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View Full Version : Best Warriors of the Ages (Redwall Series Discussion)



Fiery Diamond
2009-03-12, 05:48 AM
So I did a forum search and didn't find any threads dedicated to talking about the Redwall series. I thought, "How can this be? This marvelous series even has people trying to make a Roleplaying Game in that section of the forums but no thread in Media Discussion? I must fix this!" So, I want to begin a general discussion thread on the Redwall series.

For starters, I (age 19, age 20 in a few months) love reading this series. It's nostalgic as well as just plain fun. This was actually the series that got me into reading books when I was a kid. I went into first grade struggling to read, but by second grade I was reading every Redwall book I could get my hands on. I loved the stories and characters so much! I still do, even if now they seem a bit simplistic. They were the gateway into the world of reading books for me, so they hold a special place in my heart.

I have every book except Eulalia, which I didn't know existed until recently. I'm currently reading Doomwyte. My favorite books were Martin the Warrior, Mossflower, Mariel of Redwall, and The Bellmaker (more or less in that order).

My favorite heroes are Martin, Gonff, Mariel, and Dandin. The stars of the books that are my favorites, unsurprisingly. If I had to choose a #1 favorite hero, it would probably be Mariel. She is just that freaking awesome. Her relationship with Dandin is probably my favorite character relationship (apart from Martin's relationship with his girlfriend, but she died) in the whole series.

What about you guys? What are your memories? Do you like to read the books now? What are your favorites books? Your favorite characters? Let's all have fun talking about Redwall!

afroakuma
2009-03-12, 09:50 AM
I did enjoy the series, though I stopped at... The Taggerung, I believe. Once they left the old Canadian format and went hardcover, I lost interest. Triss was the first one I didn't buy, and I haven't read one since.

I actually learned of the series through the Canadian TV series, which had a cool oboe theme and was introduced around Christmas, which I always find fitting. The earlier books are by far my favorites, although generally I like stories earlier in the series' chronology than later.

DraPrime
2009-03-12, 04:24 PM
Oh man, it's been years since I read a Redwall book. I think one of my favorites was The Long Patrol. And what was the name of that one with the six clawed weasel? That one was also pretty good.

hamishspence
2009-03-12, 04:55 PM
Outcast of Redwall, yes. I think beyond The Long Patrol I was beginning to get a bit underwhelmed though- except for the prequel ones like Lord Brocktree and The Legend of Luke.

on verse in the series, These are the days of Ungatt Trunn, from Lord Brocktree, sticks in the mind a bit.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-03-12, 06:55 PM
Redwall was the very first fantasy series I got into, and I have fond memories to this day. I forget where I stopped reading, but it was at about the time I realized that the books were, plotwise, all rather same-ish. Still, they're wonderful novels for kids and adults alike.

hamishspence
2009-03-12, 06:58 PM
Robin Jarvis's Deptford Mice and Deptford Histories book were a bit like Redwall in some ways. A little grimmer: referred to once on TV tropes as "the absinthe to Redwall's home-made lemonade."

Llama231
2009-03-12, 08:29 PM
I read Redwall quite a bit, ending with [something]-hedge.
Loom? Cheese? Stone?

Or Triss. Whichever came later.

It seems like a bit of a dark series sometimes, but was quite good. I like complicated stories. When I was younger, I sometimes even got sad whenever the stupid evil minions accidentally killed each other.

*cough*swan*cough*Mossflower*cough*

I also respect it for the random last stands (oh, those poor baddies, going out in a blaze or gory).


Basically, I remember a lot of antagonists not going out so well.

Badger vs. Cat for the win.:smallbiggrin:

Copacetic
2009-03-12, 08:41 PM
I like a good Redwall. Pearls of Lutra, Salamandestron, and maybe even high Rhulain are my favorites.

SilentNight
2009-03-13, 08:49 AM
That was a great series. I think I read most of them as a kid, definitely not all though. As far as favorite book, I'd have to say Lord Brocktree for badassness and hares.

RTGoodman
2009-03-20, 10:41 PM
I've just started getting to Redwall recently, on my journey to try to read as many of the most important/influential/famous fantasy stories of all time. I'd heard of Jacques and Redwall before, but never read any until about two months ago, when I picked up the first book (Redwall) at B&N. I really enjoyed it a lot, and will definitely reread it (and I'm probably going to give it to my little cousin for Christmas - she loves to read, but her family on lets her read Bible stories and Christian books, but I think I can sneak it in because of the great Good vs. Evil theme).

The problem was, I could never get into the second one (Mossflower, I think?) for some reason. I got it for cheap (along with a couple others) and started it immediately after finishing the first, but couldn't get more than a chapter in. Is that one one I should try again on, or could I just skip to some others without missing anything?

(Also, interesting note, I picked up Martin the Warrior at the used books store too, and it contains what I'm assuming is an authentic autograph by Jacques. I don't know how to verify it, but for $2 or whatever I couldn't pass it up...)

Quincunx
2009-03-21, 06:30 AM
If you try the early books again, try skipping the first four or five chapters. Introductions weren't Jacques' strong point, and after the early books an editor stepped in to help. That didn't stop myself and my class from devouring the books when our school library acquired the series, though, at the time when Salamandastron was current. I think one teacher was on the point of banning them from his classroom until they appeared under the desk-top of a dedicated non-reader.

The initial three books will be OK for a cloistered household, I think, since in all three cases the antagonist died from 'natural' causes (i.e. the protagonist did not kill them directly). Beyond that, I can't remember and that rule may have been relaxed. If she's still interested after the trilogy, try pointing her at the Mariel books.

While there might have been no discussion here, the gaming people did spend some time statting out Redwall creatures for d20. That may have been before their forum purge.

hamishspence
2009-03-21, 09:28 AM
Nearly every book after first three seems to have antagonist directly slain by heroes.

Mariel of Redwall:
Villain slain by scorpion thrown into his face

Salamandastron:
Villain slain by hero grabbing him and jumping off a cliff

Martin The Warrior:
Villain slain by hero stabbing him

The Bellmaker:
Villain slain by being run head first into a tree at high speed, by a hero

Outcast of Redwall:
Villain slain by bein picked up and hurled very hard

Thats not to mention the many minor villains killed by heroes.

Xondoure
2009-04-01, 02:01 AM
Yeah, I also used these books to jumpstart my reading ability. My favorite has varied over time but Mossflower has always held the trump card for me. I stopped reading the series a few years ago, because I could not bear the fact that the plot NEVER BOOPING CHANGED!

Cheesegear
2009-04-01, 05:19 AM
It was one of my very favourite series' when I was a kid. So much so, that two years ago I found a whole hoard of them in a bookshop, and, right then and there, I bought all ten that the bookshop had. I think it cost me somewhere in the vicinity of ~$150 (Aus). I devoured the first few books, grinning gleefully as I recalled the scene in Mossflower (?) when the Logalogs go down the rapids, hit a rock, and go flying over the raft (which contains Martin and Co.) in front of them. Laughing the whole time. Saying something like "That's how it's done!"

...I think it was about just after Salamandastron that I realised that all the books were the same. :smallannoyed: I still read all the way up to Lord Brocktree (which was WIN, by the way), but, never read The Taggerung or anything after it. Does it change?

Now that I'm older, I realise that the books are racist (within the contents of the book), members of this species are always evil. Even the one that was raised in Redwall (I can't remember his name) turned out evil.
...I'm still waiting for an evil Badger to come along...Who has no redeeming qualities whatsoever to 'turn him good' at the end of the book. :smallamused: Come on Mr. Jacques, your audience is getting older, it's time your work grew up too.

The only thing in Redwall that's missing is Reepicheep. :smallwink:


While there might have been no discussion here, the gaming people did spend some time statting out Redwall creatures for d20.

Grimm d20 (which is OGL, and therefore free), has a Talking Template, which grants the animal +3d6 INT, and +1d3 CHA, and the ability to speak one language (English/Common), among other things.
The Upright Template, halves their speed, but gain 'arms' and opposable thumbs (so they can hold things), among other things.
...Apply them both

MeklorIlavator
2009-04-01, 06:03 AM
...I think it was about just after Salamandastron that I realised that all the books were the same. :smallannoyed: I still read all the way up to Lord Brocktree (which was WIN, by the way), but, never read The Taggerung or anything after it. Does it change?



Not really, though my favorite books are probably the 2 that come after Lord Brocktree: Tadderung and Triss, if I remember correctly.

But, yeah, I pretty much have the same complaints as you.

Ghastly Epigram
2009-04-01, 09:36 AM
Ahh, good old Redwall. I did so love it. As others have said, eventually you realize how simple they are and all being pretty much the same, but I definitely have fond memories of them and all the fun characters and such, and I daresay I could still read them and get enjoyment out of them. :smallsmile:

I still liked the later ones and thought there were some neat things in them, but High Rhulain is what made me stop. There was just nothing interesting in it, and everything was a watered down version of previous books. :smallfrown:

Hmm, favourite books are hard to choose, though I might have to go with the Martin books: Mossflower (Definitely my favourite), Martin the Warrior, The Legend of Luke. For some reason every book he was in was especially good, though not particularly because of him for me. As for characters, Tsarmina was always my favourite villain, though honorable mentions go to the Marlfox and the dynamic between Foxwolf and his co-leader.

Damn it, now I am tempted to go and read them again! :smallyuk:

Kneenibble
2009-04-01, 01:25 PM
The Redwall series was my first fantasy series too. I can't remember when I started them, but it was years and years ago -- well over ten, when I was still in grade school. My mom brought one home from the library for me and I went totally crazy for them: definitely a wonderfully formative experience in my childhood. I haven't thought about that in a while -- thank you for making this thread and reminding me.

I always really liked the sparrows & I hope to drink dandelion cordial one day.

The ratty pirate king, who was haunted by visions of Matthias and stopped sleeping, scared and fascinated me. Fantastic villain.

Salvonus
2009-04-01, 03:26 PM
I certainly did enjoy Redwall at one point... Unfortunately, even as a young'un, I quickly got annoyed at how black-and-white the plot was, and how the series seemed to constantly recycle the same story. :smalltongue:

Still, Redwall actually got me involved in internet fora for the first time, thanks to a couple friends who were a bit more into it than I ever was. That (eventually) led to me discovering such wonders as webcomics, so it can't be all that bad, right? :smallwink:

I always did love those feasts... God, did they ever eat well. If anything, the sheer joy of reading about their exceptionally utopian lifestyle in the abbey (when they weren't under attack, of course) was the best part of the series.

'course, later in life, I discovered the horror that is the fringe of furry fandom, which basically ruined almost all anthro books for me. :smalleek:

Cheesegear
2009-04-01, 04:15 PM
I certainly did enjoy Redwall at one point... Unfortunately, even as a young'un, I quickly got annoyed at how black-and-white the plot was, and how the series seemed to constantly recycle the same story.

Even as a young'un? Ho burr!
As a tyke I thought they were brilliant. I didn't realise they were so black-and-white until a few years ago when I read them again.


I always did love those feasts... God, did they ever eat well. If anything, the sheer joy of reading about their exceptionally utopian lifestyle in the abbey

I thought the feasts were the worst part - even as a kid. There's at least two in just about every book, and Mr. Jacques spends three-four paragraphs on food. Something that we'll never see again, and has no real point to the story. And then he pretty much recycles the same paragraphs for the next feast for after the battle (there is always a battle) when the Good Guys Win (and they always win).


'course, later in life, I discovered the horror that is the fringe of furry fandom, which basically ruined almost all anthro books for me. :smalleek:

But The Wind in the Willows is great. And seriously; Winnie the Pooh is still one of my very favourite books.
...And there's a bunch of Australian classics that I like. For some reason, we Australians love like a lot our anthropomorphic animals.

snoopy13a
2009-04-01, 04:39 PM
I think the most important thing to remember regarding Redwall is that they are children's books. This helps to explain the clear definition between good and evil and the formulaic nature of the plots.

I like a couple of the Redwall books when I was a kid. I haven't read one in a long, long time and I wonder if I'd enjoy rereading them...

Fiery Diamond
2009-04-01, 05:16 PM
Of course, every once in a while he throws in a book that doesn't go with the standard formula, which makes things interesting. A number of the earlier books were more interesting than the later ones, though.

As far as the racist/speciesist thing goes...yeah, that bugs me too (it didn't so much when I was a kid). But that just made Blaggut that much more awesome. Good rat for the win! A bumbling idiot, but an adorable bumbling idiot. He was in The Bellmaker. Ah, yes, Blaggut.

I still wish Jacques had written another book with Mariel and Dandin. I love those guys... I have a thing for warrior girls, though, so that's probably most of the reason. Warrior tomboys ... one of my favorite character archetypes.

Lappy9000
2009-04-01, 05:31 PM
I dunno, each plot is distinctively unique:


Band of hares facing fearsome odds.
4 Leaders storming the castle of the dreaded Foxwolf.
Traversing into a deserted abbey to find a cure (scenes at the chasm are epic).
Dibbuns captured by a twisted slaver bent on revenge (favorite villian right there).
Tale of a mouse who rescues Mossflower from the oppressive wildcats.
Former slaves escaping from a northern warlord.
Search for the hideaway of the mighty badgers (now inhabited by a three-headed snake!)
Anmesiac mousemaid swearing revenge against a fearsome pirate lord.
Travels of an otter destined to be the legendary Taggerrung (title held by a band of vermin)
Usurper wolverine warlord seeking a walking stone.


All the books keep to the same aesthetic, and the characters, not the plots seem to be the same very often. Hares are garrulous, badgers are powerful and wise, mice are resourceful, squirrels are agile and flighty, vermin are despicable.

My favorites are those when you can see how characters from other books have aged and gone about their lives (he ended up being the abbot?! she's new warrior of Redwall?!).

Not to say I didn't like a few: Legend of Luke, Eulailia, and Martin the Warrior.

Must-Reads include: Redwall, Marlfox, The Long Patrol, Lord Brocktree, Outcast of Redwall, Mariel of Redwall, and Taggerrung.

Edit:

'course, later in life, I discovered the horror that is the fringe of furry fandom, which basically ruined almost all anthro books for me. :smalleek:

I thought the feasts were the worst part - even as a kid. There's at least two in just about every book, and Mr. Jacques spends three-four paragraphs on food. Something that we'll never see again, and has no real point to the story. And then he pretty much recycles the same paragraphs for the next feast for after the battle (there is always a battle) when the Good Guys Win (and they always win).Bad guys are evil. Good guys are good. Food tastes awesome. Adults are liars and using their logic will only pervert the goodness of these stories :smallbiggrin:

Cheesegear
2009-04-02, 02:12 AM
Band of hares facing fearsome odds.
4 Leaders storming the castle of the dreaded Foxwolf.
Traversing into a deserted abbey to find a cure (scenes at the chasm are epic).
Dibbuns captured by a twisted slaver bent on revenge (favorite villian right there).
Tale of a mouse who rescues Mossflower from the oppressive wildcats.
Former slaves escaping from a northern warlord.
Search for the hideaway of the mighty badgers (now inhabited by a three-headed snake!)
Anmesiac mousemaid swearing revenge against a fearsome pirate lord.
Travels of an otter destined to be the legendary Taggerrung (title held by a band of vermin)
Usurper wolverine warlord seeking a walking stone.


But they're all the same (mostly) in the end. Every plot is better summarised as;

Feast.
Big Bad Guy shows up and starts wrecking everything.
Underdog Good Guy (or good guys) does something. Gets into trouble with the Big Bad.
Big Bad shows Good Guy just how truly evil he is.
Someone runs to find a badger (or other 'superior force')
Good Guy escapes/is rescued by other guys.
Feast.
Good Guy starts working up a resistance. Logalog must be present.
Big Bad gets angry. Marches to war.
Good guys put up a fight. But it's pretty clear they're going to die.
Badger ('superior force') shows up in the nick of time and saves the day.
Feast.

Not every Redwall book follows that formula. But it's really (too?) common.

Kneenibble
2009-04-03, 11:20 PM
I loved the descriptions of the feasts. Loved. Actually, they always inspired me to try cooking stuff, bread in particular -- a huge influence towards my current culinary prowess. They also made me really hungry.

The books were wholesome. I probably won't read them again as an adult, but well well: they were an awesome part of my childhood. :P