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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Redwall (Redwall #1) by Brian Jacques

The first of a prolific series

My 11 year old daughter picked up Redwall at a local bookstore and loved it so I decided to give it a try, figuring that it must be pretty solid considering that there are more than 2 dozen books in the series, including prequels and other side stories.

But, I was not captivated by the story. I did not dislike it, but the grown up in me had some questions that pestered me throughout. The storyline is fairly simple - the peaceful community of animals that lives in and around the Abbey of Redwall is under attack by an army led by an evil one-eyed rat named Cluny the Scourge. The scholars of the Abbey believe that the sword of their ancient hero, Martin the Warrior, will help in the defense and dispatch an initiate into their order (Matthias) to find that sword. The plot follows the progress of he siege and Matthias' search.

I was bothered by many things in this book that caused me to enjoy it less than my non-critical daughter.

1) Why do the creatures of the Abbey look to young Matthais to be the leader of their defense of the Abbey? Vague reasons are offered but they make no sense;
2) Scale. Badgers fight alongside mice. The badger in the book is larger than the mice, but not to the scale it would be in the real world. The scale with almost every animal is off;
3) Why are some buildings mice-sized and some buildings are seemingly built by humans? Where are those humans?

The plot itself is fairly basic and predictable - rookie hero goes off to find the secret weapon and be the hero, the plucky good guys hold off the evil enemies.Unlikely alliances offer greater strength.

My daughter may try to read the rest of the series but I will not.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Redwall by Brian Jacques.

Reviewed on December 10, 2011.

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