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Redwall

by Brian Jacques
Series: Redwall #
406 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Bethany

A lovely story, with violent content that is age-appropriate.

Plot

Far from the peaceable Redwall Abbey, Emperor Ublaz (or "Mad Eyes") sends his leagues of lizards to Mossflower country to claim the six lost pearls that were hidden there by the long dead Abbess: the rose coloured Pearls of Lutra.
All the while, Tansy and her friends are toiling ceaselessly against time to unearth the gems, with only the bygone Abbess's cryptic riddles as their guide, for ransom of their beloved Abbot Durral and Viola Bankvole, who were captured by the vermin crew.

Martin, Warrior of Redwall, must voyage across the oceans with his trusted comrades to find their beloved Abbot, and restore peace and justice to the Abbey.

Morality

Exemplary. The good characters are shown to be good by their attributes of love, peace and hope in each other. Even when the old Father Abbot is bound and half starved in the vermin ship, he shows absolute compassion and love toward his captors, but in a way that is realistic. When a searat throws him a bread crust, he says, "Thank you, my child."

"I ain't your child, I'm your enemy."

"I am Father Abbot, I have no enemies."

Viola Bankvole and Tansy initially have girlish sulks and squabbles with each other, but, after the journey of the book, they are both made nobler and stronger for their hardships, and amends are made.

Evil is punished, and it is made clear that there is no honour in killing, only necessity. When the killing of vermin is not necessary, it is not conducted. Good warriors have no yearning to shed blood in the book, but, if it is to save the innocent, they do display the zeal of battle.
The end of the book is perhaps the most profound and moral part.

Spiritual Content

None.

Violence

Many battles, with severe wounds as the fruit of it. Gerul the owl injures his wings, and Martin is slashed with a blade. Rats, lizards, stoats, ferrets and weasels (the villains) all kill violently, but it is all made appropriate for the age of the reader.

Drug and Alcohol Content

October Ale is drunk at the celebratory feast for their friend's return, but there is no drunkenness, not even with the villains.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Lighthearted insults such as "baggy bottomed beetle" are used, but no swear words.

Conclusion

This is a beautiful compliment to the long series of Redwall books - the pages are brimming with riddles, feasts, battles and poetry. Good and evil are clearly delineated, and whatever is seen as moral in this book would be moral to a Christian, also. It is a perfect embodiment of an “escapism” story, and the ending is as resolute and finished as any book that isn't a part of a series.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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