Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Outcast of Redwall

Outcast of Redwall

Brian Jacques
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 1995   ISBN: 978-0399229145

When Sunflash the Mace is finally able to free himself from slavery, he swears that he will make the creature responsible for his suffering pay dearly. This creature is Swartt Sixclaw, a ferret with an evil heart who lusts after power and who cares for no one except himself. Though these two adversaries become separated by distance, they do not forget one another. One day they will meet and when they do one of them will surely die.

Some time after Sunflash makes his escape, the creatures of Redwall find a baby ferret in the woods. They take pity on the abandoned infant taking him into their home and their hearts little realizing that the baby, whom they call Veil, is none other than the son of Swartt Sixclaw. Despite the efforts of the Abbey beasts, Veil is forever getting into trouble. Lying, stealing, and bullying, the young ferret cannot seem to break out of the mold that he was born into even though his adoptive mother, Bryony, does her best to convince Veil and everyone else that this is not the case. Bryony has to believe that there is good in Veil and even after he is banished from Redwall she follows him hoping that she will be able to appeal to the ferret?s better nature.

Sunflash the badger, Swartt Sixclaw and Veil are on a collision course and there is no way of knowing how this encounter will turn out. Will Veil find some compassion in his heart or will he give in to his baser instincts and become an evil warlord like his father.

This eighth book in the Redwall series is just as enthralling as the previous books were. There is a difference however which is that in this tale a vermin character takes center stage much of the time playing a major role in the story and providing an interesting foil to the other characters.