Book 50 Redwall

Redwall by Brian Jacques fulfilled the “Book Set in an Abbey, Cloister, Monastery, Vicarage, or
” category of the PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge. It is the last
item on the list and my last book for the blog.
I had a tough time finding
a novel for this one. I purchased and downloaded from Audible The Mists of
, thinking,
“Hey, I’ve never read this. It could work.” Fifty-four hours of
listening. Fifty-four. I got the deluxe entire series version. I wasn’t ready
to make that kind of commitment. Then I researched. I found Murder at the
by Agatha Christie—read it. I found The Beautiful Mystery by
Louise Penny—already did that author for this list, and a thousand Downton Abbey
books—not a real abbey with nuns and stuff. Sigh…
Then I discovered a cozy mystery
series by Ellis Peters about twelfth-century monks. Yes! Perfect. I grabbed A
Morbid Taste for Bones
and dug in. By chapter three, the monks had left the
abbey on a quest to Wales to steal the bones of a saint.
They left.
It felt cheaty to use that one
as the setting is supposed to be a religious house. And they left. And I
cheated on the Zodiac category, kinda, so I wanted to have a good entry for
this one.
Then I realized Redwall
is an abbey. Score!
Being me, I grabbed the audiobook from the library. It had an ensemble cast, meaning it was a play
rather than the story.
I found the book-book and
dug in to read. That
’s why this blog is late. Not the right book, not the right
version, and of course, all on the last book.
So, without further ado, Redwall
by Brian Jacques.
Damn, what a bloody book. After
years of peace and harmony with all the woodland animals, (except the sparrows
but that comes later), the Redwall Abbey, is under siege by rats. Young Initiate
Mattias Mouse wants nothing more than to help defend his home and be the second
coming of Martin the Warrior who defended the abbey of old. And he gets to be
that. Redwall contains a
“chosen one” trope like Harry Potter, Lord of
the Rings
, and The Matrix. In fact, the story was a mix of LOTR and Harry
It was a siege book, much like
The Two Towers or The Illearth War—bloody, ugly and violent.
Which surprised me as it
’s a kid book. Critters died left and right. On the one hand, I liked
that our villain, Cluny the Scourge, was willing to off people and fight real
battles. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have wanted my eight-year-old to read
it. (She’s thirteen now and would love all the violence and stuff.)
But the book also reminded
me of The Da Vinci Code or Raiders of the Lost Ark—a high-flying
adventure with much danger and tension with no actual reason. Robert Langdon
did not need to rush to find those clues. And if you analyze Raiders,
see that if you took out the character of Indiana Jones, the movie will still
end the same.
Redwall was like that. Yes, we needed Matthias to be a hero, but
he didn’t have to risk his neck, over and over and over to get Martin
’s stuff. He
could have used his own stuff and fought the rats and been there for his
friends. Maybe more would have survived if the mouse stayed home, instead of
trying to repeat history. And yes, he brought armies at the end, but a magic sword?
Arthur much?
Anyway, I guess if I can suspend
belief enough to have battling woodland creatures (and I loved that there were
women warriors as well as men), I can accept he had to retrieve the sword.
The book was well written and
exciting to read, had I been ten. I enjoyed it and might pick up another in the
series someday. 
     I give Redwall by Brian
Jacques Four Candied Chestnuts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *