Redwall by Brian Jacques

Posted February 1, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Redwall

Redwall

by Brian Jacques

Series: Redwall #1
Publisher: Philomel Books on January 1, 1986
Genre: Animals, Fantasy
Target Age Group: Childrens, Middle Grade
Rating: ★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice, is threatened by Cluny the Scourge savage bilge rat warlord and his battle-hardened horde. But the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends combine their courage and strength.

 

When I was growing up, Redwall was very popular.  I remember my peers carrying around the books, but they never really interested me.  I think it’s because I’ve never really been into animal protagonists, as a rule.  I added this to my TBR from a bit of a nostalgic impulse, wondering what all the hype was about back in the late 90s.

I think I can see why people liked Redwall.  The storytelling and world building is decent.  It feels very much what a siege could feel like from epic fantasy, but bringing it down to animal protagonists makes it feel more accessible.  It feels like an older story in a middle grade novel.  I honestly had a hard time getting into the groove of it.  It didn’t have the whimsy I’m accustomed to in middle grade novels, but that’s good.  It’s a different feel, which means that Redwall would appeal to readers who don’t care for the lighter, fluffier books.

There were a lot of characters in Redwall, and outside of Matthias and Cornflower, I’ll admit that I didn’t keep track of them very well.  This was a full cast recording, and the narrators did a great job creating the atmosphere, but there was a lot going on.  There was a lot going on, but at the same time, it moved at a snail’s pace.

My biggest takeaway is that I was bored.  It surprised me, because when I pick apart the different elements, there’s a lot in Redwall I should have enjoyed.  There’s the medieval-esque setting and the deep fantasy feel to the novel.  That screams my aesthetic.  And it kills me because I know there’s nothing wrong with it.  The formula of the story works, the characters are all varied and likable enough.  The pacing isn’t that slow because there’s a lot of POVs and they split at the right times.  From a technical perspective, Brian Jacques did everything right here.  There is nothing I can say against this book except that I personally didn’t enjoy it.

So on that note, I won’t be reading the rest of the series.  I think this book is solid.  I think young readers would enjoy it, somewhere between MG and YA to be honest.  It’s a little dry, but it’s a decent book, honestly. Just not for me.  I would definitely recommend it for the right reader!

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★ 1/2

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Have you ever gone back and read books you missed when you were younger?  My TBR is scattered with all sorts of books, and I’m guilty of reading things over and over, and looking back read books I missed. Tell me all about the books you wish you’d read  when you were younger or when they were hyped in the comments!

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