Thursday, May 12, 2016

ThrowBook Thursday: In Which We Begin A New Thing

Welcome to the first ever ThrowBook Thursday*! This is an idea I've been toying with for a little while. Every so often (I can't say I'll do this once a week right now, but maybe once or twice a month), I'll pull out a book that I've read before that's left some long-term echoes in my heart and mind and (re-)introduce you to it and the reasons it has stayed with me.

For this inaugural edition, I'm dusting off...

The Horse and His Boy
This is my favorite HHB cover.
Okay, it might be cheating a bit to pick my favorite Narnian Chronicle, but as I was thinking about what book I might use as the first in this series of posts, this book sprang to mind almost immediately.

For those of you unfamiliar with this book, it is different from all the rest of the Narnian book in that it does not follow the adventures of any of the Friends of Narnia (the Pevensies, their cousin Eustace and his friend Jill, and the Professor and his friend Polly). Instead, it begins with a young boy called Shasta in the land of Calormen. Shasta discovers that the horse of a passing soldier is actually a Talking Horse from Narnia, and the two decide to run away to Narnia rather than endure continued (in the case of the horse Bree) or future (in Shasta's case) slavery to the Calormen soldier. On the way, they meet a young Tarkheena called Aravis and her horse, Hwin, who is also a Talking Horse from Narnia. The four of them continue on their way and have various encounters with nobility from Narnia, Archenland, and Calormen, and the culmination of each of their character arcs is perfectly suited to them.

Shasta's encounter with Aslan is one of my favorite passages in the series, and a tremendous image of God's sovereignty and providence in the lives of His children (not to mention the universe at large). I remember being both shocked and glad that we had been given little glimpses of Aslan throughout the book when he seemed to be absent for so much of it. That revelation and the discussion in which it happens have invaded my imagination for years and I'm forever grateful to C.S. Lewis for writing it.

What book from your past has stuck with you through the years? Let me know in the comments!

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*I looked around to see if anyone else had done this, but didn't find anything quite like what I have in mind, despite the somewhat obvious nature of the pun. If you have seen anyone else do this sort of thing, please let me know so I can see how it's done.

8 comments:

  1. Continuing on the theme of horses and boys, I'd say The Black Stallion is one book that has stuck with me over the years and continues to do so. It's a simple but gorgeous tale of a beautiful, deep love between a horse and a boy and how that love strengthened each of them.

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    1. I remember reading that one around the same time as The Cay. I think The Cay stuck with me more, but I read it first so that may be why. They both have strong themes of friendship and survival.

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  2. This is such a fun concept! I look forward to more posts. I dearly love the Narnia books. I feel that A Horse and His Boy is often looked over because it's not about "them." While it's not my favorite (that would be Voyage of the Dawn Treader), I still love it and it is still part of the 7-books that influenced much of my childhood.

    Plus it has the best fantasy name in existence: Bree-Hee-Hinny-Brinny-Hooey-Ha. (And yes, I did that from memory.)

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    1. Thank you!

      I am very impressed you did that from memory. I have a hard time getting beyond the "Hinny".

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  3. The Horse & His Boy is my favorite of the series, too. I love Shasta, Bree, Aravis, Hwin, Corin - all of them. And I love what we see of the grown-up Lucy & Edmund. It also has some of my favorite quotes. (And incidentally, that cover up there matches my set! I have all except the Magician's Nephew which somehow was lost. I love the covers and the books are taped to hold them together after dozens of rereads. I wish they would publish the books with those exact covers again.)

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    1. I am supremely jealous that you have this set. This set is one of two on my wish list to track down at some point. The other is a blue set put out in the UK and related countries in which the spines form a view of Cair Paravel.

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  4. Mine are a British edition from the early 80s. My dad was Air Force and we were stationed in Italy for a few years. (I attended 1st-4th grade on a base there.) I think Dad had a TDY in England and bought the set there but i'm not sure about that. I lucked out getting the set for my birthday - it even has the alternate version of Dawn Treader that is no longer published. The best part is the picture wraps around the cover and continues on the back - https://www.pinterest.com/andrewnedelchev/my-story-with-c-s-lewis-and-j-r-r-tolkien/

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  5. I found a couple of boxed sets (I don't even remember that it came in a box, must have lost that when I lost book #1). Now I want to buy a better-shaped version, too!

    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=17197015188&searchurl=isbn%3D9780006727736%26sortby%3D17

    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=17873225790&searchurl=isbn%3D9780006727736%26sortby%3D17

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What do you think?