Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Brian Jacques
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 1988   ISBN: 978-0399215490

Martin is a mouse warrior alone in the world and exploring new lands. When he arrives in Mossflower he quickly discovers that all is not well in the woodlands. An evil wild cat called Tsarmina claims the woods as her own and rules over the woodland creatures with a cruel iron paw. Many of the woodlanders have moved away to get away from Tsarmina and her soldiers but some still remain, reluctant to leave their homes. Among them is Gonff, a quick-witted mousethief who prides himself on stealing as much as he can from Tsarmina?s stronghold, Kotir. Unfortunately Gonff gets caught and ends up in the foul dungeons of the place. There he meets Martin who was captured some time before. Together the mice escape, helped by the members of Corim, the Council of Resistance in Mossflower, and Martin is soon deeply involved in plans to free Mossflower from Tsarmina?s cruel rule.

While the members of Corim continue the battle against Kotir, Martin, Gonff and Dinny the mole set off to find the great mountain of Salamandastron where they hope to meet Boar the Fighter, a great badger lord. It is hoped that Boar will be willing to return to Mossflower to help Corim to beat Tsarmina and her soldiers once and for all.

Readers of ?Redwall? will be fascinated to find out how Martin came to be the Redwall hero and indeed how the great abbey came to be built in the first place. Dinny and his mole friends and relatives will delight readers with their odd molespeak as will the hares of Salamandastron whose great courage and funny mannerisms make them endearing and amusing.

This title is the prequel to the very popular "Redwall," which was the first book published in this series.