The medieval world of Redwall Abbey where gallant mouse warriors triumph over evil invaders has truly become the stuff of legend.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jacques sticks to the tried-and-true in the latest installment of the Redwall series. In the declining years of the characters previously featured in Pearls of Lutra, a menacing band of raiders again threatens Redwall Abbey. And once again the good animals of Redwall and Mossflower must join together to fight the invader. A new protagonist, the young hare Tammo, joins the Long Patrol, an outfit charged with the protection of all the animals in Mossflower Wood and fabled for its soldiering; he does well in battle but wants no more of it: "No, I'm not all right, sah. I've seen death!" Love, sparked by an attractive female hare, is more important to him. Meanwhile, at the Abbey, excavations lead to a treasure hunt, like the one found in Lutra though not as integral to the plot. These familiar story lines are seasoned with a few other new characters and groups of animals, notably a wandering female squirrel (who, unfortunately, survives only halfway through). The Painted Ones and the Waterhogs, based on what appear to be popular perceptions of African tribesmen and Native American warriors, also make guest appearances. And of course, there is the familiar roster of animal typesroyal badgers, officer-class hares, greedy but cowardly rats and the country bumpkin moles, who can always be relied upon for a funny "gem of mole logic." The formula, in other words, still works, and the narrative, as usual, is tightly plotted andexcept for the difficult-to-decipher dialects and lengthy descriptions of foodbriskly paced. A feast for the faithful. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)
VOYA - Libby Bergstrom
Jacques's tenth Redwall novel continues to dish up swashbuckling adventure. After Tammo, a young runaway hare, is rescued by the legendary Long Patrol, he joins them on their mission to track down the Rapscallions. This vast vermin army, led by the bloodthirsty Firstblade Damug, is bent on revenge after its defeat at Salamandastron the previous summer. The vermin's goal? To capture Redwall Abbey. Meanwhile, the peaceful creatures of Redwall are in an uproar. The south wall of the Abbey is collapsing. They are in grave danger without the wall to protect them, but until they discover why it is collapsing, they cannot begin to repair it. A vision from Martin the Warrior shows Tammo the crucial role he must play in defending the creatures of Mossflower but the young, inexperienced, runaway hare doubts he can live up to the task. While the Abbey creatures track down the cause of the collapse of the wall, Tammo must infiltrate the Rapscallion camp using courage he did not know he had. As is traditional in the Redwall series, there is a happy ending, but not before some very close calls. Jacques follows his proven formula: violent battles and mouthwatering feasts. However, his descriptive language is crisper than ever, his plot has more intricate twists and turns to draw the reader along, and his numerous characters are appealing. A sure winner with Redwall fans, this tale will also attract new readers to the series. VOYA Codes: 4Q 5P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Tammo is told by his father that he is too young to join the Long Patrol, the perilous guard. His mother, who was a member of that prestigious fighting unit in her youth, understands Tammo's longings and arranges for him to go. Meanwhile, the south wall of Redwall Abbey is disintegrating and it is the duty of the Long Patrol to defend the abbey until the wall is fixed. At the same time, the evil Rapscallion army is working its way inland toward the abbey. Tammo will find himself in the midst of a great battle, but not before the author has adeptly heightened the anticipation. This is the tenth book in the Redwall saga. It can be read independently of the others, but faithful readers who know the history will be happy to discover old friends as well as new. Jacques creates distinctive characters out of common woodland animals. While there are plenty of battle scenes and deaths, readers will see that kindness, goodness, courage and friendship are the important qualities of a hero. Small graphite illustrations of important characters begin each section and chapter. The length of the text and the author's use of dialect will require a sophisticated reader. The marching songs of the troops, the descriptions of the feasts, and words and phrases that roll off the tongue in a playful manner all beg to be shared. I highly recommend this as a read aloud, for adults will enjoy this charming and exciting adventure as well.
Jacques reads his own fanciful story about an adolescent hare who wishes to join the Long Patrol, a militant band of hare soldiers who strive against the evil rat Rapscallion. With complex names such as Tamello De Formelo Tussock, and unusual animal characters, Jacques tells a story of battle, friendship, and leadership. This imaginative story will appeal principally to those who like animal personages in adult fairy tales. While Jacques's solid male voice gives variety and individuality to his characters' voices, he is not always easily understood. As the narrator, his broad Lancashire accent predominates. Overall, it does not make for easy listening. To follow the story and understand the text requires very active listening.-- Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Library, Salinas, California
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8In this latest "Redwall" entry, Tammo, a young hare, becomes a member of a contingent of fighting forest folk who seek to defend the imperiled Redwall Abbey, led by the badger Lady Cregga Rose Eyes. Tammo and his comrades do battle against the Rapscallion foe, whose leader is the evil greatrat, Damug Warfang. Eventually the forces of good meet and clash with their evil enemies in a battle of legendary proportions. Good triumphs, of course, but not before several noble warriors have met their deaths. There is a tremendous amount of violence in this book. The characters maintain some of their animal characteristics, but it is their human qualities that make them either appealing or repugnant. The bad Rapscallions are thoroughly dishonest, traitorous, and cruel. The badgers, mice, hedgehogs, moles, and other assorted creatures that represent goodness may have foibles but they are unremittingly kind and generous. Pen-and-ink thumbnail sketches appear at the head of each chapter and strongly communicate the sense of drama. Some of the creatures, most notably the laboring class of moles, speak in an impossible, jaw-breaking dialect that may slow some readers down a bit; nevertheless, this is a worthy addition to a series that has found a definite niche among fantasy lovers. It breaks no new ground, but it is a satisfying adventure with a comforting, predictable conclusion. Its closing lines pave the way for yet another sequel.Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
The tenth book in the Redwall series continues the saga of the woodland creatures' battle to protect Redwall Abbey from the threat of warring vermin. Weaving three parallel storylines together, Jacques effectively builds suspense by frequently switching scenes at the height of the action. When Damug Warfang succeeds his father as Firstblade of all Rapscallions, he leads the army of vicious, seafaring Greatrats inland toward Mossflower Woods. Meanwhile, the peaceable but courageous residents of the Abbey band together to investigate the cause of the sudden disintegration of the south wall. When ancient blueprints reveal the presence of an old castle buried beneath the ramparts, Abbess Tansey, Crakyn the recorder, Diggum Foremole, and two other adventurous creatures descend into the subterranean ruins, where they find both treasure and danger. Above ground, members of the Long Patrol-rabbit warriors who patrol the countryside during times of peace and gather in a formidable army during times of battle-develop a scheme to confront the rascally Rapscallions before they reach the vulnerable abbey. A masterful storyteller, Jacques spins out the plot through dialogue and the characters' interactions rather than heavy narration and description. Both major and minor characters are believable, well-developed individuals, and, as in the other Redwall books, the combination of an absorbing plot, robust characterization, and detailed description make the novel a page-turner.
From the Publisher
Praise for The Long Patrol
“[Jacques is] a masterful storyteller . . . As in the other Redwall books, the combination of an absorbing plot, robust characterization, and detailed description make the novel a page-turner.”—The Horn Book
Praise for Brian Jacques' Redwall series...
"Energetic fantasy!"—The New York Times Book Review
"Rousing adventure!"—Publishers Weekly
"Old-fashioned swashbuckling adventure."—Locus
"Jacques's realistically drawn characters are full of personality."—Publishers Weekly