Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this hybrid mystery/adventure, the latest Redwall saga, six beautiful pearls are hidden in Redwall Abbey. A marauding mob of corsairs seeking the jewels kidnaps the Abbot as a bargaining chip, thereby setting the plot off in two distinct directions. In one, the denizens of the Abbey, led by the young hedgehog Tansy, must solve a series of riddles to find the pearls; theirs is a fun- and food-laden search that harks back to a similar hunt in the series opener, Redwall. Chapters of this quest alternate with a more epic tale, as the warrior mouse Martin leads a small band on a great chase across the open sea to rescue the Abbot. After an intriguing meeting with "sealfolk," the rescuers snatch the Abbot off an island in a bloody-and implausible-battle with the corsairs. The triumphant return of Martin and his cohorts diminishes the importance of the hunt for the pearls, a disappointing loose end; in Redwall, Matthias puts the sword he has quested after to good use. The pearls do allow Tansy, one of a number of strong female characters in key roles, the chance to prove that she is fit to be the first Abbess-but only by throwing them away. The incomplete meshing of the two story lines, and the recycling of a plot from a previous installment, suggest that even though there is plenty of adventure left, this well-loved series may finally be running out of steam. Ages 6-up. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Sue W. Preslar
Brian Jacques' latest novel in his saga dealing with the peaceful, egalitarian society of Redwall combines humanitarian ideals with a good animal fantasy story. Six magnificent rose-colored pearls, called the Tears of All Oceans, are at the heart of the conflict since they are missing. The greed they inspire in those who pursue them leads to mayhem and death. The evil Emperor Ubaz, better known as Mad Eyes, desperately seeks to own the pearls for his crown. At Redwall, a young hedgehog maid named Tansy and her friends are determined to find the pearls to exchange for the life of Redwall's much loved Abbot Durral who has been kidnapped. This complex fantasy, with numerous subplots and hundreds of characters, shifts continually from chapter to chapter. Each fox, stoat, rat, otter, bankvole, lizard, owl and ferret's dialog is printed in various dialects, but the compelling story line and skillfully drawn characters creates a masterful coherence for the true fan of high fantasy. It is a story with great heroism on the part of many characters, but Tansy's triumph at the end assures us that good can win the struggle over evil.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The evil Emperor Ublaz of the island of Sampetra attacked Holt Lutra for six rare pink pearls known as the "Tears of all Oceans." As the ship was returning to Sampetra with the treasure, two of the crew stole the pearls and then battled one another for sole possession. The wounded survivor, Graylunk, found his way to Redwall where he was cared for by Fermald the Ancient. Fearing retaliation by Ublaz, Graylunk went off to die alone. He left the pearls with Fermald, who put each pearl in a different hiding spot and left clues to their whereabouts. When Ublaz heard about Graylunk, he sent a ship to recover the pearls. Instead, the crew kidnapped Redwall's Abbot Durral and Viola Bankvole. Martin the Warrior took a crew and sailed off to rescue them. Back at the abbey, Tansy led a small group to solve the riddles and locate the pearls in case they were needed in exchange for Viola and the Abbot. A major battle occurred, and Ublaz discovered he had more than one enemy. Readers will enjoy attempting to solve the riddles before Tansy. The humorous antics of the three Dibbuns, or young ones, counterbalance the seriousness of the battle scenes. Jacques' signature elements of the "Redwall" series are all here: well-developed animal characters, marvelous descriptions of the settings and action, a strong moral code, swashbuckling action, and mouthwatering descriptions of food. 1998 (orig.
VOYA - Mary B. McCarthy
Warring seascum, evil lizards, and a battling otter maid-'tis true, a new Redwall adventure has arrived! Grath Longfletch's family has been slain, their treasure of six pink pearls stolen. While she is nursed back to health, the corsairs who stole the Pearls of Lutra flee toward Redwall Abbey. One is killed en route, while the other is befriended by Fermal the Ancient, a somewhat odd Redwall dweller who always speaks in riddles. Several years later, Tansy the hedgehog maid discovers the skeletons of this corsair and the treasure hunt within the Abbey begins. In the midst of the hunt, Ublaz the Emperor of Sampetra learns the pearls were stolen by his corsairs and vows to recover the treasure for his own. Mutiny, sword play, and the capture of the Redwall Abbot lead the vermin and Abbey dwellers in their adventure. The author continues his successful Redwall series with this latest critter-filled adventure. Internal illustration is minimal, allowing the imagination to create visuals of the familiar characters. In the author's trademark style, the story skips from battle to treasure hunt, kitchen to corsair island, which might confuse or frustrate some readers. Each animal family is given their own distinct dialogue, admirably consistent throughout the novel, which also could provide a challenge to some readers. The characters use a series of puzzles, songs, and clues to find the pearls, only a few of which can be solved by the reader, as most rely on some small clue known only to a Redwall inhabitant. Overall, another enjoyable adventure that provides strong female characters who are heroic in both non-traditional and traditional roles. This title can stand on its own, although it's more enjoyable if the reader is familiar with the history of Redwall Abbey. Recommended, especially for libraries whose young adults have been begging for the next installment from the Mossflower wood. Rest assured, the discovery of a new otter stronghold ensures we have not read the last of these well-fed friends. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 4 UpDevoted fans of Jacques's "Redwall Tales" will snap this off the shelf without any prompting. And those readers who have not yet discovered the delights of Redwall Abbey will likely be converted by the time they have finished reading this rollicking adventure set within the abbey walls, around Mossflower Woods, and on the tropical Island of Samptera, populated by vermin corsairs; Trident-rats; and the evil Emperor Ublaz Mad Eyes, a pine martin. The Pearls of Lutra, a set of six pink pearls known as the Tears of All Oceans plundered from the Otters of Holt Lutra, have slipped through the malevolent Ublaz's paws. He sends a crew of rough Wave Brethern and creepy monitor lizards to recover them from Redwall Abbey, where they have ended up by chance. In the course of events, the beloved Abbot Durral is kidnapped, and Martin the Warrior and a group of charming, valiant, and ravenous beasts from Redwall and Mossflower sail off to save him. In the meantime, the determined hogmaid Tansy and her friends must use the riddlelike clues to recover the pearls from the six spots where they were hidden by the now-deceased Fermaid the Ancient. Although good triumphs over evil as always, readers will experience heartache and some scary moments, as well as encounter quite a bit of bloodshed along the way. A welcome addition to the Redwall canon and a good, solid recommendation for filling adventure- book assignments.Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library
Jacques (The Great Redwall Feast, 1996, etc.) has outdone himself in this ninth Redwall epic, weaving strands of a thrilling tale into a complex, persuasive whole.
Opening when hedgehog maid Tansy and squirrel child Arven find a skeleton in Mossflower wood, the story features Ublaz Mad Eyes, the evil pine marten who rules the tropical island, Sampetra, populated by a vile lot of seascum. Ublaz burns to possess the Pearls of Lutrasix rose-colored pearls of unparalleled beautystolen by his command years before and lost when their greedy captors tried to keep them for themselves. There is Grath Longfletch, intent on revenge, and kindly old Abbot Durrell, who is captured by searats and carried off to Sampetra. Deciphering elaborate clues in cryptic verse, Tansy leads the treasure hunt for the pearlshidden in Redwall Abbeyand breaks their spell forever. The fast-paced, meaty text jumps from Redwall to Sampetra to the high seas, each time leaving readers on the edge of their seats, until gradually the various branches of the story converge in a glorious climax. With several strong female characters, fewer battles, and more mysteryas well as the usual complement of humorous sidekicks and mouthwatering feaststhis is a victory for Redwall.
From the Publisher
"Devoted fans of Jacques . . . will snap this off the shelf without any prompting."(School Library Journal)