The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy
This story takes place in lands south of Narnia while Narnia is under the rule of Peter, Susuan, Edmund and Lucy from "THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE," but follows new characters - Shasta a boy who runs away from the man who raised him as essentially a slave - and the Narnian horse Bree who runs away with him. On their journey they encounter another set of runaways - a girl and another Narnian horse headed for Narnia. They also discover the plot of a neighboring prince to attack Archenland (an ally and neighbor of Narnia) and Narnia, and set about to warn these provinces.
It took me a little longer to get into this story as I was longing for familiar characters, and though we do run into Edmund, Susan, Lucy and Aslan, they play only minor roles in the middle or end of the book. Despite this change in focus, I really ended up liking this book - possibly more than the lion the witch and the wardrobe. I like the expanding world that I am getting to know and, well, I like drawings and pictures in my books, so the map included is sort of nifty. The characters seem somewhat more three dimensional than the angelic children in Narnia (with the exception of Edmund's one lapse in judgement), so I did appreciate the new characters. I recommend this if you liked any other Narnia books or LOTR books or other general sci-fi-ish fairy tales.
The story of a battle in the reign of the Pevensies (which was alluded to in the second book), The Horse and His Boy hardly seems like an extension or installment of The Chronicles of Narnia . In fact the only clue I had of this book was the familiar characters (hardly) of the Pevensies and their talking beast friends. In this book, Lewis seemed to lose his audience, talking of more regal things as romance, and losing the innocence of accidental adventure that we find in its two predecessors. The non-childishness in fact, messes with the magestic mysticism that is the series. And it didn't help that I had no idea about the other lands surrounding Narnia, a leap in geography.
Though I'd hate to say it, for the first two-thirds of the novel, I anxiously anticipated the end.But the endearing parable didn't fail to disappoint.The tale of a slave boy's journey to his true reality of royalty was what kept me in. Though his adventure wasn't it, it was his encounter with Aslan and his dicovery of faith that made me read till the end.
In encourage you to read, though sluggish at the start, till the end, you will see what makes it apart of The Chronicles of Narnia .