January 6, 2014

Book: Redwall by Brian Jacques

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:10 pm


This is also the start of a series, all about Redwall, a monastery populated by mice, weasel and other animals which are anthropomorphic, in the best traditions of Watership Down and Winnie the Pooh

Mathias Mouse is in the Abbey belonging to Abbot Mortimer.  He is a young mouse, yet special in his inherent lovability and chivalrousness.

Cluny the terror is coming to these parts. He is a terrible large mouse and wreaks destruction everywhere he goes.

Mathias is courageous and defends Redwall against Cluny and his hoards. Populated by Cornflower, the love interest, and other characters like a big Hare, and a Vole Family, it reads like a children’s book that it is.

Constance the badger is a fearsome defender of the RedWall.

All of Cluny’s inventiveness is no match for the intrepid defenders of the Redwall. It does not help that a prophecy has predicted that a successor to Martin the Warrior, the greatest warrior mouse of the old times will come to defend the wall and Cluny knows it. No prizes for guessing who that might be.

To demoralize the defenders, Martin’s picture, considered a talisman by all in the abbey, is stolen by Cluny.  Sela the sly fox and Cluny’s incompetent and feuding deputies complete the picture of characters in the book.

Cluny gets injured and Mathias goes in search of the sword of Martin. Sela the fox tries to be a traitor to Cluny, but he is too wily for her and she is killed for her pains.

Cluny tricks the abbey into thinking the next attack will come from a different quarter while planning a tunnel attack. This would have foiled even the cleverest defenders. Not for nothing is Cluny called the Terrible!

In the meanwhile, Warbeak, a sparrow, is held captive and Mathias takes the bird up to the top of the tower to retrieve Martin’s sword, only to fall into the clutches of mad King Sparra. He learns that his quest was futile. The sword is in the hands of the mesmerizing and evil Python Asmodeus. To add insult to injury, King Sparra confiscates the sword sheath from Mathias and imprisons him. Mathias is saved by Warbeak and her mother. Warbeak’s mother creates a diversion for the king. Mathias takes back the belt and the sheath (from King Sparra’s room) He tries to escape but is attacked by a returning King Sparra. Both he and the King fall into the pond. King Sparra is killed but Mathias miraculously escapes.

Mathias sets off in search of the Snow Owl which will tell him about Asmodeus. The rabbit ensures that he is safe by giving him a medallion ID that will make the owl realize that he is the friend of the rabbit who saved the owl’s life all that time ago. Mathias meets and befriends a shrew band on the way.

Goes in search of Asmodeus, the Poisonteeth who has the sword. Finds his lair with the shrew band in tow.

Cornflower saves the day by discovering a ladder and burning it. First she pours hot soup in the eyes of the rat who was on top.

By treachery of a mole who was trying to save his family, Cluny gains entrance to the Redwall Abby but all ends well, as is the custom in these stories.

Gingeviere cat, Snow Owl etc are other characters who populate the story and are befriended by the charm of Mathias.

Good story for kids. So it deserves a 6/10

n  Krishna


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