Redwall (Book 1), by Brian Jacques

Posted: February 3, 2009 in Fantasy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

RedwallI remember one Saturday morning, as I was surfing channels, I happened across a cartoon called “Redwall”. There were mice walking around on their back legs and talking as if they were human. At first I was a little unsure of what to think, but after sticking with it for the entire half hour, I found myself enjoying what I saw. Several weeks and episodes later I was hooked.
 
One day, while browsing a table of books at an “Animal Humane Society” rummage sale, I saw a cover with a little mouse holding a sword and shield. The name “Redwall” jumped out at me and I instantly remembered the cartoon. It was then that I realized the story was first published as a book series, and needless to say, I purchased it right away–for only a buck too. Shortly after, my collection began to expand with other titles from the series.

Story overview:

A horse drawn hay cart, out of control and filled with a band of nasty rats, ends up toppling over not far from a peace loving Church.  However, these rats are anything but peace loving, particularly the evil-one-eyed warlord, Cluny, the Scourge, and so they invade the Church and capture it, taking the residents prisoner.
 
Not far away is, “Redwall Abbey”, which is a place of prosperity and good natured animals. One of which is an awkward little mouse named Matthias.
 
Cluny realizes that the “Redwall Abbey” would be a great fortress, and so he gathers rats, ferrets, stoats, and weasels to take it over. However, the inhabitants, though uneducated in the ways of war, fight to keep the invaders from breaking through their Abbey walls. As Cluny and his gang lay siege, Matthias goes on a mission to recover a legendary weapon to use against Cluny. During his journey, Matthias creates bonds with various animals and finds himself up against many unexpected trials.
 
My thoughts:

This is a cute story. I enjoyed the characters and situations they were put in, particularly the scavenger hunt (to find the legendary sword) that takes place in the Abbey, along with the antics of Basil Stag Hare.
 
Things to consider:

I would say that this story would be good for both girls and boys around the age of eight. There are some violent scenes–much more vividly depicted in the book than in the cartoon, deaths (not in the cartoon that I remember), and a few instances of excessive drinking, but otherwise this is a nice, clean story.
 
Opportunities for discussion:
 
You could share with your children, that even though they may feel a little clumsy and unsure of themselves, God can use them for great things. Also, you can share your thoughts with them on drinking and the need to kill (not murder) in situations of war when protecting the lives of those around you.

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Comments
  1. meltormes says:

    Haven’t heard of that book…but will check it out in the nearby bookstores. Keep posting!

  2. Hi meltormes, yeah, it was an enjoyable read. Several of my family members have also come to enjoy the stories, including my 12-year-old niece. I plan on posting reviews for more books in the Redwall series.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. arvoinen says:

    Yaaay!! at last a review of redwall. I have been collecting these books for the past few years. I really enjoy the style of brian jacques.

  4. Definitely a series worth a review, and I was surprised how unheard of it was when I first discovered it.

  5. arvoinen says:

    Yeah. It’s a great series. It also introduces the values of friendship, living a good and healthy life, and helping each other. In fact, the violent parts where war and evil are fought could be no different from the world today. It was just told in a different way.

  6. I believe that most messages in fictional stories are what help us to see and better deal with things that are in the real-world. This is the great power behind fiction; it has the ability to make someone look into themselves in a way that real-life situations just can’t reach.

  7. […] the Wild (Warriors, Book 1) by Erin Hunter If you liked the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, you’re gonna love Warriors. That is, if you like cats who act like cats. Mice, rabbits, and […]

  8. […] is a slight Redwall‘ish feeling to this tale; if you like one you may like the other. For some odd reason newly […]

  9. […] 71 years old, Brian Jacques, best known for his Redwall series, passed away over the weekend. He died of a heart […]

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