Review: Redwall

Redwall, Brian JacquesIt is the Summer of the Late Rose, and every citizen of Mossflower is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Abbot of Redwall. The abbey and its surrounding wood has known only peace for centuries, since the great mouse Martin the Warrior lay down his sword.

But as the Golden Jubilee celebrations begin, something…someone terrible is drawing closer. Cluny the Scourge, the worst bilge rat to ever jump to shore, has set his sights on Redwall.

Soon it falls to Matthias, the newest of the novices, to lead the defense against Cluny. But without the sword of Martin the Warrior, what can one little mouse do?

An excellent beginning

Best Friend recommended this book a few weeks ago, and as usual I’m glad I listened to him. First in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, this book introduces us to great characters like Matthias, Constance (the badger), Cornflower, Basil, and yes, Martin the Warrior.

It’s a great story, reminiscent of “The Great Mouse Detective” with its adventure, all-animal cast, and general plot. Cluny is a truly terrible bad guy, and his repulsive behavior—and the violence of some of the battle scenes—make Redwall ideal for older children and adults.

I enjoyed seeing Matthias grow from a clumsy, uncertain mouse into the confident leader he is destined to be (plot point alert!). But I think my favorite character is Basil, a rabbit and epicurian of prodigious proportion — he’s responsible for much of the humor in the second half of the book, and I love him for it.

There are 23 books in the Redwall series. They skip around in time, some following Martin’s adventures, Matthias’, or other characters not introduced in the first book. If you’re looking for something to read as a family, look no further than Redwall.

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