Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Horse and His Boy: Book Review

I've read this book by CS Lewis so many times, yet each time have forgotten the story so that each reading is as fresh as the first time. This is indeed the beauty of the Chronicles of Narnia. Each story can be enjoyed on its own, yet together they build up a picture of life in and around the magical world of Narnia.

This story concerns the horse, Bree, and the boy, Shashta, who has a secret identity, unbeknownst by himself. Together, they escape from cruel masters and seek to return to Narnia and the north, the free lands, where the High King Peter, King Edmund, Queens Susan and Lucy reign.

Through many twists and turns, we are introduced to the great lion, Aslan. The best part of the book has to be when Aslan reveals himself to Shashta, with an appearance like the risen Lord Jesus: 'Once more Shashta felt the warm breath of the Thing on his hand and face. "There," it said, "that is not the breath of a ghost. Tell me your sorrows."' Reminds me of when Jesus breathes on his disciples in John 20:22.

Aslan goes on to reveal that there had only been one Lion throughout Shashta's travels and experiences. He was the one who had pushed the boat ashore when Shashta was but a little boy at sea, he was the one who had protected Shashta from wild jackals, he was the one who had spurred the horses on to bring the news of attack in time, he was the cat who had comforted Shashta at the tombs. In all, over all, through all, Aslan was watching over Shashta.

This is revealed as they walk along, with Aslan on the lefthand side of the horse Shashta is riding. The next day, when Shasta returns by the same way to go towards the battle, he finds that on that side there was a steep cliff with a sheer drop, yet Aslan had been protecting him the whole time from going too near the edge.

The Chronicles of Narnia are not an allegory, like Pilgrim's Progress. Rather, they are an imagining of what things would be like if the Lord Jesus were to appear in another world, as a talking lion. When he see Aslan, we are invited to marvel at what Christ has done, is doing, and will do. The Horse and His Boy, as well as being a great story, is also a faith lift! Go and read them again!

1 comment :

  1. Thank you, This article is very helpful in truly understanding the book.

    I think people should realize that Lewis closely follwed this story with the stary of Joseph's humiliation and exaltation.