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(Redwall #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  111,177 ratings  ·  4,079 reviews
A quest to recover a legendary lost weapon by bumbling young apprentice monk, mouse Matthias.

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.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 4th 2006 by Red Fox (first published 1986)
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Tait Sougstad Any series written with a good sense of development should be read in publishing order, this one included. This preserves the original order of discov…moreAny series written with a good sense of development should be read in publishing order, this one included. This preserves the original order of discovery intended by the author. Reading out of order may diminish the pleasure of discovery by answering questions before the reader has a chance to ask them. For example, reading in chronological order would highlight the activity of Martin the Warrior, without giving the reader the chance to wonder who he was and why he was venerated in the original Redwall. The prequels also double-back and develop some of the meaning in books published earlier that take place later in time, refreshing the read and creating continuity.

Yes, as other people have answered, this requires the reader to be active and remember details as the timeline skips around, but it's worth it if the author is intentional in how he develops his world.(less)
Cosmos I'm 35 and just started reading this series. I just finished the first book and I can tell you it made me really want to read the rest and I'm looking…moreI'm 35 and just started reading this series. I just finished the first book and I can tell you it made me really want to read the rest and I'm looking forward to doing so.(less)

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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  111,177 ratings  ·  4,079 reviews

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Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
you know what was the best part of these books? and i say books as in plural because there were so fucking many of them i can't sit still long enough to check them all off. and i DID read every single one. what else was there to do in middle school?

anyway, the best part of these books was brian's description of food. it was magnificent. it didn't just make you hungry, it made you crave weird ass things that nobody would ever dream about eating in middle school. nutted cheeses and flan bread and
Bentley ★
See this review and more like it on

This book was actually one of the first chapter books I read as a child, but because that was so long ago and at the start of my life as a reader, my brain had pretty much deleted all of the details of it - save for the fact that I enjoyed it when I was young. I'm happy to report that I found the book just as enjoyable as an adult reader; perhaps even more so, for the aspects of it I'm sure I appreciate more as an adult reader that would hav
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was ok

2.0 stars. Now I admit upfront that YA fantasy is somewhat starting to lose its appeal to me, making me a harsher critic of what I think are weak efforts. At the same time, I still really enjoy the compelling, higher end stuff. Unfortunately, THIS A'INT IT!! YA is one thing, but I found this to be the “Y” est of YA fantasy books that I have read in quite a while. It was just too young.

Despite the fact that the book is fairly well written and decently paced, I found the plot itself to just b
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Yea, verily, a young mouse yclept Matthias doth live peacefully in the walled city of Redwall, wherein reside all manner of goodhearted animals like mice, badgers, squirrels, etc. (not to be confused with the mean villain predators like rats and foxes). It comes to pass that their bucolic lifestyle is disturbed, nay, gravely threatened, by an incursion of an evil cohort of rats. Mayhap Matthias will rise to the occasion and become the heroic warrior that will save his people animals in their tim ...more
Zeke Gill
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was pretty much the book that got me hooked on reading because I used to hate it. I know, I know, Hate reading? how is that possible? The truth is, When you're eight or nine reading doesn't normally sound as good as watching a cartoon. But one glorious day I somehow stumbled across a cartoon of Redwall, and I LOVED it! I liked it so much that when the cartoon was over I had to know more about this amazing world, but I didn't have a way of watching the other movies so I was forced to do some ...more
I did not read this book (or its many following books) when I was younger, so thought it was time to give this book a go. Simple, straightforward story, with simply-drawn characters. The good guys (mice, squirrels, etc.) are really good people, while the bad guy is a whisker-twirling nasty fellow. The two main protagonists are as far apart in their actions and views as they could possibly be: Martin, the young, somewhat clumsy but respectful, hardworking and kind mouse. Cluny, the evil, lying, m ...more
Mar 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
Can't remember when I've been so disappointed by a book that came so highly recommended and clearly has such a strong following. Seriously: I love a good yarn about talking animals as much as the next person, but I do expect some basic level of believability, maybe a good character or two... a plot...
One of the things that especially niggled at me was that I couldn't figure out the *scale* of the Redwall world. Are they mice and rats living clandestine in a human-built world? If so, where are t
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of animal characters, fantasy adventure, or LOTR
I managed to finish this just in time for count it "as read" in 2007! With (how appropriate) 7 minutes to spare lol:>
I really enjoyed this book!!:D I was amazed at how vibrant the characters were and how attached to them I felt. Had I known the plot going into the book, I think I would have been very hesitant as the story centers around an attack from Cluny the Scourge (an evil rat) and his horde on the peaceful and caring Abby of Redwall mice and other woodland creatures - for 350 p
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

If I could say one thing about Jacques, it’s that he was a master storyteller! His books take you on grand adventures that rival the best fantasy novels out there. I’ve read them so many times the covers are falling off! An what’s more, the series sustains itself, with drawn out stories about downright fascinating characters. Bravery and Goodness can come from anywhere, and there are always evil-doers to stand up to. They are such well-rounded
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it

✨ Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019✨
✨✨A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent✨✨

I remember watching Redwall on Saturday morning with my brother when I was a child, so finding out that it was based on a book was a real treat! I really enjoyed the characters and the classical, timeless themes of good vs. evil and coming together against a common foe.


Nostalgia: I always enjoy things that take me back to my childhood and this book certainl
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
Uh. Upon rereading, this entire book is just bad guys getting slaughtered in very gruesome ways. And usually ended with a cheerful little exclamation point. Kinda chilling.

The characters in "Redwall" and all the following books in the series are a various mixture of animals from as small as mice to the largest which are badgers. The theme throughout is good versus evil as the Redwallers and all their many friends face and stand up to and fight the “wicked” characters; mainly sea faring rats. Brian Jacques wrote this unique series for teen-agers but they are also enjoyed by the young at heart such as me.

Brian, sadly no longer with us; narrated his tales to provide
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm insane, and here's evidence.

There are 22 books in this series. Each has about 400 pages (we'll take the median here). That makes 8,800 pages in the whole series.

I've read all of them five or six times.

That means I've read 44,000 to 52,800 pages of Redwall.

Sometimes you need pages and pages of mouthwatering descriptions of food and animals talking and singing and reciting rhymes.

I'm a cult follower. Fight me.
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now, for those of you who read this book and liked it, I have absolutely no problem with that. I actually thought it was an okay book myself. A heroic mouse by the name of Matthias lives peacefully in Redwall, an enclosed city within a fortress. The residents include mice, squirrels, badgers, otters, and all sorts of other small animals. However, an army of rats attack in envy of stealing the fortress. Matthias must become a warrior and obtain a sword to fight back at the army. Now, at this poin ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
I loved the Redwall series when I was young. When we'd go to visit my grandmother's house, I'd head to the library and grab a bit pile of books, and the Redwall books always featured among them. I read quite a few of them--up to Lord Brocktree, I think--before my interest waned, partially because the plots were all kind of blurring together, but also because I just moved on to other things. When my book group picked Redwall as the next book, I was eager to read it again, curious if it would hold ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
When I was in Elementary School I LOVED REDWALL! Redwall was the book that got me into reading when I was a kid. Brain Jacques (pronounced Jakes) was my favorite author. Not only did I love animals (I had a zoo on our front porch consisting of catfish, snakes, crickets, salamanders, two Chinese hamsters, tadpoles, a rabbit, frogs, a snapping turtle, you name it I had it) but I also loved the Medieval Ages, SO put these two loves together and BAM! Redwall!

I loved Matthias. He was an awesome char
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
As an adult, I found this book ok; it was the standard fantasy cliches that abound without anything especially new that caught my interest. However, since this was a bedtime story for my kids, I want to add that they enjoyed it more and would probably have said it was at least 3 stars if not 4.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good read. When Redwall abbey is under attack by cluny the scourge and his horde of vicious rats, it is up to a young mouse named Mathias and the other woodland creatures to stop them. Will they succeed? Be sure to read this book and find out. I reccomend this book to fans of fantasy and ya books. Definitely check it out.
Jul 01, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like regular mice fighting with little swords
Ok, its regular sized animals living in a human sized world. Where are the humans? Why is there a human sized horse and wagon that the evil rats ride on? These are just some of the questions I pondered as I read through this snooze fest.

This book is quite literally a regular mouse picking up a tiny little sword, and fighting various things(snakes, rats, my will to live!). Now if the image of a little mouse holding a tiny sword doesn't want to make you retch at the absurd "oh how cute" nature of
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 5th grade and up
Recommended to Rebecca by: Chris W.
I read Chris's copy. He brought it to the library and said, "Read the real thing and not that other garbage." I guess that's a step up from "read this or die." I really have readers looking out for me, eh?

It took me a good while to get through this, but I'm glad I did. I've now read a classic and I can agree with Chris that one should read the "real thing" as well as the graphic novel adaptation. What the graphic novel missed in distilling down 300-plus pages was the descriptions: Jacques writes
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
It’s the rare book that my sons have recommended to me...the rare book whose author I have actually met and heard speak and adored...the rare book that is on hundreds of Must-Read lists...the rare book that has all these things going for it and yet remains on my TBR heap.

I was finally motivated to pull it out of the pile and give it a thorough read when my 1001 Children’s Books list chose it for a group read in February.

Why, why, why, I thought as I finished the last page, why didn’t I read this
Melody Schwarting
If Beatrix Potter wrote Arthurian-inspired medieval stories...

I missed the Redwall train growing up. The cover is familiar to me, and probably what turned me off--I didn't care for war novels then. Redwall is extraordinarily violent, so I know I'd have hated this particular book as a kid, but it was quite good fun now that my stomach is a bit stronger.

The world of Redwall Abbey is simply charming. Woodland creatures feasting medieval-style? Yes, please. I loved Jacques's attention to animal life
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this 7 or 8 years ago and thought I'd re-read it to see if I like it any better (since everyone seems to love this book).

It is a good book that I didn't enjoy all that much.

I think there are children's book and YA books that can be enjoyed equally by children and by adults but I don't think this is one of them. I think this is a 5 star book for a 12 year old but it just doesn't do that much for me. Good characters and good plot but the lack of depth bothered me as an adult reading the sto
Millie Florence
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m probably quite biased, as this was a childhood favorite of mine and holds a lot of nostalgia for me. But, all things considered, I think Redwall a very good book.

Admittedly, the pacing is very quick, some might call it rushed, and there’s a lot of ‘telling’ rather than showing. But I don’t mind this for a few reasons.

1. It gives the aesthetic of a classic adventure tale told from parent to child around a roaring fire at night.

2. It’s obviously that it did not stem from a lack of talent. The
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, classics, fiction
I had forgotten I actually had read this last year!

This was a wonderfully charming book, and the style of writing reminded me much like Tolkien in The Hobbit. It follows a daring little mouse against a big bad evil, and how he pulled together this ragtag team of warriors against these vicious and coordinated rats. I highly recommend it for you to read to your children, or read by yourself. It's an older book, but it's a gem, and there's many more Redwall books after this one. I haven't read many
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by a full cast, featuring Brian Jacques as the narrator.

From the author’s introductory note: When winter fades and spring blossoms into summer, I feel an overwhelming urge to travel back once more. Mouse Warriors and badger Lords come striding through the realms of my imagination, accompanied by their companions: comical hares, rustic moles, faithful otters, and all manner of diverse creatures. Questing, feasting, singing, and battling to defend good against evil.

My reactions
Jayanth - A Capricious Reader
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, used-books
A light-hearted children's fantasy book. There are mice, rats, badgers, sparrows, ferrets, otters, moles, a big bad snake and more.

A fortress called Redwall in the middle of the Mossflower wood is attacked by Cluny the Scourge, an evil villain who is hell bent upon invading the Redwall and ruling over the folk of this small castle. The inhabitants are all kindly, non-warrior folk. But when the scum Cluny brings the battle to their doorstep, they rise to the occasion with wit and will and try to
I really enjoyed reading this, I imagine if I read this earlier in my life I would have loved it but it was still a solid 3.5 for me.
Nandakishore Mridula
I do not hold children's tales to the same standards that I do other types of literature. For me, what is essential for these stories is a ripping good yarn, written in an engaging way, which will transport the child beyond the narrow confines of the printed page and open the infinite horizon of imagination to her. Redwall is all that and much more. Mind you, it's no The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter; it does not have even the depth of Watership Down; but it is a blood-and-thunder story writ ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Ugh! I'm sorry I'm sorrryyyyyyy I just did not enjoy this book at all. I have no idea how a child or teenager would be able to focus and read all the way through. Each page and chapter was such a drag I really should have made it a DNF but I felt bad since Redwall is so well known and loved. But alas, I did not like it.

The story is VERY basic... Redwall Mathias mice vs. Cluny's rats, back and forth and back and forth through this tug of war... with Martin's sword and Martin's tapestry as a troph
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Brian Jacques (pronounced 'jakes') was born in Liverpool, England on June 15th, 1939. Along with forty percent of the population of Liverpool, his ancestral roots are in Ireland, County Cork to be exact.

Brian grew up in the area around the Liverpool docks, where he attended St. John's School, an inner city school featuring a playground on its roof. At the age of ten, his very first day at St. Joh

Other books in the series

Redwall (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Mossflower (Redwall, #2)
  • Mattimeo (Redwall, #3)
  • Mariel of Redwall (Redwall, #4)
  • Salamandastron (Redwall, #5)
  • Martin the Warrior (Redwall, #6)
  • The Bellmaker (Redwall, #7)
  • Outcast of Redwall (Redwall, #8)
  • Pearls of Lutra (Redwall, #9)
  • The Long Patrol (Redwall, #10)
  • Marlfox (Redwall, #11)

News & Interviews

Secrets between siblings, grandparents with grievances, parents with problems. If you're looking for serious drama, check out these new...
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“Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others.” 2895 likes
“Friar Hugo, old friend, brace yourself. I am the bearer of tragic news!"

Alarm spread across Hugo's pudgy features. "Tell me, Jess. What dreadful thing has happened?"

Jess spoke haltingly in a broken voice. "I fear that Cluny has tore up one of your oldest and most venerable dishrags. Alas, Redwall will never see it wipe another plate.”
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