Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Brian Jacques
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2002   ISBN: 978-0142302378

Matthias, a novice mouse at Redwall Abbey, cannot help dreaming of becoming a warrior like the great Redwall hero, Martin the Warrior. Abbot Mortimer tells his young charge that the "day of the warrior is gone" and that Matthias has to learn how to live a different peaceful sort of life. However, the Abbot and his Redwall creatures soon discover  that those times are not gone after all. As Redwall bakes in the warmth of the summer sun, Cluny the Scourge with his horde of rats arrives in Mossflower. As soon as Cluny sees Redwall he decides that he must have the great abbey for himself.

Suddenly, and with little time to prepare, the peaceful animals of Redwall have to adopt a new way of life. They have to learn how to fight and how to scheme. They have to do everything that they can to protect Redwall and to keep the mice, squirrels and other creatures that live there safe from harm.

Matthias steps easily out of his role as bumbling novice and into a new role as champion of Redwall. As Cluny tries to find ways to get into Redwall, Matthias seeks the legendary sword of Martin, sure in his heart that once he has the sword he will truly be Martin's heir and will be able to protect his home and his friends.

Packed with gripping action, riddles and mysteries, and sprinkled with colorful characters, this first book in the Redwall series is sure to whet the appetite of the reader. Moles who speak in their endearing dialect; a hare who eats more than anyone else imagines is possible; a sparrow who has great courage and ferocity; and a mouse who never gives up. These are just a few of the personalities who live within the pages of this fascinating tale.