on March 26, 2004
The comparisons between Brian Jaques' world of Redwall and Mossflower Woods and Tolkein's Middle Earth masterpieces are inevitable, as both authors create full worlds of cultures, languages and races. But there are definite advantages to the "Redwall" series, especially this first offering. Jaques writes with more precise description, and does not manage to bore the readers with endless exposition on the different creatures that the readers encounter, without sacrificing what we need to know about the rats, stoats, mice, badgers and hedgehogs.
"Redwall" is the story of a peaceful abbey in the middle of Mossflower forest until it is invaded by the menacing rat Cluny the Scourge. One young mouse inside the abbey, Matthias, begins his quest to find the sword of the legendary Martin the Warrior, the sworn protector of Redwall and its inhabitants. As the peace-loving and caring citizens of Redwall defend their land against the rat horde, Matthias heads out into the world to find the sword, encountering numerous adventures along the way. This novel is a page turner, and the 400+ pages absolutely fly by. It is easy to become engrossed in the world that Jaques has created, and to appreciate the harmony within the abbey walls and the disorder in the cuthroat rat army.
There are great adventures here, comparable to Frodo's journey to Mordor with the one ring. Perhaps this series is meant for the younger crowd, but there is plenty here to engross any fans of fantasy literature, and "Redwall" is only the tip of the iceberg, as this series has spawned a dozen or so books. Brian Jaques and his more accesible writing style make this an unmissable book for readers young or old.
on July 29, 2003
'Redwall' is an exciting adventure that never slows, never bores, and never disappoints the reader. You could say it's a simple "good vs. evil" story between the good, honorable mice of Redwall Abbey and the evil forces of Cluny the one-eyed rat, but that would be an oversimplification. It's much more, largely in part to Brian Jacques and his skillful writing.
As I was reading 'Redwall,' I realized that this book is the perfect transition between young adult and adult literature. If your child is bored with most of the books written for his level, but maybe is not quite ready for one of the heavies, 'Redwall' may be the answer. Jacques tells a very approachable story with a language that will be challenging for some younger readers, but not beyond their reach. His descriptions and characters are painted with more depth than the average young person's book, but the fun and excitement are retained. Jacques is to be applauded.
If your child enjoys fantasy stories and is not quite ready for Tolkien, 'Redwall' is the perfect transition book/series. Enjoy.
on October 15, 2002
Good triumphs over evil...that is the resounding lesson that a reader will learn in this creative, free-spirited book. Despite the fact that disgusting rats run rampant throughout Mossflower and are trying desperately to claim Redwall as their own (under the leadership of the nastiest, most evil rat of all, Cluny the Scourge), the mice and woodland creatures of the Abbey work together providing support, hard-work, humor and love to triumph. There are plenty of reviews that will delve into the plot a little more and will give you an overview of what to expect. What I'd like to explore is the difference between this and other books on the market today....
This book gives the reader a sense that, if one sets their mind to it, one can accomplish anything. Also, working closely with loved ones, having a brave heart and never doubting oneself will always make one a winner. Matthias, the mouse warrior, is the perfect role model for children and adults alike. He thinks not of himself and how he will benefit from a difficult decision, but how he can help everyone around him...even those he just met and may not be too fond of after first meeting (think of the Sparras and the Guerilla Union of Shrews). Lastly, Jacques keeps the gore and blood out of the book...he has an uncanny knack of describing the scenes (including death and defeat) without being overly descriptive of flying body parts or oozing blood.
There are so many fun and interesting characters, too. From Sam the paw-sucking squirrel to Basil Stag Hare the eccentric warrior with the insatiable appetite, you'll find yourself rooting on the side of good and having a jolly good time at it.
The language of the book is written in formal English...Jacques enchants you and you'll find yourself drooling at his descriptive writings about the food at the Abbey. He could make a pile of wet hay sound appetizing! Honestly, the reading will be slow going for younger children...not because it's boring, but because they will have to grasp his writing form. It's not written in the simplest form, which I applaud because it is educational as well as entertaining. I feel that, as children read, they will start to comprehend. His books are page-turners...and the family will be best to curl up beside the fire with this book and a kettle of popcorn. It will provide hours of fun (have your kids re-enact the scenes while you read aloud to them) and cherished family memories.
on May 28, 2002
This book was fascinating. Redwall started a new adventure with me. At first I was in the magic and Harry Potter stuff. But when I heard that Redwall was good from friends and family I gave it a try. I started on the first book Redwall because I heard if you read this you would understand the rest. This was the starting of a new adventure. Through the woods there laid an abbey, the Redwall Abbey. This is where the story begins. I liked this book because of it holding me to keep on reading. Like in the book I could picture Matthias is figure out how to get the great sword of Martin. Even if you know what is going to happen it will still surprise you at how Brian Jacques writes it and how he words it.
The book Redwall starts at one place or one person and switches to another after a page or two. For example one part there is one of the vermin sea rats in a tent and then it switches to Matthias looking for the sword and then the brothers and sisters protecting against a siege. This is a good part in this book because it lets you see what everyone is doing that moment. Something that would make it better is that if Brian Jacques would concentrate or make longer one part or one person's view of what is going on. So over all it was a great book but needed a few small touches.
on May 2, 2002
I picked this up because I was tired of all the biographies I've been reading and wanted something other then the normal fiction I've been reading. Figured I'd try it just because of the cover. Well I started reading and was struck with the fact that this wasnt a very deep or realistic book even by fantasy standards. Characters appear stunningly lucky and characters quickly change their ideas to 'like' the main few ones unrealistically, but I guess what? If you suspend you disbelief just for a little bit --- you'll find a GEM of a book. Really more of a fairytale then books like the Lord of the Rings series (which are all 5 star to me) or even the Dragonlance books I've read, but wonderful just the same. The badger and unique qualities for the good creatures just sparkle and come alive --- and all the evil characters except for Cluny have the dull backbiting habits we would classically give to 'evil' creatures. I'd say this would be a excellent book for those between 8-16 or for those that love a quick uplifting change of heart ... personally I'm looking for a Martin tapestry remake right now :)
on April 17, 2002
Redwall is a very interesting story of a young mouse named Matthias. He has always never fitted into the Order of Redwall because of his bold spirit. He soon realized that the fate of Redwall lies in his hands for Cluny the Scourge has come to Mossflower. Solving riddle after riddle he and the ancient mouse Methuselah strives to recover the abbey's only hope of survival: the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior. This leads you Matthias to leave his beloved abbey to quest for this lost sword. After suffering much he finally gains the knowledge of where the sword is but one challenge still remains, the great adder Asmodeus who guards the sword. With the help of the Guosim shrews he successfully retrieves the sword and kills the great snake. However, tragedy strikes at Redwall Abbey. Cluny the Scourge has taken Redwall! Just as he was about to kill the Father Abbot Mortimer Matthias appears. He and Cluny start a duel while the vermin horde of Cluny battles the Guosim Shrews and Sparra warriors. Cluny is killed when Matthias cuts the great Joseph Bell and crushes Cluny.
I really enjoyed this book and others in this series. The best parts, in my opinion, were probably the great battle against Cluny the Scourge and when Matthias was questing for the sword. This book offers great enjoyment and it is hard to put down once you start. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book for reading at leisure.
on April 1, 2002
This book is the first volume in a long series of books which I consider to be the best series I've ever read. It centers around the adventures of a clumsy, unsure young mouse called Matthias. He is forced to grow up abruptly with the arrival of Cluny the Scourge, a rat warlord who commands vast armies of murderous rats, ferrets, stoats, and weasels. Cluny's aim is to conquer the immense Redwall Abbey, which is Matthias's home. However, the Abbey's inhabitants are peaceful creatures, most of whom have never handled a weapon in their lives. The Abbey dwellers manage to keep Cluny at bay, but their skills are too poor to ward him off for too long. Meanwhile, Matthias has gone in search of a legendary sword that once belonged to the famous mouse warrior, Martin. He hopes to use the weapon to defeat Cluny's infamous army and save Redwall. Helped by different friends along the way, he finally discovers the sword's location, but is unprepared for the grave danger he stumbles across while searching for the sword... This book introduces the reader to Redwall, one of the best children's book series ever written. I recommend the book (and the rest of the series) strongly if one is looking for a creative plot with many twists.
on January 31, 2002
When I was in the 7th grade, I had to read Pearls of Lutra. I rebelled against the book, believing that it was the dumbest, most idiotic book ever. I thought that Brian Jacques was insane to be writing a book about animals!
Now that I am in the 9th grade, however, I LOVE Jacquesï¿½ books! I enjoy reading about celebrations, adventure, and action. Redwall Abbey reminds me so much of my village of 49 residents, which makes this book more enjoyable to read.
Mattimeo, a series to Redwall, is a fantastic fairy tale about peaceful woodlanders who live in Redwall. They are harmonious creatures who mind their own business and do not like to cause trouble; trouble always comes seeking them. Although, Redwall citizens are friendly animals, many other evil creatures do not like them, which puts the warriors of Redwall in many adventures.
In this book, a huge feast is held at Redwall. Slagar the Cruel disguises his army of rats and ferrets into jesters and clowns. He disguises himself as a magician. The creatures of Redwall enjoy company and entertainment, so they allow the evil fox enter their abbey. While every creature is celebrating, some rats poison the punch, causing all the Redwall creatures to fall into a deep sleep. When the creatures awake from their sleep, they find the band of clowns gone. Whatï¿½s worse, is their children are all missing and two of their Redwall friends are dead!
Among the missing is Mattimeo, the great warrior mouse, Matthiasï¿½ son, Sam squirrel, Tim and Tess Churchmouse, and some others. The angry parents and some of their friends go on a long search for their children. Along the way, they run into Jube, Orlando, Cheek, Log-a-log and his Guosim crew, and some others. The friends together trek south to find their children.
While the brave warriors are gone rescuing the children, the remaining Redwallers are being invaded by General Ironbeakï¿½s ravens, crows, and magpies!
Mattimeo and other books by Brian Jacques are my favorite book series! I like how Jacques describes his characters and how he has more than one event happening. Jacques not only describes what Matthias is going through, but what Slagar the Cruel is doing, how the Redwall critters fend off General Ironbeak, and what General Ironbeak feels.
My favorite characters in this book are Basil Stag Hare and Cheek, and of course the brave warriors. I like how B.S. Hare and Cheek always have a sense of humor and a generous appetite! I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys action, adventure, and comedy!
on November 30, 2001
I got this book from a garage sale (I despise the people who sold it; I never will)
I am a good reader, and am constantly looking for books. This series was recommeneded to me by a friend, but in the library it was completely checked out. That obviously meant people wanted to read it (it's not the kind for a book-report assignment), so the second I saw it I bought it. I finished it in two days (a record over my reading of Harry Potter) but read it over and over again. Then when I went on holiday I took it with me. It was one of the two english books I had with me. I read it six times.
The plot-line of this book is amazing. It doesn't lag or speed, when it's sad you cry (at least I did) and when it's happy you smile. Brian Jaques (did you know it's said Jakes?) keeps you in the palm of his hand, until the very end.
The only noticeable bad thing in this book is that the good characters are REALLY, REALLY good, and the bad ones are HORRID. Otherwise, this book is perfect.
I also recommend this book to the people who would rather play nintendo, or whatever, rather than read. This book is gripping, and has more action than any nintendo game.The descriptions are so good you don't have to strain your mind to visualise the scenes. Also, this book has many Wordmaster words -8th grade-(something that other reviewers complained about, I noticed) which I have learned partly by rereading this book.
Good luck and read this book!!!!
Also read the rest of the series, and THE GOLDEN COMPASS and SABRIEL
on November 27, 2001
My book is called Redwall. The authors name is Brian Jacques. He has wroten many books that are in the Redwall series. I would have to say that the genra of the book would be young adult- mystery. The book is about a mouse named Mathhias, and his whole goal is to find the sword of Martin the Warrior. He finds it, and succeds in saving his city, which is called Redwall. Also in the end he ends up killing Cluny the Scorage. Which is the main bad guy in the book. The book is much like the Hobbit series. With much action and many fighting sceens. So if you like the Hobbit, you would probably like Redwall, or vice versa. I loved this book and i think that most kids my age would also. If you like playing RPG's on the nintendo or watching adventurous movies and hate reading books like me. I garuntee you will still love this book. I loved the main character because he was always trying. He ws relentless always think up more ideas to find the sword or kill Cluny. I was also moved by how he accomplished all of it when he was only about my age. One of my fav. quotes in the book was when he said, "They're coming, down the road! I can see them. I can see them!" p. 48. this was when the church mouse and everyone else were waiting for the rats to come and this was one of the final battles between the two groups of rodents. When i read it i knew that this battle was going to be good, and it also left me hanging because it is right at the end of a chapter. Almost ever aspect of this book is good. It has action for some people, a little romance, and a whole lot of mystery. The only draw back of the book is that if you are to young then this book would be hard to read, or it might not be that interesting. Also if you were a little older than me it wouldn't be that interesting either. But if your my age give it a try!