Redwall — “Redwall” Series

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Book Review

Redwall by Brian Jacques has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the “Redwall” series.

Plot Summary

The mice and other peaceful creatures of Redwall Abbey celebrate the Summer of the Late Rose — until an evil rat named Cluny the Scourge arrives to shatter their serenity. Cluny decides he wants Redwall for himself, and he plots with his army of vermin to destroy the current inhabitants. Matthias, a young, novice mouse, begins receiving signs from a legendary Redwall hero of ages past called Martin the Warrior. As Redwall comes under siege from Cluny’s army, Matthias faces adventures and dangers in a quest to find Martin’s sword. In the end, Matthias retrieves the sword, conquers Cluny and saves Redwall.

Christian Beliefs

Matthias and the other mice are members of an order of monks who believe in doing good and living peacefully — but they never mention God or any “higher power” as the motivating force behind their monastic lifestyle. On one occasion they say grace, but they aren’t actually praying to anyone. Martin the Warrior’s sword is stolen and hoarded by an evil snake named Asmodeus; this may or may not be an allusion to the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Other Belief Systems

Martin the Warrior seems to reincarnate himself in Matthias. Cluny calls for a healer — a fox named Sela — to cure him with her charms, spells and magic herbs.

Authority Roles

Abbot Mortimer and Brother Methuselah look out for Matthias and offer him direction concerning his future. Brother Methuselah reveals secrets to Matthias about Redwall’s history and gives him clues to finding Martin’s sword. Though both are strong believers in peace, Mortimer and Methuselah don’t prevent Matthias from fighting when they come to believe he’s destined to be a warrior. Cluny the Scourge treats his underlings with contempt. He assembles an army by threatening reluctant soldiers and their families, and he has no difficulty brutally injuring or killing those who disobey.

Profanity & Violence

A few words including d–n, darn, and a– appear in the book. Cluny the Scourge and his army perpetrate many brutally vivid, scary acts of violence. Cluny talks freely about hell and Satan, and his cruelty is punctuated by his lack of regard for life and his willingness to kill.

Sexual Content

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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