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(Redwall #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  96,319 ratings  ·  3,454 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…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)
Michael A. I am 63, and started reading them in my 50's. I totally enjoyed every last one of the 22.

Community Reviews

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4.12  · 
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 ·  96,319 ratings  ·  3,454 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
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 be
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
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
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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.
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 35
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
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
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the books in this series when I was a child was a complete joy, and I'm happy that they're still just as special now!

I just cant resist talking animals...
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
Jonathan Terrington
Redwall was a book I read many years ago just before I entered into private schooling after going through six fun years of home schooling. Six years of being at home and getting an education does have the benefit of allowing an avid reader such as myself time to build up the reading speed and vocabulary (I did little else but read books in those formative years in fact but I digress). Now I must admit that I loved Redwall when I first read it as a ten year old. I thought it was the coolest thing ...more
Henry Martin
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was my first Brian Jacques book, and certainly not the last one.

As the first book in the series, Redwall does an amazing job pulling the reader in. The characters are vivid, well crafted, and believable. There were a few moments where I felt the book lost steam, but never for long enough to make me want to give up reading. Other than that, it was rather well-written.
Jacques' language is elaborate and colorful, his sentences sharp, and the storyline keeps unfolding in a way that makes the
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-fantasy
A distinctly children's book, with a simplified children's plot, simplified children's characters, and a simplified children's theme. If you focus on the plot and don't think the word "nuance", it can be quite enjoyable.

But alas, I am an adult, and I couldn't help trying to figure out the scale of the book in a literal sense. Are the mice supposed to be mice sized in a largely human world, a la Disney animated movies? Or are they supposed to be human sized in a world without humans a la furries
Abigail McAlister
after reading a lot of extremely well-written books this year and practicing critical reading during the past two semesters, it is strange to reread this favorite and notice that it's actually not that well-written. but i love it and will continue to reread it because it has so much heart and it means so much to me. i am who i am because of matthias the warrior.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I think I got to Book Three in this series when I was in elementary school, and I remember mostly liking these books when I wasn't giggling at the image of mice and chipmunks weilding tiny swords. But in all honesty, I'm only adding this review so I can post this xkcd comic I just stumbled across:
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10 year olds
After I finished this book my overall impression wasn't very good. But in retrospect I think that was mostly due to the fact that it's written for a ten-year-old audience. There's nothing wrong with the book when viewed as a kid's book. The writing is competent, and the story is exciting and interesting enough to keep a ten-year-old engaged. I imagine there are a lot of adults who are fans of this book, just like there are plenty of adult Harry Potter fans (though I didn't enjoy this one as much ...more
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What's your favorite book in the Redwall Saga? 51 490 Aug 19, 2018 06:30PM  
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Play Book Tag: Redwall / Brian Jacques - 5***** 3 12 Nov 28, 2016 07:25PM  
Future Teachers, ...: DJ's Awesome Review 5... i think 1 3 Oct 24, 2016 03:00PM  
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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)
“Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others.” 2916 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.”
More quotes…