30 Day Book Challenge: Day Six

Favorite young adult book: Redwall – Brian Jacques

Not sure if this counts “young adult” because it’s more directed towards older children. Whatever, this book kicks ass and I want to talk about. The story is about a kingdom of animals and fortified castled named Redwall. The kingdom is being threatened by Cluny the Scourge, a rat and leader of other vermin. A young mouse named Matthias is eager to protect to the kingdom and sets out to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior. From there the narrative details Matthias trying to decipher the different clues that leads him to the sword and the different creatures he befriends along the way. Eventually, Cluny breaches the castle’s walls and Matthias must rise to the task and fight.

I read this book when I was 11 or 12 and it really had quite the effect on me. At the time I was also really into Zelda: Ocarina of Time, so I was immersed in many archetypal fantasies telling stories of young boys on the precipice of manhood in search of legendary swords. Very phallic, I know. It inspired me to pursue other paragons of fantasy such as The Hobbit and eventually Lord Of The Rings. I tried reading other books in the Redwall series, but Jacques never really returns to the first book’s form.

The book works because you really find yourself rooting for Matthias in the hopes that he’ll discover the sword and defeat Cluny. The race against time is suspenseful and the mysterious riddles Matthias has to solve are a lot of fun. Like J.K. Rowling, Jacques treats his targeted audience with respect and isn’t afraid to take his time building the narrative, having faith in the reader’s attention and comprehension. I’m jealous of any kid picking this book up for the first time.




~ by braddunne on June 20, 2011.

One Response to “30 Day Book Challenge: Day Six”

  1. My favorite Jacques is Mossflower, followed by Matthias, but there’s no denying the great story that started it all. I also discovered Redwall around the age you did and read it avidly from about 5th grade to 8th. While I haven’t returned to that world in some time, I cherish the books on my shelf and DO plan to finish his series eventually. There is such a joy in his writing, an absolute delight at being able to share these fascinating characters, their lavish feasts, and their battles both private and epic.

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