Redwall: Book Two
Author: Brian Jacques
Published By: Firebird
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Some time ago, I was able to get my hands on the anniversary edition of Redwall, the very first novel in the series written by Brian Jacques about the creatures living in and around Redwall Abbey. I had already read a couple of his novels and was excited the read the book that started it all which, in this collector’s edition, is divided up into three mini-novels. I’ve just completed Book Two.
When we left our heroes in Book One, they were preparing for another battle with the evil rat, Cluny the Scourge and his hoard army of rats, stoats, ferrets and weasels. Cluny and his gang were headed up a tall elm looking for a way to climb across to the parapet of the Abbey in a surprise attack. Meanwhile, the warrior mouse, Matthias, with the help of a hare, had just finished rescuing the vole family from Cluny’s headquarters at the old church near the Abbey.
Book Two begins with the gatehouse-keeper and sage, Brother Methuselah warning the Abbot of the impending tree attack. The defender’s of Redwall defeat Cluny yet again, this time seriously injuring the evil rat. Cluny’s gang rush back their headquarters, tails between their legs, hoping that their leader survives his injuries…well, some of them were hoping he would survive, anyway.
Meanwhile, Matthias is helplessly lost in the forest until he happens upon a baby squirrel named Silent Sam who helps him get back to the Abbey. Matthias and Methuselah realize that they must find the sword of the great warrior and savior of Redwall Abbey, Martin, somehow knowing that finding this sword could turn the tide of the battle. However, finding the sword will not be easy as the only clues to finding it are a series of barely legible riddles hidden in various places throughout the Abbey.
Can the two mice discover the hiding place of the ancient sword of Martin the Warrior? Will Cluny survive the injuries suffered in this last attack on the Abbey and, if so, will the defenders of the Abbey be able to stop yet another attack? And if there is another attack, where will it come from? And who in the world is Asmodeus? All these questions and more are answered in Redwall: Book Two.
If I hadn’t read Brian Jacques’ novels before, I would be surprised at how enchanted I am by his writing and how engrossed I am in his tale. However, having read some of his works before, I am not surprised to discover that once I start reading, I can hardly put the book down. I finished Redwall: Book Two in one day. Such was my desire to find out what happens next that I refused to put the book down for anything so trivial as to eat or sleep. I needed to know what happens next…I needed to help solve the riddles set before Matthias. Yes, I said I needed to help, because once you start reading this novel, you are immediately transported to Redwall, becoming one of its denizens, helping the people to victory over their enemies.
Now that I’ve come this far, I can hardly turn back. Book Two answers quite a few questions, but it also puts forth quite a few more. I can’t wait to read how things are resolved in the final chapter of this novel, Redwall: Book Three!