This is a great book for children 10 and older or for anyone who has enjoyed the other Redwall novels. Despite the terrible problem with the writing, the story is great and perfectly paced, and the characters are amazing. I think any child, boy or girl, would love to read this book and will fall in love with this series. I highly recommend reading the first Redwall book before this one because it really builds up the mystery surrounding Martin the Warrior.
Even though this is the sixth book of the Redwall Series I wanted to read this one next because it discussed the origin of the famous Redwall mouse, Martin the Warrior, who is mentioned in the first book.
There is a lot going on in this book! Martin wants to get his sword back from Badrang who had taken it from him upon his capture. He also wants to free the other slaves and have his revenge upon Badrang for killing his father. In order to do this, he gets helps from several different animals and they have to make their way to Noonvale where hopefully he will find his army. His adventure to Noonvale is pretty entertaining and they meet some interesting characters along the way.
Then, there is Badrang and his is old “friend” Tramun Clogg. Clogg wants some of Badrang’s slaves for his ship and believes them to be owed to him. Upon refusal and being chased out of Fort Marshank, Clogg says that he will be back. He does eventually return and a huge battle ensues.
I really enjoyed this story and thought the pacing was perfect, especially for a children’s book in order to keep them interested. There was plenty of action, many battles (a bit violent at times) and I always felt the sense of urgency throughout the novel. There were also several depressing parts, especially at the end. With so many battles taking place loved ones and friends may be lost. 😦 Not only was there a lot of action in the book but there were enough slower parts that helped with character development. I especially enjoyed the scene at the beginning of the novel in which Martin remembers his father giving him the sword. It was very touching.
Martin is the main character of the story and by far my favorite. He is very well developed and his changes throughout the book are very apparent. As you read you realize he is becoming more bold, unpredictable, courageous and brave, and all these changes help him to become the warrior he is at the end of the book.
There are quite a few characters within the story, which is one of its downfalls. I tend not to enjoy stories as much when there are more than three or four characters. However, I completely understand the need in the series for so many characters and the author does a great job distinguishing between each one by giving them their own personalities. It is easy to tell all the characters apart and you come to love (or hate) them depending on who they are.
The writing is pretty good for a children’s book, but I have one major problem with it. I cannot stand the different dialects of some of the creatures. It drives me crazy trying to decipher what they are trying to say half the time and I cannot imagine how difficult it would be for a child. I just wish the author would have written plainly and then described how or in what language the characters were speaking. For example, the character Grumm, who I really liked except for his speech, sounds like this during the entire novel:
No more’n moi job, zurrs. You uns get along naow. Oi’ll bide yurr awhoil an’ patch up yon ‘ole so’s noeast be a-known ‘ow him’n excaped. Hurr hurr, ’twill give they Bardange vurmint sumthen to puzzle o’er, a hempty pit wi’no marks o’breakout, hurr hurr.“
This dialect really disrupted the flow of the story because I had to slow down to decipher what he was saying half the time. Most of the time I could figure it out, but it was just annoying. However, I suppose this way his characters have a distinct voice!
I actually really like the cover! The illustration is very cute and eye-catching!