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Redwall (Redwall Series #1)

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Overview

It has been ten years since readers around the world discovered the amazing creatures of Mossflower Wood. Ten years since they met the wicked one-eyed rat Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned horde who vowed to conquer peace-loving Redwall Abbey.

The question in this epic first volume is resoundingly clear: What can the peace-loving mice do to defend themselves against Cluny and his army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the ...
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Overview

It has been ten years since readers around the world discovered the amazing creatures of Mossflower Wood. Ten years since they met the wicked one-eyed rat Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned horde who vowed to conquer peace-loving Redwall Abbey.

The question in this epic first volume is resoundingly clear: What can the peace-loving mice do to defend themselves against Cluny and his army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might have a chance. But the legendary weapon has long been forgotten -- except, that is, by the bumbling young apprentice Matthias, who becomes the unlikeliest of heroes.

Teeming with riddles, humor, unforgettable characters, and high bounding adventure, the Redwall epic, now in nine volumes, has become an internationally beloved classic. Here, then, illustrated by fine artist Troy Howell, is an anniversary edition of the book that started it all: Redwall.

For ages 9 and above.

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Editorial Reviews

Selma Lanes
His book is artfully structured to rivet the attention of young readers and listeners. Mr. Jacques has woven an energetic, if somewhat simple-minded, fantasy on a refreshingly old-fashioned subject: the struggle between good and evil. ''Redwall'' is both a credible and an ingratiating place, one to which many young readers will doubtless cheerfully return. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Only the lost sword of Martin the Warrior can save Redwall Abbey from the evil rat Cluny and his greedy horde. The young mouse Matthias (formerly Redwall's most awkward novice) vows to recover the legendary weapon. In the course of his quest, Matthias forges strong ties with various local animals. As much as the magic of the sword, it is the help of these new friends that enables Matthias to defeat Cluny once and for all. Jacques's clever use of detail creates an animal world as compelling as that of The Wind in the Willows. From the beginning, each of Redwall's characters is endowed with a unerringly distinct personality: there is a powerful badger named Constance; a mute squirrel named Silent Sam, who knows the forest better than anyone; and his mother Jess, a champion climber who leads a splendid rescue of a piece of the abbey's tapestry. This epic adventure contains elements of all grand quests, with heroic archetypes that will keep fans of Tolkein and King Arthur tales engaged to the final battle. Illustrations not seen by PW. All ages. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This full scale, unabridged performance is a fine salute to the tenth anniversary of the publication of Redwall (Philomel, 1986). Author Brian Jacques narrates as an outstanding British cast brings the saga to life. Charming musical accents further enhance the reading. Each character's voice is distinct, and the reading is well-paced. Young mouse Matthias' adventures as he tries to save Redwall Abbey from the evil rat Cluny will enthrall listeners. The Redwall fantasy adventure series has a rabid, international following, and this production will serve to swell the ranks of fans.C.A. Prevetti, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780091767297
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Series: Redwall Series , #1
  • Pages: 416
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.87 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian  Jacques
Brian Jacques has had many professions, including longshoreman, truck driver, and folk singer. In addition to his vast readership, Brian has earned a devoted army of listeners with his weekly radio program on BBC Merseyside. For this recording Brian himself leads a full cast of actors in bringing to life the advantures of the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey.

Biography

The drawings that open the chapters in a Redwall book may look sweet, but Brian Jacques' fantasies are not for the faint of heart. Adventure, peril, betrayal, and downright slaughter abound in these hefty novels about the creatures -- mice, hares, moles, badgers, and sparrows -- who inhabit Redwall Abbey in medieval England.

Brian Jacques has had a life nearly as exciting as that of some of his characters: After dropping out of school in his native Liverpool at the age of 15, he traveled the world as a merchant seaman, visiting ports from America to Asia. Upon returning to England, he held a wide variety of jobs, from railway fireman to boxer among them. In the 1960s, he and his two brothers formed the Liverpool Fishermen, a folksinging group. Jacques also tried his hand as a playwright, producing several stage plays -- Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, Scouse – about native Liverpudlians.

The Redwall stories, which were to earn him legions of fans, were born out of his time as a volunteer storyteller at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Jacques maintains that his detailed writing style was developed here; he was forced to be as descriptive as possible, so his audience would be able to experience his stories as if they could see. He created the first Redwall story as a gift to the children of the school, but never intended to publish it commercially. Fortunately for his many fans on both sides of the Atlantic, a friend sent his first manuscript to a publisher, and the rousing series took off in England in 1986 and in the U.S. the following year with Redwall.

Jacques takes issue with the notion that his books are "fantasy" fiction, a description that he says "smacks of swords and sorcery and dungeons and dragons. . . . I like to think of my books as old-fashioned adventures that happened ‘Once upon a time, long ago and far away.'"

The novels appeal generally to an audience of nine- to fifteen-year-olds, but have admirers both younger and older. The tales pivot on the conflict between good and evil; good invariably triumphs. Indeed, morality issues are always clear in Jacques' books: cruelty, greed, and avarice are eradicated in all forms; bravery, loyalty, and resourcefulness reap rewards aplenty. When it comes to characters, though, Jacques is less simplistic: Martin the Warrior, who through his courage and cunning rose to become the noblest hero in the land, is given to impetuousness, and the miscreant Cluny has both good and bad sides, a la Long John Silver.

For female readers, the Redwall books can be extra satisfying. His female creatures are as adventurous as the males: they don't faint into their male counterparts' arms, but explore, swashbuckle, and rescue on their own. In Mariel of Redwall (1991), the courageous girl mousechild Mariel, thrown overboard by the Gabool, leader of the evil pirate Searats, exacts her own brand of revenge.

Jacques' usually swift pace sometimes comes to a slogging halt with extraordinarily detailed descriptions of the legendary Redwall feasts, right down to the last acorn and drop of buttercup and honey cordial. But the author is redeemed by his delicate interweaving of subplots, his memorable menagerie, his rollicking sense of adventure, and his ability to transport the reader into an entirely different world, a world that, as one critic for The New York Times put it, "is both an incredible and ingratiating place, one to which readers will doubtless cheerfully return."

Good To Know

Brian Jacques wrote his books in longhand or on a manual typewriter, or, if the weather permits, outdoors.

Despite his success as an author, Jacques continued to broadcast the weekly radio show, Jakestown, that he hosted before he wrote the Redwall books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      June 15, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Date of Death:
      February 5, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      St. John’s School, Liverpool, England
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 400 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(329)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 400 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't put it down!

    Wow. People told me to read this book and I said, "Yeah, I'll get to it."<BR/>When I got to it I was amazed. It was AWESOME

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome to The Captivating World of Redwall

    "Imagine a timeless world where any young reader could travel to whenever they wished. A place which exists beneath some blue forgotten sky. A land that does not have to rely on modern-day technology..." this is a quote from Brian Jacques, on the topic of his book,"Redwall". This is a definite must-read adventure story for young readers. It is about a young clumsy mouse named Matthias, who over the course of the story learns to conquer his fears. The thing that made this book so much more enjoyable was the author's way of personifying all of the many types of animals included in the book. The main plot of the story is that a group of evil rats commanded by Cluny, their terrible leader is trying to take over Redwall Abbey, the grand home of many peaceful creatures. Some of the characters include: Methuselah, a wise old scholar that helps Matthias throughout the story; Basil Stag Hare, a quite strange rabbit that gives the readers a good laugh; Constance, a giant badger that protects Redwall; and Martin, a warrior that helped establish Redwall and is also Matthias's idol. Brian Jacques is a very good writer; every detail of this book just flows together smoothly.

    While I was reading this book it almost always had me guessing what was going to happen next, and it usually is not what you expect will happen. Also, if you ever get bored at any time while you're reading, the author throws in a few hilarious comments every now and then. When I was in a bad mood right before I was going to sleep, I would just pick up this book and immerse myself into this wondrous fantasy story. Young readers can really connect to the characters thoughts and feeling, even though there supposed to be various animals, it is like they are children and adults from different aspects of every day life.


    I have had this book for awhile but I never really got into it, I was running out of books to read so I thought I would try out this one again. It was a little boring for me at the very start of the story, but after I got past that I just could not put it down, with its: unique characters, marvelous settings, plot twists, and its adventurous feeling. To the people who enjoyed Redwall I would recommend reading through the rest of the books in the Redwall Series. I hope you enjoyed the book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2008

    Awesome book

    Imagine if you were watching the conquest of an evil rat warlord, named Cluny, who was attacking a castle. That¿s what happened in Redwall a great novel by Brian Jacques one of his first pieces of published literature. Redwall started the first of the Redwall Series. This story takes place in Mossflower wood which is right next to Redwall the abbey. Here the unlikely hero, Matthias, takes shelter, but all is not right in Mossflower because Cluny is coming to take Redwall. Matthias is a little mouse that is unraveling a web of riddles that will lead him to the sword of Martin, who is the dead warrior of Redwall. Redwall is a great read for young-adults to adults. This story is an awesome war story. This book is a great way to build vocabulary and a good book for people who liked the Harry Potter series. The Redwall Series is a series that I recommend for people who want to get into something new that is adventurous.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    DO NOT ORDER THIS PARTICULAR COPY!!

    This is a wonderful book, and you (especially your kids) will enjoy it. But this particular version (ISBN-13: 9780142409459) is not the one to order. It is NOT hardcover. It is a cardboard folder inside a cardboard sleeve, with the 3 "books" of the novel as separate badly-bound paperbacks. I was extremely disappointed when I ordered this "hardcover" version and got 3 shoddy paperbacks. Order the other "20th Anniversary" hardcover edition (ISBN-13: 9780399247941).

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    Amazing!

    I'm on my 5th redwall book right now, and I loved them all. But so far nothing compared to this one. One of the reasons is the set of characters. Matthais, Jess, and Basil are the best Ideas Jaques as come up with yet. Read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2009

    Must Read This Book!

    In 7th grade this was on our reading list, and after I read the summary, I thought it was interesting. When I started reading the book, I couldn't stop! It is by far one of the best books I've ever read, and is one of my favorite books today. It's interesting, funny, scary, shocking, and just absolutely awesome!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    I'll tell you why I read this: my brother is 25, and these books were his favorites when he was a teenager like me. So I bought it- expecting it to be great- and it was! I absolutely love this book and am greatly looking forward to the rest of them! Read them, they are great for all ages, boys and girls. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    Terrific kickoff to an amazing series

    Redwall by Brian Jacques is an exciting, adventurous fantasy book. It is the first book in a long and rich series. It¿s incredibly easy to become attached to the memorable characters and vivid descriptive writing. This book takes place in Mossflower Wood, a massive forest where peaceful woodland animals take the place of humans. In the middle of Mossflower lies Redwall Abbey, a huge red sandstone abbey inhabited by the Order of Redwall Mice. These mice were sworn to help creatures in need and to uphold peace.<BR/> However, this peace would be shattered when an evil rat warlord, Cluny the Scourge, chances upon the abbey. Soon, the woodlanders would realize the danger and prepare for war. The battle for the abbey had begun. With no knowledge of battle, the Redwallers need help-and fast. A young mouse named Matthias volunteers to search for a legendary sword that was owned by the fearsome warrior, Martin, many years ago. On his journey, he must contend with deadly snakes, confront a fierce bird warrior king, and solve agonizing riddles.<BR/> Brian Jacques has used the omniscient point of view for many of his books. His clever use of specific dialects for each animal gives his books quite a bit of charm. Frequent mood swings keep readers interested, and riddles in the plot often make you want to solve it as much as the characters.<BR/> I would recommend this book to any fantasy, fiction, or adventure lover, or anyone who wants a break from human characters. I think anyone can get something out of this book, be it inspiration or a chuckle here and there.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    Matthias

    I am 20 years old and I really did enjoyed this book. I cant wait to read book number 2. This book was well written very action pack and joy filling.The saddest part of the whole book to me was when Methuselah died.This book is sorta like a story for the under dog in any situation. It also goes to show you, if you believe and have faith in your self. Its nothing you cant accomplish nor do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended to anyone that enjoys a story of high adventure, bravery, nobility, and humor.

    Oddly enough, I did not read the Redwall books as a child, but only discovered the series about 15 years ago and the tender age of 30. I did not read all the books available in the series at that time for some reason, though I know it was not due to lack of quality. As a fan of animal fantasy in general I recently decided to begin collecting and reading the books again and have just finished this first book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. "Redwall" has so many great animal characters that I do not even know where to begin, but I really enjoyed the characters of Basil Stag Hare, Warbeak the Sparrow and Squire Julian Gingivere. All these animal players have great stories behind them and the author infuses them with character that remains true to their particular natures, something I always look for in animal fantasy/fiction. The story itself is wonderful, with lots of twists and turns and enough to keep any reader turning the pages. I was surprised then as I am now that this and the other books in the series are listed for children; there is a lot of death at least in this first book and even a little cursing, so I have always taken these books as fantasy literature for all ages. As a 45 year old man saddled with all the trappings of adulthood, I find it quite enjoyable to escape to this world of warrior mice, brave squirrels, bold soldier rabbits, brave badgers, and questing. Escapism you say? Oh, absolutely! Isn't all fiction a form of escapism? I have tried several works of "adult" fiction and just can't seem to get into it and if this is truly fiction for youth, then count me as a 45 year old youth I guess. At any rate, I found "Redwall" to be a wonderfully enjoyable page turner of a book and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a story of high adventure, bravery, nobility, and humor. A great read. I will very much look forward to escaping to the world of Redwall and it's inhabitants again very soon. See you at my review of "Mossflower"!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Despite the fact that the book is fairly well written and decent

    Despite the fact that the book is fairly well written and decently paced, I found the plot itself to just be predictable and unbelievably boring. This is a clichéd, “coming of age” heroic quest fantasy tale, except the story is populated by mice and other cute, mostly furry animals that just think and act human.
    One of the things that especially annoyed me was that I couldn't figure out the “scale” of the Redwall world. Are they mice and rats living clandestine in a human-built world? If so, where are the humans? Are they human-sized rodents in a people-free world? Then why are the horses and hay-wagons enormous and the churches inhabited by mice? It was never made clear.
    I also dislike the fact that rats, foxes, and weasels were made villains, simply because they were clever, predators in real life, and a whole lot more wicked-looking than mice and squirrels. You never saw a single good rat in the story. How can every creature in a species have an evil predisposition? For similar reasons, I dislike the main protagonist in the story: Matthias is pure, strong, a natural leader, and can never do wrong.
    I finished the book, but crossed off the rest of the series from my reading list.

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good

    Remembered liking these. Saw the show. But I mostly remember the covers especially Marlfox. This one is the first in the series. Pretty good.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Written for the younger readers, Redwall and all the other books

    Written for the younger readers, Redwall and all the other books in this series are stand alone books that introduce you to a wonderful world of talking animals.  The characters in these books introduce you to a brave young hero or heroine who must help to save the Redwall Abbey from the terrible villain who is attacking the loveable creatures who reside there.  They all center on the original hero of the abbey Martin the Warrior, and his spirit that helps to guide these young heros.  With a wide collection of characters from the Abbott or Abbess of the Abbey who is their leader, to the Dibbins (the babies of the Abbey), the solid yet steady moles and the occasional hares who visit, and other creatures, you are drawn to a wonderful yet fanciful world of good versus evil.  I own pretty much every book in this series and have loved every one (and I'm in my late 40's LOL).  Mr Jacques continues to delight with every single book.

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  • Posted March 15, 2013

    This is an amazing book. It was read to me by the school librari

    This is an amazing book. It was read to me by the school librarian in grade school and I loved it. It is my all time favorite series and I bought each consecutive book the week it was released. Brian Jacques created a mystical place where animals spoke and lived their lives like human beings. There were the good species of animals and the evil. The Redwall series is a great series for young children and it is a great series of the struggle between good and evil.  

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is a chapter book for older elementary. It would be good fo

    This is a chapter book for older elementary. It would be good for YA as well.Matthias is an energetic mouse in an Abbey where he will become a part ofeventually.Part of the book has wording a little advanced for elementary age.The first part of book 1 was a little jumbled and confusing. The last halfof book one and into book two was very action pact. I an sure thisfantasy would please most youth especially young boys.I fluctuated between three or four stars but it is totally clean. That is an element really lacking in our society. there is some violence but not descriptive or too intense.There is a few good morals to the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    awesome!!!!!!!

    awesome!!!!!!!

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    EPIC!

    At first, I got it for christmas years ago, and thought it would be boring. but then very recently I had watched all three seasons of Redwall, hoping that would get me interested... Oh man did I get interested! After I finished the seasons I picked up the book and finally read it, I finished it in around two weeks, and love it to the core. I couldn't put it down. The plot line was crisp and lead me to stay there until the next part. Very well written. No pictures but the simple chapter picture at the top of the page. I wouldn't recommend it to young children under ten or nine, since of the swearing and volence. But it is something that you should read if you are eleven or older. But overall it is my new favorite book, I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    Love this book!

    Really, really good plot. Best book of the Redwall series. Wish it was available on the nook.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2010

    Wrong Product Description

    The description to this product says that it is a Hardcover. When I bought this I expected it to be a Hardcover 20th Anniversary edition of Book #1 Redwall. What it truly is is a box that contains a foldout of books 1-3 in paperback. Do not buy this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2010

    Not what I expected

    The desciption said it was a Hardcover...more like a hard case for three paperbacks inside the case.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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