Salamandastron

Our rating: *****

Mara, the young badger whom Lord Urthstripe adopted, is not content with her life at Salamandastron, the great badger mountain. So she runs away with her good friend, Pikkle Ffolger, an over-enthusiastic hare. Lord Urthstripe is grieved when he learns this, but even more so when the runaways return with two vermin, a ferret and a weasel, who, unbeknownst to Mara and Pikkle, are part of the great horde of the evil weasel, Feragho the Assassin! After scouting out the mountain fortress, the vermin return to their horde to report their discoveries and begin the march to conquer Salamandastron. While all this is going on, back at Redwall, the sword of Martin the Warrior is discovered and, shortly after, stolen. Arula the mole and Samkin the squirrel set off on a quest involving many adventures to regain the sword.

I love this book very much. (And, let’s be frank about it: I have a hard time reading it without crying.). It’s a wonderful tale of hope, strength, and sorrow, bound together by friendship.

Lord Brocktree

Our rating: *****

Dorothea Duckfontein Dillworthy, or “Dotti,” as the hare maid prefers to be called, has had so many accidents that her family tells her to leave and go live at Salamandastron. On the way, she meets up with Lord Brocktree, the Badger Lord to be. Then an old hare from Salamandastron tells them that the current Badger Ruler, Lord Stonepaw is besieged by a gigantic hoard, led by a wildcat, Ungatt Trunn. Lord Brocktree, Dotti, Ruff the otter and a mole named Gurth set off to get help from King Bucko Bigbones.

This is another good one! All your favorite things about a Redwall book are here. Dotti is a hilarious character. You’ll love her antics! Great recovery from Legend of Luke. Going deep into the history of Salamandastron, Lord Brocktree is a definite winner.

Loamhedge

Our rating: ****

Martha is a young hare living at Redwall with her brother Horty. While Horty is a normal hare, who likes adventure and eating better than anything else, Martha is mild mannered and cannot walk. When one of the mice living at Redwall uncovers a book telling about a cure at the ancient abbey of Loamhedge that could make Martha walk, Horty and two of his friends, as well as two older warriors who left Redwall long ago set out for Loamhedge. Will they find the cure?

Brian Jacques’ sixteenth Redwall book is one of the better ones. The only thing I don’t completely like about this one is the only Badger Lord who uses a bow as his main weapon. I don’t think that a heroic Badger Lord should stand on the sidelines shooting arrows! Other than that, the rest of the book is great. This story answers several of the questions that are raised in Mattimeo. What happened to Loamhedge after it was destroyed? Was there only one wearat?

Outcast of Redwall

Our rating: ****

Sunflash, a young badger, is held captive by the evil ferret Swart Sixclaw. Then a kestrel named Skarlath helps him to escape. The two of them decide to stay together and help good beasts everywhere who need help. Then Sunflash is bitten by adders. While others care for him, he has a dream of Salamandastron, the mountain of the badger lords. Sunflash wakes up, knowing where he must go. Meanwhile, Swart has had a son, who is abandoned during a battle and found by the Redwall mice. All the creatures at Redwall think that the young ferret, who they have named Veil, will be evil, but one young mouse, Bryony, believes in him. Will Veil become like his father, or will he become a good beast?

Outcast of Redwall is one of the sadder books, yet there are funny parts. Enjoyable, but you may feel yourself figuring out the ending before you get to it. Don’t give up! You may be surprised.

Mariel of Redwall

Our rating: *****

Mariel is a mouse who was captured by an evil searat named Gabool, who throws her into the sea. She survives the waves, but can’t remember who she is. Eventually, Mariel remembers Gabool’s cruelty and decides to go back and make him pay for killing her father. Joined by Dandin the mouse, Tarquin the hare and Durry the hedgehog, Mariel sets off. However, all is not quiet back at Redwall, as a boatload of Gabool’s evil hoard wash up on the shores of Mossflower…

This book sets the stage for all the books to come in many ways:

  • The Abbey babes are called Dibbuns for the first time
  • The first Badger Lord to have dreams of the future
  • Hares patrol Mossflower first in this book
  • First (but definitely not the last!) time we have searats abroad on the sea

This is a must read for any Redwall fan. Also, don’t miss The Bellmaker, the sequel to Mariel of Redwall.