I haven't read any books by Brian Jacques in years, but I'm looking forward to rereading this! I know there are some fans of Brian Jacques and his Redwall series out there, so post your thoughts below! :)
These were the books that got me into fantasy! I attempted to read The Bellmaker and just couldn't do it. Then I found Martin the Warrior (whom I had seen was a character mentioned in The Bellmaker), read it out of curiousity and ended up hooked! I have about 13 of them with the abbey window spines and was so sad when they kept bringing more out but changed the look.
I'm definitely going to be rereading Redwall and look forward to it too!
I loved The Bellmaker, though I may just be biassed as a massive fan of Mariel of Redwall.
Strangely, I don't actually remember the plot of The Bellmaker, but I do remember liking it. Unlike Ness, I was already a fan of fantasy, but Redwall really helped me become more confident with reading larger novels. I'd read the fourth Harry Potter before that, but then I was convinced to try LoTR and it put me straight off them again.
I can't remember how many of them I've read, but it was quite a lot since my high school had almost all of them (Redwall was a reader in grade 6 and then they brought in Mossflower and I kept going in year 7). I've had massive arguments with friends over whether its better to read them in publication or chronological order; Snowfur was my bible :P (unfortunately I can't access the site atm, and the internet says its just me! :( )
I can't remember if we have a copy of Redwall at home, I know we've got Mossflower. I may have to go on another adventure to the library...
I still have my rather battered childhood copy of Redwall on my shelves, which I will definitely re-read as soon as I finish the book I'm reading now (I needed a quick break from fantasy after re-reading the entire Shannara series by Terry Brooks!)
I've never actually read any of the other books, as my local library didn't have any of them, and by the time I could afford to by the books, they were no longer in the bookstores.....I really should get them one day now though...
Well, I finished this book a while ago and was waiting for someone else to comment, but I can't wait any longer so...[act]gives the *dpm* a copy of Redwall[/act]
I remember how petrified I used to be of Asmodeus, the snake - especially when he lunges out at Matthias in the tunnels between the quarry, that always scared me silly!
This time around though, I found that the thing I noticed most was the not-so-subtle moral code/reminders. Everytime Matthias was curt, or rude, or even a little less than understanding - especially if the character was on the "good" side, he would instantly feel bad, or be reminded of the relevant virtue, or something would happen to that character to make sure Matthais "repented" of his thoughts/actions.
All in all though, I still enjoyed re-reading this book.
I also finished reading this quite a while ago (sorry BB, I should have posted, but I was overrun by filthy uni ~:| ).
I didn't remember any of the storyline even though I knew I'd read it before, so it was pretty much like reading it for the first time. I had forgotten what the language style was like and it took me a little while to get used to it. I love the way I imagine the moles talking, but I did notice that there was no mention of dibbuns! Babies were mentioned, but I don't recall them being called dibbuns in this book. Maybe it was a term the author thought up later, or maybe my memory is rubbish :P
I was surprised by how violent it actually was. I know the majority of animals killed were either part of Cluny's army (and therefore we shouldn't be all that worried by their deaths) or were unnamed defenders of Redwall, but I still found it way more graphic than I remembered/expected.
I thought Matthias' development into a warrior was a little unbelievable, though maybe I'm being too critical. Really it was just the image that was painted of him at the start as a stumbling little mouse always falling over his sandles. I felt like that was too obviously planted as a contrast to him developing into a mighty warrior at the end.
I really like the Sparrows! And although I don't really believe that a friendship would develop between Warbeak and Matthias after he treated her the way he did (even though he felt remorse afterwards), I still liked her character and her mother.
Does anyone else have massive problems with the different sizes of the animals? I just can't imagine a badger functioning well in an abbey that was designed for mice. Or really any effective interaction between the two species. It doesn't work in my mind! Was the abbey originally built by humans and the mice came to inhabit it later? Or did they build it mouse-sized?
Gah, still haven't been able to get a copy, it's out at my local library and my student union library and I've no time to go out to Morewell like I did for the Sneding.
Kaede, in reference to your question about who built the Abbey, that really confused me when I first read it too. It's answered in the later books; either Mossflower of Loamhedge, can't remember which. I don't think it's a spoiler but here's some tags anyways...
It was built by mice and some other animals. I think there was a badger present at the time it was built, but I can't remember because it was so long ago. (Since I read the books, not since the abbey was built... now that I think about it, it's been 8-10 years...urgh, being a grown up sucks :( )
I imagine that the corridors are quite wide and tall and then, for the steps, I imagine that you have two sizes of steps alternating, so you'll have a quite wide step, around the size of a badger foot, then two mouse width steps up to the next badger sized step. So the small animals like mice and moles use the smaller steps to get up each large step which they then walk along as though it was a landing and the larger animals like the otters and badgers skip them in favour of the larger steps.
This would make the gradient rather shallow for the badger, but would also let it walk on all fours, which would make it easier for one to help dibbuns up and down stairs... [act]is distracted by adorable dibbunses[/act] ;R
I also tend to imagine the mice as slightly larger, more the size of rats and moles, while the rats are just a touch larger again. I figure that if they're anthropomorphic anyway I can fiddle with the sizes a little :P
I do tend to alter the sizes in my head, increasing the size of the mice and shrinking the badgers and larger animals, but every now and then something will remind me of their actual sizes and I'll spend a chapter having great trouble imagining the characters interacting before I forget again. I know all I have to do is suspend my disbelief, but for some reason I've been having a bit of trouble with that lately ~:|