conquer Narnia and they are all determined to warn Narnia. In other publications, Lewis had stated that his children's fantasies were just stories, without hidden meanings (I'll always wonder if he said that with tongue in cheek). Yet, one can easily view the lion Aslan as creator, counselor, and savior. This is much more apparent in some of the other volumes in the series. This was the fifth book published in the series and, in my opinion, should be the fifth book read (although others suggest that it be the third book read).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matt Poole on January 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Horse and His Boy" is a bit of an oddity in the Chronicles of Narnia. It is the only book in which the main characters are natives of the fantasy world of Aslan (rather than being from ours), and is set in the era glimpsed in Chapter 17 of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe".

Shasta lives in Calormen, a very Arabian Knights sort of place south of Narnia, full of beautiful palaces, dark skinned warriors, and citizens who quote their verbose poets and philosophers frequently. Shasta's lived all his life by the sea, treated cruelly by his "father" and made to do all the work. His humble life changes when a Tarkaan (something like a duke) arrives in town, riding a horse named Bree. Through an overheard conversation, Shasta discovers that his father isn't really his father, and that he comes from Narnia, a faraway northern country. Curious of his origins, he decides to run away to Narnia, and so does Bree (who is actually a talking horse, taken from Narnia when young, and forced to act tame). They meet up with runaways Hwin and her girl Tarkheena Aravis, (also headed for Narnia) and together they ride northwards, braving bustlings cities, sweltering deserts, and a wild lion that just won't leave them alone...

I struggled through this book when I was younger (fifth grade), even though I was something of a big reader. There's a lot of wordy dialogue, like the quotes of the poets, and a lot of political intrigue that a kid won't neccesarily appreciate, like the motives for Rabbadash's war and his flirtations with Queen Susan, which go on for quite a bit. I know I didn't really enjoy those parts back then, and kind of scanned over those chapters. There is much to enjoy though. I loved the landscapes.
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