Redwall by Brian Jacques
In the heart of the Mossflower Woods sits Redwall Abbey, home to the mice, rabbits, squirrels and other peaceful woodland creatures hoping to escape the attentions of the hostile rats and foxes at the gates. Their idyllic life is shattered when the one-eyed rat Cliny the Scourge arrives, terrifying the woodlanders with his poison-barbed tail. Matthias has always dreamed of adventure, and even though he is only a young mouse, he takes it upon himself to retrieve Martin the Warrior’s legendary sword, hidden somewhere in the abbey. But will he find it before Cliny’s army of vermin arrives at their doorstep?
Redwall is the first in the epic twenty-two book series by Brian Jacques, a medieval fantasy of anthropomorphic animals that is fondly remembered for its strong cast of characters and comprehensive history. But ask any Redwall fan their impressions of the series and they’ll inevitably mention the feasting – the courses of pudding and cheeses that grace these pages are enough to make any reader hungry (good thing there’s even a Redwall recipe in the back!). Equal parts Watership Down and The Hobbit, Redwall is a wonderful read for those seeking a little adventure.
Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller and author, and also blogs for the Readings website.