Things are not quiet in the forest surrounding Redwall Abbey. Flickering lights lead travelers into unknown places where they are never heard from again. What kind of danger could be lurking in this quaint little kingdom filled with peaceful inhabitants?
Beneath the Abbey, in a cavern under the surrounding green hills, a giant raven named Korvus Skurr runs his own kingdom called Doomwyte. With an army of Wytes, made up of assorted animals, Korvus is determined to find the jewels that have been taken many years ago from the great Doomwyte statue. He is convinced that the jewels lie somewhere within the Abbey walls and will stop at nothing to get them back. His mind is further twisted by the evil serpent he wears around his crown, which feeds the raven lies that he claims come from the hideous giant fish in the cave:
"The fish was truly an impressively hideous sight. It was a wels, that fearsome giant member of the catfish family. It halted, staring up at the bird and snake, its mighty length trailing down into the icy waters. Two wide-spaced eyes, twin black beads, ever on the watch for prey, loomed close to the surface. The wide, blubber, blue-tinged lips, moving constantly, opening and closing, caused two long barbels on the upper jaw to move in concert with the four lesser ones beneath the lower lip. The monstrous fish stayed momentarily hanging there, its fins rotating slowly. Then it lept clear of the pool arching as it sped back down. A pale, plump frog, which had strayed too close, vanished into the big fish's jaws."
As these things are happening, life in Redwall Abbey becomes more frightening when some of the Dibbuns (younger children) are threatened by large carrion birds (who just happen to be part of Korvus Skurr's gang). Just in time, a warrior mountain hare known as "Laird Bosie McScutta of Bowlaynee" rescues the children and offers to provide protection in return for his meals. The dangerous thing about this is that "Bosie" has a really big appetite. Friar Skurpuls has to watch closely that the good-hearted rabbit doesn't clean out their larders. Despite his funny ways, Laird McScutta lives up to his warrior reputation by proving himself many times in the battles against the Wytes. Eventually he is even given the sword of "Martin the Warrior," which makes him a most formidable foe.
There are secret passageways, hidden doors, riddles, songs, poems, laughter, music, good times, bad times, and above all, lots of fast-paced adventure. With the added masterful drawings of David Elliot, DOOMWYTE proves to be another wonderful installment in the growing tales of Redwall.
--- Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts (email@example.com)