Friday, March 21, 2008

Redwall by Brian Jacques

I thought for a while what to say about a book that had so much sentimental value even before I turned the first page. Those of you that know me, know I'm a single mom of a 20 year old daughter. She is a Junior in a college that is on the other side of the nation. Before I ever became a mom I made of list of many things I wanted to do with my children as well as those that I would never do. I was blessed with one child and I have been lucky enough to do everything I had listed, and then some.

One of the most important things on that list was to share my love of books with her. She is an avid reader. Before she got into more adult books, she went through the classic children books and Brian Jacques was her favorite. To this day she still has the complete Redwall series on her shelves. After much prodding I thought it was time I pickup a book in the series and see what made her love it so much.

It's a gifted person that can read a book and see it through the eyes of a child. I am not very gifted so I cannot say this was a book that I absolutely loved, but it is a book that will be unforgettable to me. The story is so very well written it brings to life all the woodland creatures of Redwall Abbey. It transports the reader to Mossflower and you become part of that group of critters fighting to save the only home they have ever known.

The story starts with an evil rat called Cluny, the Scourge, invading Mossflower with a horde of 400 rats, weasels and ferrets who are constantly getting themselves killed due to their ineptitude. Cluny decides that the Abbey would make a perfect center of operations and takes steps to take it over. What Cluny wasn't prepared for was resistance. Redwall Abbey will not fall under Cluny's attacks but they suffer great blows that weaken their morale.

A young mouse from the Abbey's order is called to test his skills as a warrior when he sets off to find the sword of the Redwall legend, Martin the Warrior (which has a book of his own). Matthias shows he is made of strong stuff in his quest for the sword, overcoming many obstacles and walking away with many loyal friends who he can call upon in the last battle.

The book is divided in sections where we see how the Abbey is being defended against the many attacks Cluny puts forth and following Matthias in his quest. At first the book was a bit on the slow side and I really had to push myself to continue reading (something about the characters being badgers, squirrels and mouses puts a damper on most stories as an adult) but after Matthias sets off on his quest, the book just picked up the rhythm and you found yourself cheering on the inhabitants of the Abbey.

I would like to have read the series in chronological order since Martin the Warrior played a significant role in the story and yet, he was long dead. The list of the correct chronological order can be found on the Redwall Abbey website.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a child and wants to give them a good solid story with characters that demonstrate courage and have strong values. I think I will eventually revisit Redwall but for now, I will personally hold out from visiting the critters of the Abbey.

Grade: B
Format: Audiobook


dre-chan said...

Read Pearls of Lutra!!! so good!!!

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