Redwall (Redwall Series #1)

Redwall (Redwall Series #1)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142302378
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/28/2002
Series: Redwall Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 227,081
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.89(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

"I sometimes think it ironic for an ex-seaman, longshoreman, truck driver, policeman, bus driver, etc., to find success writing children's novels," said Brian Jacques (pronounced "Jakes"). Yet it is all too true. With the publication of his first children's book in 1987, the award-winning Redwall, Jacques' fresh talent has received exceptional praise from reviewers in the United States and England. Newbery Award winner Lloyd Alexander called it "a fine work, literate, witty, filled with the excitement of genuine storytelling. Young people will surely be captivated. I hope they give their elders a chance to share the delights."

A well-known radio personality in his native Liverpool--as well as an actor, stand-up comic, and playwright--Brian Jacques was the host of "Jakestown" on BBC Radio Merseyside. Ever the performer, Jacques was well-known for applying his acting and entertainment background to his lively presentations to legions of young fans at schools across the United States and England.

Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15th, 1939. Along with forty percent of the population of Liverpool, his ancestral roots are in Ireland, County Cork to be exact.

He grew up in the area around the Liverpool docks. His interest in adventure stories began at an early age with reading the books of: Daniel Defoe, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Thomas Malory, Robert Michael Ballantyne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Kenneth Grahame. He attended St. John's School, an inner city school that had its playground on the roof. On his first day at St. John's, at the age of ten, he had an experience that marked his potential as a writer. When given an assignment of writing a story about animals, he wrote about the bird that cleaned a crocodile's teeth. The teacher could not, and would not, believe that a ten year old could write that well. When young Brian refused to falsely say that he had copied the story, he was caned as "a liar". He had always loved to write, but it was only then, that he realized that he had a talent for writing.

Some teachers at St. John's proved to be good role models. As Mr. Jacques recalls:

"My favourite teacher was Mr. Austin Thomas. He looked like Lee Marvin. Big Man. A Captain in World War II. He came to school on a big bush bike with the haversack on back. He was a man's man. Always fair. I was fourteen at the time when Mr. Thomas introduced the class to poetry and Greek literature. (Because of him, I saved seven shillings and sixpence to buy The Iliad and The Odyssey at this dusty used book shop.)"

This interest in poetry extended to Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Goldsmith.It was also at St. John's that Brian met a teacher, Alan Durband (who also taught two Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison), who, more than thirty years later would bring about a major change in his life.

After Brian finished school at fifteen, he set out to find adventure as a merchant seaman. He travelled to many far away ports, including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (Police Constable 216D), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic.

Penguin mourns the passing of celebrated children’s book author Brian Jacques

Date of Birth:

June 15, 1939

Date of Death:

February 5, 2011

Place of Birth:

Liverpool, England

Place of Death:

Liverpool, England


St. John¿s School, Liverpool, England

Customer Reviews

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Redwall 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 415 reviews.
Luke11 More than 1 year ago
Wow. People told me to read this book and I said, "Yeah, I'll get to it."
When I got to it I was amazed. It was AWESOME
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
"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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
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. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This review is simple. Redwall is the best book in the world. A must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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).
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I tried. Got as far as the end of "Book One" at page 97 before deciding this one wasn't for me. I think for two reasons. The first being the style seemed clunky to me and the dialogue cheesy. It's an omniscient narrative but without personality, humor or charm. Granted, this novel was written to be a children's book. But so was The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Watership Down, Narnia, The Last Unicorn and The Sword in the Stone and that doesn't keep them from being compelling reads for an adult. The other reason is this is one of those books where the characters are animals. The kind where animals wear clothing and pretty much act like people. The rabbits of Adams, the unicorn of Beagle and the dragons of McCaffrey, Lackey and Novik feel just alien enough to not strike me as humans in different clothing. The mice, badgers and otters of Redwall Abbey and their rat foes are a different matter. Moreover, in Redwall the scale isn't clear enough or the reader oriented well enough to know if the characters are animal-shaped people or talking animals in a human world. I found what I read of the book tedious, slow-moving, and lacking in striking lines, original ideas or memorable characters. I suspect I might have loved this book when I was ten years old. Problem is that was decades ago...
pbandy on LibraryThing 1 days ago
A perfect book and series to enthrall a young reader. Does not offer the depth of symbolism or the allegorical complexity of other fantasy novels written for similar audiences. However, comparing the Redwall series to the His Dark Materials series is unfair as each have their own goals. Redwall isn't meant to expose some greater truth or dive into debate over some greater cause, it is an adventure with heroes and villains. The heroes are just mice and badgers, while the villains are rats and foxes. The story is fun and enthralling and a perfect introduction to a massive fantasy world. If you are looking to get a young person reading then this novel will most assuredly spark the interest of the youngster and hook them into a series with many sequels.
gavin10 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
The novel, Redwall, encompasses that the good will always prevail. In the beginning, Mathias, the protagonist, struggles with the fact that he is a born warrior in a time of peace and he has trouble holding his warrior self back. Throughout the middle, he perseveres in becoming a warrior of honor and justice through the new war that has just occurred when his home, Redwall, is attacked by the terrible Cluny the Scourge. (117/352 pages)
highlyelven on LibraryThing 1 days ago
This book is about mice, moles, voles, hares, otters and badgers the main charecter is mouse named Mathias. This takes place when a evil rat named Cluny the scourge tries to invade their home redwall abbey
AaronKAwesome on LibraryThing 1 days ago
This is the fist book of many books about Redwall. This is a novel about a young mouse named Matthias and his quest to save Redwall Abbey and Mossflower from the evil rat named Cluny the Scourge. The only way to save Redwall Abbey is to find the long lost sword from Martin the Warrior. Matthias starts organizing the defence of Redwall Abbey, but the people of Mossflower are peaceful and do not no how to fight. He startes training them with the help of Constance the badger, Basil Stag Hare, Jess Squirrel, and Winifred the otter. First Matthias has to find where Martin is buried. With the help of Methuselah the mouse recorder of Redwall Abbey and some moles to dig he finds where Martin is burried. From there Matthias goes to the sparrows. He thinks the sword is with the sparrows but the sword was taken by a adder called Asmodeus. He escapes and goes into the forest where he looks for Captain Snow the owl that knows everything. On the way he mights some shrews. They help him get the sword and come to the aid to defend Redwall. They sparrows also come and help. So at the end Matthias frees Redwall and killes Cluny. This is the best book I have ever read, and I am not kidding. This is also the longest book I read but I finished it in under two weeks which is the fastest I ever read a book in my life. I love the way Brian Jacques describes the way people are and the way things look. This book is so describeded that it is like a movie. I also like how the chapters are really short so it seems like you are reading the book faster. The one book also is split into three books, and I really like that. This is the best book in all times I can't believe it did not get a newberry award because it really desivers it. Everybody should read this book. I like this book so much that now I am reading the second book.
Bookish59 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Read this book with my younger son. It was his classmate who had recommended the series, and very grateful I am. Highly likely I loved the series more than my son did probably because I thought books like these went out of style once I grew up! I was sorry to learn that Brian Jacques had died this year. He held many different jobs, and I believe it was a teacher who submitted stories Jacques had written to read to blind children to a publisher. So glad he did!
Jdonldsn on LibraryThing 1 days ago
In this epic adventure, Mahais discovers who he is and in the face of great danger becomes the leader he was born to be! Join him as he fights the evil Cluny and his army.
bibliophyte on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I love this book. I know it's a children's book and almost 25 years old and everyone but me has probably already read it. But I just have to say how much I love it anyway. This series is one I've been meaning to read since I first discovered it on the library's shelves at age 8. How has it taken me this long to get around to reading it?? Oh well, better late than never, right? First of all, I adore the characters. Matthias is lovable and you can't help but pull out your "Go Matthias!" banner every time he gets into trouble (which is quite frequently); Abbott Mortimer is the gentle and wise counselor we all wish we had (who I also refer to as "the original Dumbledore"); Constance is the feisty badger with a big mouth who always has her friends' backs; and Brother Methuselah is the oldest inhabitant of Redwall, a scholar and keeper of records, who defies his age by helping Matthias in his quest to find the sword of Martin the Warrior. These are just a few of the charming characters from Redwall Abbey and surrounding Mossflower forest who it's inevitable you'll be quite attached to by the end of the book. There are quite a few definitely-not-charming characters in this book as well, who add dimension and contrast with the defenders of Redwall. I was honestly surprised by how truly evil Cluny the Scourge is, feeding off of the pain and misery he inflicts on those around him. Being most often classified as Children's Fiction, I expected a nasty rat but not one who is so blatantly cruel. I'm glad he isn't a namby-pamby villain, though, because that would have annoyed me to no end as well as potentially ruined the book's flavor and plot. Also, this book does not represent a simplistic world composed of "good" and "evil"; instead, it consists of many shades of grey, and characters do not always make choices consistent with their assumed status of "good" or "bad". In addition, there are multiple villains, each being a "villain" for different reasons; one of them is such simply because his perspective and way of life is different, in conflict with that of the rest of the woodlanders'. I appreciated these subtleties, especially since children's literature tends to be full of rather worn out, overly moralistic and cliched perspectives on good and evil. This was refreshing and one reason, I believe, that this book can be enjoyed by such a wide range of readers. This book is most certainly an adventure story with the reader frequently switching perspectives between Cluny and his army, Matthias and his quest, and the Abbey's defenders. I greatly enjoyed the style of narration; it keeps things moving, though doesn't switch perspectives too quickly, and gives enough detail to really be absorbed into the story and its environment, though not so much that a young reader will feel overwhelmed. Some people have remarked that they don't like the slightly meandering story line, but for me, it is reminiscent of The Hobbit and quite delicious. I love the little side adventures and details that are not strictly "relevant" to the plot because I feel they add to the overall mythology of Redwall, which is very important if you're going to go on and read the rest of the series. This is a book that can truly be enjoyed by readers of all ages, as well as the perfect selection for reading aloud. I hope to acquire these books sometime soon and enjoy them again in future, perhaps with my son, who I will make sure is acquainted with Redwall Abbey and the many adventures that concern it at a somewhat younger age than I am now.
range6 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Great fantasy book from a master storyteller. The action does include a lot of violence and evil acts, but not a lot of blood and guts. Great for 4th grade and up.
Anonymous 21 days ago
Unpopular opinion, but i found the series to be a huge dissapointment, as it is horribly written in my opinion. Terribly executed character arcs, immature sentence structure, choppy and jumpynevent sequencing, the only thing thats well done is the imagery. The characters would be very lovable if they were more developed, and more complex rather than shallow and absolute in their personalities, especially the villians. The story itself, while a bit cliche, is good and has a lot of potential to be entertaining but i could hardly get through it due to the writing style.
laxhslr9599 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Another one of those necessary transitional books for all who are coming of age and need a place to escape to. Excellent from start to finish, and the endless series that keeps on going without using its flare, Redwall is the first of many in which various woodland creatures inhabit a formidable structure and struggle to defend themselves from the evil foesbeasts who attempt to steal there valued prize. With the notation that good always prevails, and valued advice passed on through dream by fabled Martin the warrior for the up and coming warriors, the many inhabitants will fight and hopefully prevail over the evil rat tyrant, Kluny!
Aaronh3 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
a great book about some mice. its just takes you in like your actually there. i thimk that its really a great book and want to read a lot. more than once.
eenerd on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is the exciting story of Matthias the mouse, who helps defend peaceful Redwall Abbey from the evil rat Cluny and his horde of thugs. This is a great tale of fantasy and adventure, with a wide variety of characters and storyline that never quits. I was surprised at some of the violent imagery, but I probably see it differently (as an adult) than a younger person would. All in all, a great fantasy book!
tcgardner on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A beautifully written classic fantasy book for the young adult. Adults love it too.Matthias a young church novitiate mouse, and the good animals around him, must battle a terrible wharf rat, Cluny, and his 500 strong rat army. Matthias comes of age learning what it means to be a true leader.There are many other wonderful characters. The church abbot Mortimer, the badger Constance, Hare Stag, and brother Methuselah are just a few.A classic good versus evil.
altivo on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Our first glimpse of Brian Jacques' now famous mouse monastery, Redwall Abbey, complete with a puzzle to be solved and the mouse to solve it, Matthias. Can he find the sword of Martin the Warrior before the villainous Cluny invades the abbey? Deeper and more fulfilling than you might expect, this is not just a children's tale.