Book One: Travel is an Adventure! Book Two: Go Find the Babes! Book Three: Escape from Althier! Buckler is bored with mountain life, so Brang suggests that he visits Redwall Abbey to deliver some new bellropes to the Abbess Brang had accidentally broken the ropes last time he was there ; while Buckler visits the Abbey, he can also visit his brother on his farm, which is nearby.
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Shelves: map-in-the-front This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I quite enjoyed this. To some extent, I think it was just the right time for a highly escapist read, and the Redwall books definitely are that. Pretty cool worldbuilding, too. I like that, while most of the animals can climb, swim, dig, etc.
The more psychological stuff, though, starts to be a little unsettling. Basically what I mean here is the fact that "vermin" species are pretty dependably evil, no matter what, making it A-OK for any kind of bad thing to happen to them.
Some of the books have rare occasions in which a single rat or, more commonly, one of the rarer "vermin" species, like a wildcat turns out not to be that bad. But for most rats, weasels, ferrets, stoats, foxes, etc. Ditto the big bosses. Indeed, The Sable Quean has several. Axtel is the only Bloodwrath-carrying mole to appear in the series to my knowledge. Other books have exceptions, too: the mole scholar in The Bellmaker , as well as the lovable-oaf-too-dumb-to-be-a-villain rat in that same book; the good wildcat in Mossflower , and the occasional bad member of a "good guy" race, like the hedgehog Triggut Frap in this book.
This has happened in other books of the series, actually. I mean, yes, the vermin are rude, and you want information from them, but I really felt for Globby - he was a young product of a vicious and thieving culture, and the Redwallers basically treat him, from his point of view, exactly as vermin would: beating and forced labor.
Survival rates for different species. And, of course, villains have a high death rate regardless of species, though I do wonder a bit whether it varies by species. This could explain the survival of the fox Binta in The Sable Quean, too. Gender roles and relations. I mean, yeah, you could argue that Martin only inspires characters who already have it in them, but still. On the other hand, other books in the series contain some seriously awesome female characters, like Rosie in Mariel of Redwall and The Bellmaker and Jess and Constance in Redwall and Mattimeo.
Also, is it me, or do we never ever see families of individual Dibbuns? A couple of things I wonder about in The Sable Quean: how do the Redwallers know, down to a specific day, when the Ravagers will return after their first visit?
I think both of these confusions stem from me going, "The author knows that thing, and the reader might know it or might not , but how in the world would the characters know it?
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Book 1: Travel is an Adventure! Book 2: Go Find the Babes! Book 3: Escape from Althier! Buckler is bored with mountain life, so Brang suggests that he visits Redwall Abbey to deliver some new bellropes to the Abbess Brang had accidentally broken the ropes last time he was there ; while Buckler visits the Abbey, he can also visit his brother on his farm, which is nearby. Buckler agrees, taking along with him his gluttonous friend, Subaltern Diggs. At Redwall Abbey, a music contest for the position of Bard of Redwall is being organized; however two Dibbuns toddlers disappear in the process.
The Sable Quean