The Barnes & Noble Review
Well before the Harry Potter phenomenon took flight, Brian Jacques solidified his place in the young adult fantasy canon with his wildly successful Redwall series. And like J. K. Rowling's Potter books,
Redwall immediately found an a much wider audience -- legions of adult fans anxiously await each of Jacques's new releases.
Such broad appeal is a testament to Jacques's finely honed technique and hair-raising story lines, but also to his refusal to sugarcoat completely. While humor and cuteness are very much a part of his storytelling, Jacques's bad guys, always wonderfully evil, ensure that violence -- and with it, plenty of suspense -- are constants in his world.
Taggerung is the 14th novel to feature the woodland creatures of Redwall, and it's one of the master craftsman's finest. It tells the story of Deyna, an otter who, shortly following his birth, is kidnapped by a savage clan of vermin. The babe is taken from his loving Redwall home because the clan's leader -- the bloodthirsty ferret, Sawney Rath -- believes Deyna is their Taggerung, the chosen one destined to lead them to greater prosperity.
Fifteen seasons pass, and Deyna (now called Tagg) is a cunning hunter, but he has not adopted his "father's" lust for inflicting pain and torment on his fellow earth-dwellers. This unsettling "weakness" has not gone unnoticed by Sawney Rath. When Sawney commands Tagg to skin an old fox alive, Tagg refuses, decides he's had enough, and abandons the clan and the only family he's ever known. Outraged, Sawney bolts after Tagg, but his anger blinds him to other dangers. Orchestrated by the devious fox-Seer Grissoul and the power-hungry stoat Antigra, Antigra's son, Zann, becomes the clan's puppet leader and sets off with a vicious band of assassins to capture the crown, which Zann cannot officially own while Tagg lives. A sometimes bloody, often funny, and consistently engrossing story ensues.
Imaginative and exquisitely drawn, Taggerung is a tremendous addition to Jacques's series. Newcomers and seasoned fans alike will be thoroughly entertained. (Andrew LeCount)
Redwall lovers, rejoice! The epic continues with Taggerung, the 14th book in Brian Jacques's popular series. An otter born in Redwall Abbey is kidnapped by members of an opposing clan who believe he is destined to be a great Taggerung, or warrior hero; Tagg later rebels against his adoptive tribe and goes in search of his true home. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Another entry in the Redwall series, this novel follows a new character, an otter named Deyna who is kidnapped and later adopts the persona of the Taggerung, the chosen one of the vermin Juska clan. After the loss of her brother, Deyna's sister Mhera seeks diversion by following a series of clues, cast as riddles, which eventually lead her to accept the role as abbess of Redwall. Events continue to conspire to reunite the separated siblings in this tale of the nature of good and evil and the joy of redemption. The Taggerung is reunited with his family, and his tattoos identifying his adoptive clan are removed. For regular readers of the Redwall series, this is a quick-paced, enjoyable book despite its length. Since the main characters are all new to the series, readers who have not read previous books will also enjoy it. 2001, Philomel Books/Penguin Putnam,
Peter von Marensdorff
Things have been quiet around Redwall Abbey of late. Since the Abbess Song died many seasons ago, there has been no need for a replacement. Ruling through benign neglect as much as the force of her personality, the aging but still formidable Cregga Badgermum makes sure that all the chores get done on a daily basis. Moreover, there has been no need for a Champion, such as Martin the Warrior, although his sword still hangs in the Great Hall for use in time of need. It is a comfortable life for the creatures of the Abbey, secure behind their walls from the vermin that prowl the woods. Everyone is happyat least until the otter Rillflag fails to return from introducing his newborn son, Deyna, to the nearby river. Unbeknownst to the Redwallers, the otter has been murdered and his son taken captive by Sawney Rath, a vicious ferret who leads one of the more dangerous vermin clans. Rath has decided that young Deyna is destined to become the Taggerung, or great leader of his clan, and he adopts the baby, hoping to turn the young otter into a monstrous copy of himself. This fourteenth Redwall novel is one of the longest, due in large part to the two separate and equally elaborate plot lines that Jacques must keep in motion. The Redwall plot features the author's trademark high good humor, scrumptious meals, and complex relationships, while the Taggerung plot line centers on Rath's increasing ferocity and Deyna's refusal to be corrupted by him. The two stories come together in the end in a satisfying if somewhat violent dénouement that should well please Jacques's legion of fans. Reviewer: Michael Levy
This is the 14th book in a much-loved fantasy/action series about a world of both brave and villainous animals. Here omens reveal that a Taggerung, a creature that is "a talisman of great power," has been born in Redwall Abbey. A band of vermin, "dry-land pirates," snatches this young otter. They raise him to be a warrior and a thief, but he takes off to seek his own adventures, with loyal friends at his side, and find his way back to Redwall Abbey. Lots of battle scenes, humor, British slang, and reversals of fortune here; as the prologue puts it, "Sadness and joy, comedy and tragedy, a good dose of rousing action." This volume can stand on its own, for those not yet acquainted with the series. For all libraries. KLIATT Codes: JSARecommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
Here's book 14 in the Redwall dynasty, and Jacques shows no sign of flagging. As in the last book, the story is framed as a recounting of deeds of derring-do and high adventure. A baby otter is kidnapped by the vermin horde, whose leader believes him to be the epic hero Taggerung. As the otter grows, he runs away from his evil foster clan and, with the help of many good friends, particularly the harvest mouse Nimbalo, he finally makes his way home to Redwall. Supporting this plot are the two pillars of Redwall literature-food and those amazing accents. The English Public School hares, with their "laddie bucks" and "wots?" are of course fabulous, as are the nearly unintelligible moles and hedgehogs. Who can resist a story that is constantly carrying on about deeper'n'ever beet and hotroot pie, hot scones, and watershrimp soup? The fact that fans will devour this book is doubtless. As with all the other titles in the series, no prior knowledge of Redwall and its denizens is needed to ensure enjoyment. However, having read this one, new fans will undoubtedly be back for seconds and thirds.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Otters star in the 14th Redwall adventure (The Legend of Luke), holding the line against evil in their make-believe world. This time the wild vermin Juskarath believe a baby has been born that will become the "Taggerung," a legendary fighter who can empower their tribe. The baby belongs to domesticated otters at Redwall, so the Juskarath steal the cub. Raised as a savage, "Tagg" indeed becomes a fearsome warrior, but his virtuous nature triumphs over his barbarous nurturing and he refuses to kill. Tagg leaves the Juskarath and teams up with Nimbalo, a tough little fightin' mouse. The two trek about the land, making friends and battling evil. They're trailed by the menacing Juskarath until all meet at Redwall Abbey for the final showdown. Meanwhile, Tagg's sister Mhera and the old badgermum Cregga preside over the constant feasting at the Abbey, pondering puzzles until the otter family is reunited. Readers of all ages who enjoy fantasy can happily lose themselves in Redwall's cozy world, where they'll enjoy zestful fights, lengthy descriptions of scrumptious food, and endearing animals speaking in thick dialects. Jacques's characters vibrate with personality, and he clearly delineates the differences between a life of friendship and one of savagery. It's great fun, and not just for Redwall fans. (Fiction. 10+)
Redwall lovers, rejoice! The epic continues! (Publishers Weekly)