In honor of author Brian Jacques, who died Wednesday, I hereby share with you my series review and sketch of his booksigning. This was a handwritten in-store review after his appearance back in the late ’90s at Boulder Bookstore.   ~Jenn


The Redwall Series (Redwall through Marlfox)

For those young enough to enjoy a ripping good yarn, and those old enough to plow through ten novels with delight. Follow the adventures of the young warriors of Redwall Abbey and Salamandastron as they battle unceasing evil hordes.

Each book is a terrifying, humorful, thrilling tale of heroism, pitting good mice, voles, squirrels, and hares against evil foxes, ferrets, weasels, and rats. Each book features good friends, grand battles, and a grand feast afterwards. Yes, this formula can begin to feel repetitive, but in a good way–like enjoying the familiar tropes of a Star Trek episode or James Bond film; that happy familiarity that can be satisfying. Those of you with daughters (or adults who like good YA fiction) who are looking for strong female warrior characters without a sexual focus need look no further than the good woodland creatures of Redwall, where a young underdog saves the day and takes the cake, female as often as male.

Young readers, or intrepid readers-aloud, though, beware: Each animal species is written with a different, distinct dialect from the British Isles, from RAF soldier-like hares to Welsh voles to the almost incomprehensible Cornish moles. I recommend not only silent reading, but listening to any of the many audiobooks which Jacques himself reads in his bass voice from Liverpool. You can really get the flavor and cadence of the many accents by doing so. All in all, a highly recommended series!   ~Prof. Jenn