MARIEL OF REDWALL by Brian Jacques


Email this review


In volume four of the Redwall Abbey saga, peace is threatened when Mariel--a fierce young mousemaid who's lost her name but kept her hatred for Gabool, the pirate rat king--arrives worn and half-starved. After recovering her memory under the kind care of the Abbey animals, Mariel sets forth to settle accounts with Gabool, accompanied by Dandin, descendent of Martin the warrior mouse; Tarquin L. Woodsorrel of the ""long patrol"" of intrepid hares; and Durry Quill, an adventurous young hedgehog. Led by an old poem uncovered by Dandin; menaced by needle-beaked herons, masked weasels, and loathsome toads; and helped by unexpected allies, they make their way to Gabool's stronghold--where his vicious band is in disarray and Gabool himself has been driven mad by the booming of the hell he stole from Mariel and her bellsmith father, en route to Lord Rawnblade Widestripe, badger hero. After hair-raising adventures, Mariel--with friends, father, a band of escaped slaves, and Rawnblade--defeats Gabool and recovers the bell. Astonishing stuff: the by-now expected mixture of clichÉ piled on clichÉ; British music-hall dialects and humor; rhapsodies on raspberries, nuts, and delectable-sounding forest concoctions; characters that epitomize their class origins but sometimes rise above them; and plots from Sabatini by way of Tolkien--all combine in a satisfying ripsnorter of an adventure. Mariel marries Dandin, peace returns to Redwall, and it would be churlish to complain.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1992
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Philomel/Putnam