Date Published: October 1986
Book Author: Brian Jacques
Summary reviewed by:
Bachelor of Arts (BA), University Of California, Santa Barbara 2019
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Hold onto your hats and your haversacks, my dear friend, for here's a tale to curl your whiskers and twitch your ears!
"Redwall" by Brian Jacques unfolds in the tranquil and timeless Redwall Abbey, nestled deep in the heart of Mossflower Woods. 'Tis a place of peace and hearty good cheer, filled with humble, warm-hearted creatures. However, tranquility shatters like an acorn under a badger's paw when the vile rat, Cluny the Scourge, and his unholy horde lay siege to Redwall.
Caught in the turbulent torrents of treachery and turmoil, a young mouse named Matthias finds his humble life at the Abbey's gates dramatically overturned. Under the shadow of Cluny's threat, he embarks on an arduous quest to unearth the lost Sword of Martin the Warrior, the legendary weapon of a valiant mouse who's tale has passed into lore. This chronicle of courage and camaraderie brings to life the battles and braveries, the friendships and fallacies of a simple yet valiant group of woodland creatures caught up in the throes of survival.
With every whisker's twitch, every creature's footfall, Jacques paints a picture as vivid and vital as any minstrel's song. The walls of Redwall echo with whispers of heroism, treachery, courage, and hope. Join us in this medieval saga of good vs evil, of humble mice and heroic deeds, as the future of Redwall hangs in the balance, teetering like a dormouse on a daisy stem. One might say, Redwall is but an Abbey, but to us, it's a world.
Spoilers (click here to reveal spoilers)
Ah, friend, ye wish to know the tale's end, do ye? Very well, but be warned, every revelation comes with a price. As our brave young Matthias follows the cryptic clues to recover Martin the Warrior’s sword, he grows from a fumbling novice into a wise and valiant warrior. His transformation shapes the course of the battles at Redwall, turning the tide against the vile Cluny. In a climactic and heart-pounding confrontation, Matthias faces off against Cluny the Scourge. Victory is won, but not without cost, as our valiant creatures suffer losses.
The spirit of Redwall Abbey, however, is never diminished. Our heroic young mouse becomes the Abbey's champion, protector, and a beacon of hope, taking on the role of the legendary Martin. The beasts of Mossflower Woods learn that even the most humble creature can muster the courage to protect home and hearth. Peace returns to Redwall, but the memory of the siege and the bravery that won the day live on, evergreen in the hearts of those who call Redwall home.
Matthias: A young novice of Redwall, he embarks on a perilous journey to reclaim the lost Sword of Martin. His growth from a humble novice to a valiant warrior shows his courage and unwavering determination.
Cluny the Scourge: The cruel rat and the primary antagonist who launches a merciless attack on Redwall Abbey. He represents the destructive force of unmitigated evil.
Abbot Mortimer: The benevolent and wise leader of Redwall Abbey. His selfless sacrifice during the siege encapsulates his undying love for his community.
Cornflower: A brave and resourceful mouse, her love for Matthias and unwavering support is key to his transformation. She embodies the spirit of kindness and loyalty.
Courage and Heroism: Displayed through Matthias’s journey from a young novice to a brave warrior. His face-off with Cluny represents the theme of bravery in the face of overwhelming odds.
Community and Unity: Redwall Abbey’s inhabitants unite against Cluny’s horde, depicting the power of unity. Abbot Mortimer’s leadership is a testament to this theme.
Transformation: The growth of Matthias from a novice to the hero of Redwall is a primary representation of this theme. His character development is a key aspect of the story.
Good vs Evil: A classic theme played out in the struggle between the peaceful creatures of Redwall and the marauding forces of Cluny. This conflict drives the plot of the book.