Redwall: Book One

Author:  Brian Jacques

Published By: Firebird

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            There I was, perusing the bargain book section at my local Stop & Shop to see what I could see when I saw it - the novel that started it all - Redwall.  I had come across the anniversary edition of the book, broken down into three parts and placed in a neat little collectors edition box.  Of course, I bought it.  After reading High Rhulain, I wanted to read more about the early adventures of Redwall Abbey.

            In Redwall: Book One, we discover that the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey have been leading a rather peaceful existence for many years.  Since the era of Martin the Warrior, Redwall has been relatively quiet with no signs of trouble or discord.  Matthias, a young novice mouse at Redwall, focuses more on the action and adventures of his hero, Martin, than on his studies at the Abbey, much to the Abbotís chagrin.

            But, as it turns out, Matthias is made for more than just novice work.  His need to fulfill the same destiny as Martin is about to be answered, for a new terror has entered the quiet little world of Redwall.  His name is Cluny the Scourge and he is the mightiest and most evil river rat known to man.  Tales of his atrocities have been told far and wide and now he has his sights set on Redwall.  Advancing with his terrible army, Scourge lays siege to the castle that so many call their home, planning on destroying its inhabitants and claiming the castle for his own home base. 

            The animals of Redwall rise to the challenge.  Led by Matthias the Mouse and a hedgehog named Constance, they put on a great show of resistance.  But when the prized inspirational picture of Martin the Warrior is stolen from the castle, will Cluny the Scourge have finally found a way to put a damper on the spirits of the citizens of Redwall?

            Redwall: Book One has a tad bit more blood and gore than one would have expected from a childrenís novel.  Despite that, the writing of Brian Jacques is captivating and the characters are incredibly interesting.  The descriptiveness of the tale puts one right in the middle of the action and the appealing quality of the characters makes one loathe to put the book down until they know their fate.  This first book in the collectorís edition of Redwall ends with quite a cliffhanger.  I canít wait to read what will happen next!


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