Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review: The Horse & His Boy and Prince Caspian Part I

I have been reading my way through the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis a little bit at a time. I've had a little bit more time over the winter break to read; I think I've read about three books in three weeks. Two of the books I read were "The Horse and His Boy" and "Prince Caspian", books 3 and 4 respectively.

"The Horse" was good. The main characters are two talking horses who are longing to go back to Narnia, the land of the talking animals, and where they are truly home, and two youngsters, Shasta (a boy) and Aravis (a girl) from their original land of Calormen, which is south of Narnia. The humans are running away from Calormen; Shasta to escape from the cruelty of his father and Aravis from her impending marriage to a much older man. They join up and escape to the land of Narnia. Their journey takes them across a dessert and up through mountains into Narnia, while escaping marching armies and chasing lions.

My favorite part of the book was where Aslan reveals himself as a traveling companion to Shasta. Aslan has actually been the lion that has chased them throughout the story. It seems that without a chasing lion, maybe the characters would not have moved so quickly into the safety of the promised land or perhaps they would have given up and turned around and tried to make do in the "comfort" of what they knew in Calormen.

That doesn't sound identifiable at all, does it? :)

But my favorite line is what Aslan says to Shasta when Shasta asks Aslan why he wounded Aravis, "But what for?"

"Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."

This line has really made me think about what is my business, and what is not. I'm naturally curious, alright nosy, about what God is doing in the lives of those around me. Sometimes I would like to know why God is allowing someone to go through something. Or why it seems that some people can't seem to learn a lesson and be released. But the truth is that it's NONE of my business and Christ reveals to the individual what that person needs to learn. Not to me. Never to me, unless that person comes to me directly.

The next book was "Prince Caspian" which you probably know from the recent movie. I enjoyed reading the book and thought that the film did a good job with the content.

"Prince Caspian" opens with the four Pevensies being taken back into Narnia from their current world of London. We find out later that they were summoned by Prince Caspian through Susan's horn because the Narnians needed help to win the war against a Telmarine king who had taken over Narnia as his own. (If you have neither seen the movie or read the book, I know you're confused. But I really don't want to go into the whole story. Read the books. They are very short.)

Anyways, what I loved about this book was again the encounter with Aslan and how with the coming of Aslan, nature is put right again. You see, all Creation is supposed to live in harmony with each other. In Isaiah 11 we can get a glimpse of what the world will be like when Christ returns. Starting in verse 6,

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

That’s how I picture Narnia with Aslan present. In “Prince Caspian”, Aslan has been away for a while and some beasts have turned back to their primitive ways; they have stopped talking and have turned vicious. Furthermore, the trees aren’t talking as they once were. It was when Aslan reappeared that the trees and beasts awakened to what they were really supposed to be, living in harmony with all of God’s creation.

Won’t that be beautiful? To live in such harmony with all of creation that not even snakes or scorpions will scare us!

1 comment:

D.L. White said...

Another great review! Love how you tied it in with the Isaiah passage. Oh, the beauty of a new heaven and a new earth!