We’re really galloping through the Chronicles of Narnia in our Narniathon readalong, and have now arrived at the fifth published volume, The Horse and His Boy.
Below are the usual trio of prompt questions to get you started on a discussion … should you need them! Feel free to go off at a tangent if there are different points to raise or issues you want to discuss.
As ever I look forward to a lively response to this instalment, frequently cited as readers’ least favourite – but of course you may disagree and want to put up a spirited defence!
- The Horse and His Boy has a distinctive Arabian Nights feel which some have found problematic. Has this aspect, and its cultural or racial resonances, been an issue for you, or not?
- Unlike the previous four titles, this book has the formerly young visitors to Narnia, the Pevensies, more as bit players than as protagonists. Have you found this a disappointment or did you happily adjust to the new points of view provided by Shasta, Aravis and the others?
- As a boy Lewis loved to imagine talking animals, and that love permeates all the chronicles, including here with Bree, Hwin and, of course, Aslan. How did you feel about the interplay between the young protagonists and their mounts? Did you spot the literary allusions? And how did you react to Rabadash’s punishment? (Oops, that’s more than one question … but they are related!)
Of course there’s much more that could be said other than the points these questions highlight, so feel free to mention them below. And do add links to your own reviews if you wish, here as well as elsewhere on social media using the tag Narniathon21!
My review of The Horse and His Boy has already appeared here, but as usual I’ll be posting further thoughts on it sometime in the weeks leading up to our discussion of the sixth chronicle The Magician’s Nephew, on Friday 27th May. See you again then!
As a side note, I apparently began blogging here ten years ago, which is I suppose worth recording! And this weekend I’m involved in musical festival concerts so may be late with responses, for which I apologise.