The Redwall series is a well-known and incredibly popular group of novels from English author Brian Jacques. The series has spanned more than 20 original literary works over more than two decades. In 1999, the Redwall books inspired an animated TV series, also named "Redwall," that aired in the U.S., Canada, Israel, and New Zealand.
The Redwall Series
Although the Redwall books are marketed to middle-grade readers between the ages of nine and 12, kids of all ages and even many adults enjoy reading them. The length and style of the books might present some challenges to younger readers, but kids who can't seem to get enough of reading are likely to whip through them anyway.
The first book in Jacques's series, Redwall, was originally published in 1986. The name of the book reflects its primary setting, Redwall Abbey, which is home to a number of displaced forest creatures.
According to Brian Jacques's official Web site, there have been a total of 21 Redwall novels and three Redwall picture books published as of 2010; the next novel, The Rogue Crew, is slated for publication sometime in 2011. The list below reflects the books' publication in chronological order, but the books do not follow a set progression and can also be read out of order.
- Redwall (1986)
- Mossflower (1988)
- Mattimeo (1989)
- Mariel of Redwall (1991)
- Salamandastron (1992)
- Martin the Warrior (1993)
- The Bellmaker (1994)
- Outcast of Redwall (1995)
- The Pearls of Lutra (1996)
- The Long Patrol (1997)
- Marlfox (1998)
- The Legend of Luke (1999)
- Lord Brocktree (2000)
- The Taggerung (2001)
- Triss (2002)
- Loamhedge (2003)
- Rakkety Tam (2004)
- High Rhulain (2005)
- Eulalia! (2007)
- Doomwyte (2008)
- The Sable Quean (2010)
The three Redwall picture books, all illustrated by Christopher Denise, are:
- The Great Redwall Feast (1996)
- A Redwall Winter's Tale (2001)
- The Redwall Cookbook (2005)
Characters and Setting
The best known character in the Redwall series is Matthias, a young mouse at the Abbey in the series's very first book. Matthias attempts to save the Abbey from Cluny the Scourge, an imposing rat with a group of sinister followers.
Other prominent characters in the series include Martin the Warrior, a mouse who shares his name with the series's sixth novel, and Luke, Martin's father. Mariel Gullwhacker is another mouse who is the title character of the fourth novel. Mattimeo is the hero of the third Redwall book and Matthias's son.
The series includes dozens of other characters as well, many of whom are related to the primary characters in some way. As the books all have to do with Redwall and its surrounding lands and history, it's common for the characters to be intertwined, although each book features distinct protagonists and a new storyline. Along with mice, other main characters are moles, otters, rabbits, squirrels, badgers, snakes, weasels, and foxes.
Redwall is located within Mossflower Woods, near Southsward, another land.
If you know a child who has been enchanted by fantasy books such as C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia or Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, try making a gift of the first Redwall book or checking it out together from the library. Brian Jacques's writing is consistently among the best of any contemporary children's books, and the world he weaves through Redwall novels is both captivating and inspiring.