Redwall by Brian Jacques
I.L. 7th and up
I. Synopsis- Redwall Abbey is besieged by Cluny the Scourge and the mice and other peaceable creatures must find a way to protect themselves. Because of his signs of courage when Cluny demanded surrender, the creatures lay their hopes in the young bumbling Matthias. He learns from the aged mouse, Methuselah, that the sword of Martin the Warrior is just what the Abbey needs to get rid of Cluny the Scourge. Matthias and Methuselah start searching all over the abbey for the sword while Cluny is gathering his forces and besieging them. At last, Matthias and Methuselah find the tomb of Martin the Warrior far underground. There are instructions there as to how to find the sword. It is located at the top of the abbey on a weathervane. Matthias is determined to go up there and get it. Methuselah shows him how to get up there but while he is up there, he is captured by the fierce sparrows that live up there. During this time, there are two rats that have been “captured” and are recovering in the infirmary. They decide to leave, taking several valuables with them, yet on their way out, Methuselah sees them and tries to stop them, but he is accidentally killed when one of them swings the bag a bit too hard. In the end, to escape the sparrows, Martin has to fight with the leader, King Bullwing, himself and he nearly dies in the process. He finds out that the sword is in a quarry a bit ways away and so he goes. Along the way he meets the quarrelsome shrews who help him, at times, along the way where he must meet Asmodeus, the deadly snake. Back at the abbey, Cluny has managed to get into Redwall and take the place as his own.
II. Evaluation of Work as Literature-
Character- At first, one is taken aback that the main characters are mice, squirrels, and other such creatures, but as the book goes on, as early as the first chapter, one can recognize the various characters and personalities that live within Redwall. Even two different characters who are the same race can be completely different and the main character, Matthias, shows a great change in the way he acts and behaves because of the events that have happened, not just because the story would seem more interesting that way.
III. Personal Comments- I loved this story. Once you start reading it, you can’t put it down. Jacques paints such wonderful pictures into your heads and, even though the characters are all animals, one can feel their different personalities and can even relate to them. I think that he made them animals because it would be easier to bring the violence of war and fighting across to younger young adults.