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 Horse and His Boy may be my favorite book in the Chronicles of Narnia. I love everything about it. The main characters are interesting, and their adventures to Narnia are exciting. It takes place during the time that the Pevensies ruled Narnia as Kings and Queens. What is different about this one is that it actually starts in the world of Narnia (although actually takes place outside of Narnia). There is not any children going through a wardrobe or using a ring to get there.
I remember loving this book as a kid because of the talking horses. What little girl would not love a story with talking horses in it? This book follows the adventures of the boy, Shasta, and the talking horse, Bree, as they make their way to Narnia. Along the way, they meet a girl, Aravis, and another talking horse named Hwin. I really liked Aravis because she is a strong girl character. She may very well be the strongest girl character of the whole series. Of course, there is a great deal of Christian allegory, which I think is great for the kids.
I definitely recommend reading this book and the other books in the Chronicles of Narnia. It is a fun read that I think most people will enjoy.
Swords are for fighting,