Genre: children’s fantasy
Length: 211 pages
Setting: mostly Calormen and Archenland (countries neighboring Narnia), during the reign of Peter, Susan, Edward, and Lucy.
Interest: It’s the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia series I’m reading aloud to Mr. Curiosity.
Summary: Shasta has always lived with Arsheesh, a poor fisherman, but Arsheesh is about to sell him to a Tarkaan (a Calormen noble). Instead, Shasta runs away with Bree, the Tarkaan’s talking Horse who was kidnapped from Narnia as a cold. They fall in with Aravis, a young Tarkeena, and Hwin, her talking Horse. They are heading to Narnia so Aravis can avoid a forced marriage. They head to the city of Tashbaan on the way to crossing the desert into Narnia. They are separated in Narnia. Shasta has an adventure with Peter, Susan, and other members of Narnia, while Aravis finds out Rabadash, the Tisroc’s son, will be leading 200 horse across the desert to conquer Archenland and capture Queen Susan for his bride. Shasta and Aravis take an alternate route across the desert and rush to warn the King of Archenland and Narnia of Rabadash’s plan. Shasta takes part in the ensuing battle.
Final thoughts: Not quite as good as the first two books in the series. The chapters are a little longer, which makes it more inconvenient when reading the book aloud. It gets pretty slow in the middle as well, but definitely picks up at the end as you worry whether or not the Shasta and Aravis will beat Rabadash to Archenland. It was kind of fun seeing some of the lands around Narnia, though, and I also liked how the book was set during the reign of Peter, Susan, Edward, and Lucy, so they are incidental characters in the story.
Title comes from: Bree convinces Shasta to run away to Narnia so Bree won’t be seen as a runaway Horse.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 12/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and an L in the Alphabet Soup Author Challenge
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