Brian Jacques was both a master storyteller and a jack-of-all-trades. He lived the life of a sailor, actor, stand-up comedian, radio host, bobby, even a bus driver. He was the recipient of an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of Liverpool and a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books for younger readers, including the wildly popular Redwall series. Dr. Jacques was a lifelong resident of Liverpool, England.
Author Jacques reads his latest work with an assured and enthusiastic tone that demonstrates his familiarity with and passion for his subject matter. In this 12th story about the woodland creatures who inhabit and defend Redwall Abbey, listeners are treated to a prequel of sorts. In the early days of Redwall, Martin the warrior leaves the still-growing abbey and travels to the Northland shore where his father, the warrior Luke, had abandoned him as a child. Along the way, Martin and his companions must fight off weasels and other evil vermin. But once Martin reaches his destination, the answers to many of his lifelong questions are answered. He discovers the real reason his father was forced to leave him behind. As always, Jacques peppers his storytelling with humor, sumptuous descriptions and abundant adventure. Some listeners may find that Jacques's heavy Liverpool accent takes a bit of getting used to, but once acclimated, will be captivated by this colorful tale. Ages 9-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 5 Up-The saga continues as Martin, the warrior mouse, leaves Redwall Abbey on a quest to find out what happened to his parents, whom he can barely remember. He adds to his original party of Gonff, the mouse; Dinny, the mole; and Trimp, the hedgehog as he travels along. Among the most memorable characters on the journey are an outspoken baby squirrel and a half-crazed renegade otter who is redeemed by the young squirrel's innocent friendship. Eventually, Martin finds two elderly friends, the mouse, Vurg, and the rabbit, Beau, who sailed with his father on his final journey. These old shipmates share the story of how Luke the Warrior and the brave squirrel Ranguvar Foeseeker gave their lives to avenge the death of Martin's mother and rid the seas of the wicked pirate stoat, Vilu Daskar. Readers who have enjoyed the series on land will find this seafaring addition equally fast paced. The action is interspersed with the broad humor, rustic speech, and delicious vegetarian meals shared by the good-natured animal friends. Be aware, however, that the story of Luke the Warrior, told as a tale within a tale, is one of cruelty, revenge, and the ultimate self-sacrifice. Phonetic spelling of the various animals' dialects, used both in conversation and in the many songs, may act as a barrier to some readers. This 12th title in the series will have the most appeal where the previous books have a following.-Valerie Diamond, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Praise for the Redwall series
"Brian Jacques has the true fantasy writer's ability to create a wholly new and believable world." -School Library Journal
"The medieval world of Redwall Abbey-where gallant mouse warriors triumph over evil invaders-has truly become the stuff of legend." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"A grand adventure story. Once the reader is hooked, there is no peace until the final page." -Chicago Sun-Times
"Jacques's effortless, fast-paced narrative gets its readers quickly hooked. He clearly loves this other world he has created-there's a genius sense of involvement and care (lots of lovingly descriptive passages), as well as an overflowing, driving imagination." -Birmingham Post
"Redwall is both an incredible and ingratiating place, one to which readers will doubtless cheerfully return." -New York Times Book Review
"An excellent adventure with an enlightened conscience. Brilliantly complex. With vibrant and distinct animal characters, Jacques's classically inspired plot-weaving achieves virtuosity." -Publishers Weekly
"Only a churl would reject this morality play in fur." -Kirkus Reviews
"Filled with the kind of vibrant storytelling that fans of Jacques have come to expect. His dialogue is lively and delightful to read aloud...so rich in detail that the sights and sounds and smells of the adventure pull the reader in." -Grand Rapids Press (MI)
"A richly imagined world in which bloody battles vie for attention with copious feasting and tender romancing. Where males and females are heroes and warriors. Where the young triumph and the old endure. Where intelligence is as valued as strength and wit is frequently more important than size...[Jacques] continues to surprise and delight with intriguing plots and fresh faces." -Cincinnati Enquirer
"The Knights of the Round Table with paws." -The Sunday Times (London)