You know, it’s a sad day when it takes me more than an month to read (let alone find out about!) the newest Redwall book. Ah, the perils of pursuing a PhD. Anyhow, I took my one day off in two months to power through my favorite of non-science related books.
It’s been awhile since a new Redwall book has come out, and I think the time off has done Mr. Jaques good. That or the time off did my reading brain good. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Some of the more recent books in the series seemed slapped together to me, but this one brought back the beauty of the stories. At one point there was even a sly reference to the very first story, which, admittedly, I first thought was the author reusing an old idea. That got me a bit upset, but he turned the tables on me! What a clever man.
Anyhow, the story is the melding of two historic destinations in the Redwall world: Redwall Abbey and Salamandastron. A hare made is sent on a dangerous mission to find Salamandastron’s new Badger Lord, who is prisoner on a vermin ship. Fates collide with a young thief, a band of shrews, and a cheeky squirrel who join forces to protect the innocents at Redwall.
Overall, this was a great book. There were laughs, daring adventures, and several teary-eyed moments. The ending gave me the predictable goosebumps and misty eyes, and I slowly read the epilogue to try and make it last longer. Interestingly, this was the first book where a Badger Lord mates for more than a few seasons, and the first book where a female badger becomes Lady of Salamandastron. I wonder if Brian Jaques has a daughter–that would explain the sudden shift in badger biology. Anyhow, it was a nice way to spend my Saturday.