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Mossflower by Brian Jacques Unabridged CD Audiobook

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Unabridged CD Audiobook 10 CDs / 13.25 hours long... Narrated by the author and an entire cast


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Unabridged CD Audiobook 10 CDs / 13.25 hours long... Narrated by the author and an entire cast

30 review for Mossflower by Brian Jacques Unabridged CD Audiobook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leila

    I love the Redwall books written by the late and sadly missed Brian Jacques.'Mossflower' is a wonderful and magical book among the many he wrote about Redwall. The novel begins with Bella the Badger telling of the plight of the creatures of Mossflower Wood many years ago before Redwall Abbey was built. They were oppressed by the evil Tsarmina the wildcat and her father. The young mouse Martin strayed into the wildcat’s territory and was imprisoned. Many twists and turns follow in the ensuing adv I love the Redwall books written by the late and sadly missed Brian Jacques.'Mossflower' is a wonderful and magical book among the many he wrote about Redwall. The novel begins with Bella the Badger telling of the plight of the creatures of Mossflower Wood many years ago before Redwall Abbey was built. They were oppressed by the evil Tsarmina the wildcat and her father. The young mouse Martin strayed into the wildcat’s territory and was imprisoned. Many twists and turns follow in the ensuing adventures and as always in Brian’s beautifully written books; good always eventually triumphs over evil and Martin is named forever “Martin the Warrior” The Redwall books are written for teenagers but these enchanting stories can equally be read by adults who will surely enjoy them. I am not keen on too many spoilers but there are many bloodthirsty battles as well as the background of woodland life with the loyalties, friendships, bravery and love among the animals. Especially enchanting are the descriptions of the many recipes of the food made from the plants and their fruits in the woods around the creatures. Do give these books a try. Brian Jacques writes exciting novels with vivid plots and excellently drawn characters both good and evil. They can be read in order or as standalone books but I would recommend you read them in order as references are often made to previous characters in the later books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    If you asked me to pick a single favorite Redwall book, I'd probably splutter at you a lot and then mutter 'Mariel, if I have to pick just one'; but if you asked me for a list of my top 5, Mossflower would definitely be on it. Early on, before I'd read the rest of the series, it was far-and-away my favorite - for the interwoven quest and siege plots (two of my favorite fantasy structures, tropey as they can be, likely because of Redwall books), for the humor, and for the absolutely glorious take If you asked me to pick a single favorite Redwall book, I'd probably splutter at you a lot and then mutter 'Mariel, if I have to pick just one'; but if you asked me for a list of my top 5, Mossflower would definitely be on it. Early on, before I'd read the rest of the series, it was far-and-away my favorite - for the interwoven quest and siege plots (two of my favorite fantasy structures, tropey as they can be, likely because of Redwall books), for the humor, and for the absolutely glorious takedown at the end. It's just a damn fun read. One of, if not the, most memorable objects in the Redwall series is Martin's sword, and one of the things I love most about the books is their consistent emphasis on what the sword is and what it means. Nowhere is that more clearly laid out than in this book, wherein the sword is reforged by Boar the Fighter with the warning that "a sword is a force for good only in the paws of an honest warrior". The Redwall series does an excellent job of balancing both the mystical aura it affords to the sword and the message that the sword itself isn't inherently special; and for a series which rests squarely in line with so many fantasy tropes, emphasizing the importance of personal morality above object-linked magic is really important. Last thing: as with all Redwall books, I strongly recommend the full-cast audio version of Mossflower. It's even more fun when you can hear it come to life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    El

    For this Redwall prequel, I decided to get the audio version on mp3 to listen to during my daily walks. What I didn't realize until I started listening was that there is so. much. singing. What is it with fantasy novels (featuring animals or humans) that requires so much fucking singing? Remember The Hobbit? SO MUCH SINGING. And while it's rough enough at times to read all the songs, it's worse having to listen to it. There was a lot of eye rolling as I walked, let me just say. Before the abbey of For this Redwall prequel, I decided to get the audio version on mp3 to listen to during my daily walks. What I didn't realize until I started listening was that there is so. much. singing. What is it with fantasy novels (featuring animals or humans) that requires so much fucking singing? Remember The Hobbit? SO MUCH SINGING. And while it's rough enough at times to read all the songs, it's worse having to listen to it. There was a lot of eye rolling as I walked, let me just say. Before the abbey of Redwall was built, familiar to readers of the first book in the series, Redwall, the land was referred to as Mossflower. That's where this prequel comes in. The awful Tsarmina, a wildcat, is ruling the Mossflower Woods, and many are not happy with this arrangement. Martin the warrior-mouse escapes his prison cell with a buddy, and they make it their mission to overthrow the reign of Tsarmina. This is a long story (11.5 hours by audio book, 52 chapters) with lots of animals battling, lots of singing, and lots of really annoying voices in the narrative that did not translate well to audio. Or, at least, I don't have the patience for it. But it's an important story in the whole Redwall series, I get that, and I did get a sort of little crush on Martin who knows how to wield his sword. (That's not a euphemism, btw, because that would be gross. No, he really does have a sword.) I grew tired of listening to the story over the course of however many walks, and I had to renew it several times from the library because I couldn't get through it quickly enough. I made the decision to get the next book in the same format because I'm a glutton for punishment, but also I really need to listen to something during my walks and these stories are better than many because there's a lot happening, they have simple plots but somewhat complex characters, and all in all it's just an easy listen. But, really, quit it with the singing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Leskey

    ================= Update (2018-05-10): ================= This book is still very nice, but also rather longer than I thought… ============== original review ============== This book is massively well done and, as such, is wonderfully enjoyable. The plot was fun, the characters most hilarious, and the setting was… you know, a setting. There is naught to define the absolute goodness of a setting that I can think of in my current unenlightened state, but it worked well with the other aspects of the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Juushika

    July 2006 Review: The second book in the Redwall series, Mossflower provides much of the backstory for that novel, recording Martin the Warrior's time spent in Mossflower wood and his battle to free the natives from the tyrannical rule of Tsarmina the wildcat. This text shows remarkable improvement, both in style and in setting, from Redwall and even now remains one of the best books in the series. Martin is a true hero and an enjoyable protagonist, both supporting characters and villains are wel July 2006 Review: The second book in the Redwall series, Mossflower provides much of the backstory for that novel, recording Martin the Warrior's time spent in Mossflower wood and his battle to free the natives from the tyrannical rule of Tsarmina the wildcat. This text shows remarkable improvement, both in style and in setting, from Redwall and even now remains one of the best books in the series. Martin is a true hero and an enjoyable protagonist, both supporting characters and villains are well-developed and interesting to read, Martin's journey provides our first glimpse of Salamandastron, and the book provides much backstory to Redwall and creates a prime jumping off point for the many, many sequels and prequels that follow. Where I sometimes feel frustrated by Redwall, Mossflower is truly a delightful, enjoyable read from beginning to end. Already in this second novel, all traces of human influence are gone, creating a more complete, independent world and more intelligent characters. The religious overtones are gone as well, Jacques' writing style has matured, and he has a greater grasp of the different beings, landscapes, landmarks, and mindsets within the world that he has created. As a result, Mossflower is a complete, highly enjoyable read by an accomplished author. It moves quickly and smoothly, manages to be funny, provoking, and emotional in turn, and is a truly engrossing and enjoyable read. Jacques is, however, almost too good at filling in all the backstory to Redwall--almost every character and location in that book is explained in this one, often providing answers that are too pat. It comes off as scripted, and the reader can get so caught up in looking for these connections that he becomes distracted from the story itself. These pieces of backstory do provide a more complete world, and in the following books Jacques will tempter, contradict, and expand upon them, but for now they do feel forced. Mossflower really is one of my favorite books in the Redwall series to come back to and reread. My copy of it is proof to that--it's a bit worse for the wear. Martin is a truly inspiring, enjoyable protagonist--not clichéd, not too funny, but very strong, independent, and realistically human and social. His journey to rebuild his father's sword is central to Redwall history, and it also is our first view of Salamandastron, which will become increasingly important in later books. The battles are memorable (although the final battle against Tsarmina does go a bit quickly), as are the characters (Skipper, Lady Amber, Mask, and Gonff all stand out in my mind). The is one of the books that I love to curl up and dive into, and it's prime material for getting lost in. I definitely recommend it if you're at all interested in the Redwall series, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. January 2014 commentary: Trying to find something distracting to consume hasn't been working overwell, so I reached for something comforting instead and am rereading Mossflower. The book was published in 1988; my copy was published in 1990, but I probably stole it from a Montessori library sometime around 1995. It looks like this, now: [image error] If memory serves, the cover came to me with a small crease (it was in a school library), which developed into a second crease, which tore a couple of years ago; I still use a liberated corner of the cover as a bookmark. Again if memory serves, I think the book has gone with me to two nations, two states, two schools, and about seven different residences. And it isn't even that good. It's comparable to comfort food both because food is a recurrent aspect of the Redwall series and because it doesn't have to be objectively good to be comforting. I actually don't much care for Redwall, the first book in the series: the plot is central to the world's history, but it's distinctly a first attempt and while it contains many of the aspects which would become cornerstone to the series--puzzles, food, dialects, multiple adventures running in parallel--the setting and tone is only half there. In Redwall we know there are humans somewhere, building barns and horsecarts, and suddenly an abbey full of talking mice is ridiculous. Mossflower is the change into what the series would be. It discards the human world, and without making any more justifications or sense (badgers weigh twenty pounds, a mouse stands three inches tall) the setting becomes far more convincing: talking mice and weasels, get passed it; they're not even weasels, really--species function as a stand-in, problematically, for a group of people. It takes those cornerstones and reiterates them, defining what the series would be from here--but coming early enough in the series that it feels familiar rather than redundant (both in publishing order and upon reread). And it's less insular, showing Mossflower as a place entire rather than a central building, journeying as far as Salamandastron, in a way establishing so much more than Redwall did. Redwall was a practice run, but Mossflower determines the future: it builds the Abbey and the series. And I love that series, I read it while growing up and have almost the entire thing in handsome hardback, I celebrated every new release well into my college years, and Jacques's death in 2011 crushed me because that was the death of my childhood. All the descriptions of food, the shallow puzzles, the existentialist and/or exaggerated characterization*, are rather glaring to me on this reread, but I find I don't mind them. It's almost nostalgic, to see as an adult what it was that made this book work for me as a child. The hardest books for me to review are those with which I have history, because how to separate that history from the book itself? Mossflower is perfectly competent, utterly decent, not awfully well-written, okay but not honestly that good, and I love it to literal pieces--the cover has come right off. * Except Martin. Martin, man, whose one-word characterization may be "Warrior" but whose character arcs are almost always about the conflict between warring and living: fighting is necessary to protect what he loves, but it divides him from what he loves. That conflict is reiterated in all his stories, but it's so bittersweet and surprisingly gentle--quiet, powerful, lonesome Martin, so eager to accept the first hand extended to him in friendship even though he remembers exactly how that ended last time--that I don't much mind. January 2014 addendum: Mossflower's primary weakness is easier for me to accept because it's a strength in the later books: it's repetitive. It's the first book that can recycle what would become the series's core features: the food, the accents, the species-as-groups-of-people, the questing and parallel adventures, and--more blatantly in Mossflower than elsewhere in the series--the branching, interconnected world. In Mossflower, we get an origin story for near every aspect of Redwall, from the barn cat to St. Ninian's Church to the Abbey itself; often, the tie-ins are obnoxiously neat--but: Upon re-re-reread, it's surprisingly poignant to see Martin and Timballisto reunited in Mossflower, not just because I know how their story will unfold in this book but because I've met him and heard of him elsewhere throughout the series; his presence, alongside the woodlanders and hares and the rest of the motley crew (and we know them, too, from their roles and progeny in other books), represents Martin's aggregate experience: the warrior in training that he was on the North Shores, which Tim represents, the changes he's undergone since entering Mossflower Woods, the warrior that he's become since leaving Salamandastron, and finally the figure he will be in Redwall's future--a story that overlays multiple books and an entire series. The series's stylistic repetition is as limiting as it is comforting, that reliable redundancy about the virtues of Deeper 'n Ever Pie. But the world's sprawling mythos becomes its strength. Despite the fact that species function as essentialist stand-ins for groups of people, the interconnected sprawl of the books means that frequently an individual mentioned in one is given greater depth in another; this doesn't do much to develop the villains (and even the exceptions may be problematic, see: The Outcast of Redwall)--but it nonetheless denies the simplicity of species as characterization; it implies that almost anyone could be the protagonist of their own story, and that many are. It also creates a sense of scope, of gravitas, of depth, of emotional connection--which is why Sunflash's appearance in Mossflower's final pages means so much: it has relevance to this story, where we met Bella and glimpsed Salamandastron, but on reread it's indicative of Salamandastron's long and storied history and the continuing impact it will have, has had, on the world of Redwall. Mossflower's repetition is frequently heavy-handed because it was the first book that could attempt it, so it's both an unpracticed attempt and a particularly glaring one; a lot of that clumsiness, for better or worse, never goes away. But rereading it with a love for the series entire, I appreciate so earnestly what it does because it's indicative of what it will continue to do: every story will have a backstory, and Martin will never be forgotten.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Geoffery Crescent

    Picture the scene, if you will. Here's your erstwhile reviewer, aged twenty-four and about to have her first tooth removed. Gifted with three hours to kill before the dental happening, she sets off in search of vittles and something new to read, having been stuck in the waiting room so long she's already made it through the two books she brought with her. Lo, she went a wandering in W H Smith's and her gaze chanced upon Mossflower, the first and greatest of her Redwall loves, her favourite child Picture the scene, if you will. Here's your erstwhile reviewer, aged twenty-four and about to have her first tooth removed. Gifted with three hours to kill before the dental happening, she sets off in search of vittles and something new to read, having been stuck in the waiting room so long she's already made it through the two books she brought with her. Lo, she went a wandering in W H Smith's and her gaze chanced upon Mossflower, the first and greatest of her Redwall loves, her favourite childhood book, her original copy having long since departed for the Dark Forest, thanks to a combination of some overenthusiastic borrowers and one too many accidental dunks in the bath-tub. Seeking a source of comfort in those orally painful hours, she makes the purchase. But what did she discover? Was it to be nought but a pleasant trip down memory lane, or a painful discovery that it really wasn't as good as she remembered? Turns out it was neither. There's a reason Mossflower was my favourite book as a kid. There's a reason it got me hooked on the Redwall books and a reason it's not just the best book about Martin, but the best book of the series. Because it's bloody fantastic. Mercifully free from the Early Instalment Weirdness that plagues Redwall on re-reads but without any of the tropes that bogged down later books in the series,those that were almost suffocated by Dibbuns, songs and prophecies, Mossflower is a smart, exciting page-turner stuffed to the gills with likeable characters. These are the pre-Abbey seasons, not only are the woodlanders living wild and under constant threat, there's no cosy stronghold for them to retreat to when things get tough. Sure, it's a kid's book and you're fairly certain that things will turn out for the best but when the book opens, in the dead of Winter with the eerie Kotir and its wildcats rulers holding sway over the lands it genuinely looks like things are never going to right themselves. Tsarmina is far and away the best foe ever conceived by Jacques, she's nasty, insane and oh, let's not forget she's about five times as big as Martin the Warrior, which makes her eventual defeat at his paws all the more impressive. Her soldiers are an excellent mix of the truly evil and the punch-clock archetype, but there's room in Mossflower for more than the Vermin=Chaotic Evil that became so prevalent later in the series. And let's not forget Martin himself, fresh from his heart-break in the Northlands, the original and the greatest of all the Redwall warriors. Sure, he gets a Disney death, but let's cut him some slack because this book is dark. Dark as balls. Just read Bella's first conversation with Abbess Germaine for proof. It's a little along the lines of "everyone we ever knew is dead or dying a horrible, horrible death". And some of these deaths come straight out of left-field; even on this re-read I found myself getting all misty eyed when the Mask cops it. Boar's death is also spectacularly unexpected because he's the blimmin' hero! There are tons of well-written female characters whose motivations don't revolve solely around becoming Abbess, a couple that actually seem like they're in love rather than being paired off together in the epilogue for some reason and Gonff. Gonff is supreme. Prince of Characters. Sure, it's all a bit twee when you remind yourself that most of the cast are soft fluffy animals and like all Redwall books it goes on about food in a way that would give George R R Martin a run for his money. If you're not a fan of anthropomorphic battle mice than nothing I said here is really going to convince you but hey, it's wonderful not to have a memory tarnished, but enhanced, by a re-read of one of your favourite books. Brain Jacques at his best. Oh, and I was going to do my standard Evil Fat Character count but I can't because Jacques LITERALLY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE OR DEMEAN OVERWEIGHT CHARACTERS IN ANYWAY. How's about that then, matey?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Hawthorn

    So I saw this book in one of my favorite thrift shops, and it looked rather interesting. Finding out that it was a Redwall book and remembering one of my blogging buddies saying lots of good things about that series (I believe it was Lila Red?), I decided to pick it up. And I'm so glad I did. The complexity of the story was right up my alley. It was a fantasy quest story that was so squeaky clean that it made my heart sing. All the names too were really cool (except for Gingivere's. His seemed m So I saw this book in one of my favorite thrift shops, and it looked rather interesting. Finding out that it was a Redwall book and remembering one of my blogging buddies saying lots of good things about that series (I believe it was Lila Red?), I decided to pick it up. And I'm so glad I did. The complexity of the story was right up my alley. It was a fantasy quest story that was so squeaky clean that it made my heart sing. All the names too were really cool (except for Gingivere's. His seemed much more feminine at first, but maybe that was the point??). Yes, there was a fair amount of fairy tale and allegorical cliches, but I'm okay with that. The only real complaint I have is that Tsarmina's character development. Her descent into madness and some of her phobias were kind of haphazardly thrown together to me. Every other character was stellar in my opinion (both as a writer and as a reader). I will most assuredly look for more Redwall books in the future :) RW Ratings: Language: 5 stars Abuse: 4 1/2. There is a fair amount of hatred on Tsarmina's part to her brother and she treats him quite horribly (you know, the usual torture, imprisonment, mental and emotional stuff, that sort of thing). Lust: 5 stars. Small little clean romance hints, (like admitting to prettiness, etc.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

    Much loved by yours truly, as usual.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jing

    This next Redwall book and one of the most famous is starting with Martin the Warrior again. After he had defeated Badrang the stoat, he is now is mossflower area which is under the rule of Tsarmina the daughter of Verduaga who also had a older brother Ungatt Trunn in another Redwall book series. These are one of the relationship this book has with others. Continuing on, martin was then captured and brought inot Kotir the stronghold of Tsarmina the cruel evil wildcat. Later on he met Gonoff wher This next Redwall book and one of the most famous is starting with Martin the Warrior again. After he had defeated Badrang the stoat, he is now is mossflower area which is under the rule of Tsarmina the daughter of Verduaga who also had a older brother Ungatt Trunn in another Redwall book series. These are one of the relationship this book has with others. Continuing on, martin was then captured and brought inot Kotir the stronghold of Tsarmina the cruel evil wildcat. Later on he met Gonoff where they unite along with other woodlanders to rebel against Tsarmina- a rebellion which was the start of Redwall. In order to do so, Matthais and some of his friends went to find salamandastron to find Boar the figter for assistance. They came back without him but the a new sword for Martin. There began the final plans to defeat Tsarmina... The one thing i learn form this thing is courage. I guess in those days the value it. It reminds me sometimes wehn presenting something to other people, it takes courage becaue i am not that kind of person who like to talk openly with others. Courage is what keeps people going and eventually becomes a good relfection to their deeds. Even looking at the most uncommon people, there is some kind of courage within them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    2nd Read. Nostalgic fun read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Knox Merkle

    This was one of my favorite books when I was little, and it’s even better than I remembered it

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    Martin, a traveling warrior mouse, is accidentally caught up in a war between the wildcat Tasrmina, who rules over Mossflower Wood, and the gentle woodland creatures starving under that rule. The creatures have formed a resistance group, but they're farmers or weavers, and lack the experience needed to fight Tsarmina's army of stoats, weasels, and other assorted nasties. Once Martin joins the resistance, they may finally have a chance to win their freedom and drive Tsarmina out. I loved the Redwa Martin, a traveling warrior mouse, is accidentally caught up in a war between the wildcat Tasrmina, who rules over Mossflower Wood, and the gentle woodland creatures starving under that rule. The creatures have formed a resistance group, but they're farmers or weavers, and lack the experience needed to fight Tsarmina's army of stoats, weasels, and other assorted nasties. Once Martin joins the resistance, they may finally have a chance to win their freedom and drive Tsarmina out. I loved the Redwall series as a child, and re-reading the first few books as an adult has been a very nostalgic experience for me. It's been long enough since I last read them that I don't remember exactly which characters make it to the end of the novels and which heroes get noble deaths. I did, however, remember the massive number of enemies which are slaughtered without a second thought, while the deaths of sympathetic characters are more evenly spaced and given more weight. Mossflower has more female characters than its predecessor, Redwall, which is good to see, though many of them are placed in domestic or supporting roles while the majority of the male characters take part in battles and epic quests. I'm also uncomfortable with Brian Jacques' insistence that there are "good" kinds of animal (generally what one would think of as prey, like robins, squirrels, mice, and otters) and "bad" animals (predators like foxes, weasels, wildcats, etc.) which he has used as a running theme for every book I've read within the Redwall series. (Full disclosure: I've read most, but not all, of the twenty Redwall books.) There's usually a casual mention of a "good" predatory creature, which in Mossflower is portrayed by the wildcats Gingevere and Sandingomm, but that hardly feels inclusive. Even as a child, this felt odd to me, and it feels no less odd as an adult. There are some pacing issues here, as well. A chapter might include three or four points of view, each taking place at a different point in time, which was slightly confusing. It's sometimes difficult to tell whether events are simultaneous or occurring in a sequence. The dialogue and concepts are simplistic, written to a specific audience, and the hero-villain dynamic is very clearly delineated. However, Jacques does write heroes and their battle scenes well, with enough detail to make events clear to young readers without becoming too gory or gruesome. At heart, these are fun books with clear moral messages about good triumphing over evil and the benefits of living in a positive community. They're a great way to introduce children to commonly-used fantasy tropes and the wider possibilities of the fantasy genre as a whole. Recommended for 5th-graders and older, including their parents.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    When Brian Jacques passed last month, it was a gut-punch for me. I can't tell you how many times I read his first few books, how eagerly I awaited the new hardcovers each year. I can't say I've read them all-- the point came, round about book seven or eight, when I'd figured out the formula, and they started getting old. But when I was just the right age, these were perfect. Mossflower was my favorite of the lot as a kid, and upon reread, I can still see why. Tsarmina is a terrific kid's villain, When Brian Jacques passed last month, it was a gut-punch for me. I can't tell you how many times I read his first few books, how eagerly I awaited the new hardcovers each year. I can't say I've read them all-- the point came, round about book seven or eight, when I'd figured out the formula, and they started getting old. But when I was just the right age, these were perfect. Mossflower was my favorite of the lot as a kid, and upon reread, I can still see why. Tsarmina is a terrific kid's villain, vicious and entitled, an image of adult self-regard but marred by childish flaws. The picaresque aspects of the book provide frequent, exciting climaxes, often based on the characters' deployment and manipulation of much stronger forces (the Gloomer and the pike; the toads' giant eel; Salamandastron itself)-- another way I was able to start thinking about power. Martin the Warrior flattens into his strange-mouse-comes-to-town archetype a bit, but at the end of the day, he's a mouse who kills a cat, and that's just badass. Jacques overwrites to an almost Dickensian degree. It's probably from him that I first picked up that baleful habit. But for a hearing audience-- which, after all, Dickens shared with Jacques-- those redundant adjectives and frequent motifs create strong, familiar images. This book leans less heavily than some of the others on feasting, but if you've read any of these at all, you'll remember the food. If anything, I see lessons in this prose for preachers. Literary spareness is no help in the pulpit, but sensual vividness, especially for taste and smell, will stick. This isn't a defense on the merits. I wouldn't even know how to do that. But it's my own small tribute. Pour a 40 of elderberry cordial, and read one of these to a nine-year-old.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    It has been quite some time since I gave a book five stars. This world, Redwall, is imaginative with many varied and loveable characters. I will certainly continue with this series. Not dissimilar to Warrior Cats by Erin Hunter however with mice, and other delightful 'woodland' personalities. It has been quite some time since I gave a book five stars. This world, Redwall, is imaginative with many varied and loveable characters. I will certainly continue with this series. Not dissimilar to Warrior Cats by Erin Hunter however with mice, and other delightful 'woodland' personalities.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I remember my dad coming home with another box of used books. Before he resold them, he'd let me look through them. I saw these two books on the top of the pile. One was called Mossflower, and the other was called Mattimeo. They caught my eye because they're pretty covers but also because they have animals on them. I was curious and read the back to see what the books were about. I liked how the cover of Mossflower said, "Before Redwall Abbey was built, there was no freedom for woodlanders..." I I remember my dad coming home with another box of used books. Before he resold them, he'd let me look through them. I saw these two books on the top of the pile. One was called Mossflower, and the other was called Mattimeo. They caught my eye because they're pretty covers but also because they have animals on them. I was curious and read the back to see what the books were about. I liked how the cover of Mossflower said, "Before Redwall Abbey was built, there was no freedom for woodlanders..." I've always loved a good story of rebellion, so I was intrigued. It was funny that the cover of MF said it was the prequel to Redwall, and the cover to MM said it was the sequel. I figured, "Okay, now, I have to get this book that's in the middle," and that started my long journey with Brian Jacques and his wonderful Redwall series, of which I've since read every single book. I'm going to maintain my rating of this novel. This is now the third time I've read the book in a traditional format, and I've listened to the audio book version, read by Mr. Brian Jacques himself (which I highly recommend, if you get the chance--his Liverpool accent makes everything better). At first, I was a little disappointed that I'd chosen this book as my next reread. It seemed really slow and not entertaining, and I figured I'd outgrown this series. I started it when I was in high school, so I was always older than the target age range, but I hadn't read much fantasy then, and I really enjoyed the concept and Jacques' writing style. Last month, though, I was thinking that even our favorites can lose that appeal for us over time. Then, I read further and remembered why I love this book so much. It's charming and cute. Jacques tells a good story that builds appropriately. The characters have great personalities and feel real. I love the relationships they have or build throughout the novel, and I love the concept. It's interesting to see how Jacques was clearly inspired by other children's fantasy writers and then how he diverges from the tropes and his predecessors to make something unique. My only complaint this time around is that there's A LOT going on in the story. I think Jacques wanted to include all his inventions, but he did a little too much. I wish he'd focused more on the main plot line of the woodlanders trying to defeat Tsarmina, the Queen of the Thousand Eyes. But he has these side stories that introduce different animal groups, and it's a little unnecessary. The one thing I found funny this time is that this book is pretty violent for a children's book! I would say the target age for this is 7-12, and there are some graphic moments of necessary and unnecessary slayings. I never thought of it that way before, but being an adult reading this, I'm thinking, "Geesh! What a way to introduce kids to the violence of warfare and rebellion." I think it's realistic, and our heroes and heroines are animals, after all, but some of the scenes are a little surprising in their light brutality. Overall, I'm glad I reread this book! I got into it again and was excited to move forward and remember the plot as I read further. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Jacques' world and the characters, especially Martin the Warrior, Gonff, and Young Dinny. I still recommend this series--the later books become REALLY repetitive, but the earlier ones are original and have interesting plot lines, stories, and characters. Also, they'd be fun to read aloud or to have your kids read aloud. There are dialects that would be entertaining. I'm not sure I'll reread another book in the Redwall series, but after rereading Mossflower, I think I might!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Barnes

    In the spirit of #TBT, I decided to review MOSSFLOWER by Brian Jacques. Why? Probably because this series is the reason I'm a writer. During my formative years, I read and re-read the Redwall books more than Mr. Jacques' editor did, and then some... And if you didn't partake of this wonderful, creature-filled world, then you are seriously missing out. Of all the countless stories Brian Jacques told, MOSSFLOWER is my favorite. Most likely because it predates REDWALL, and I'm a super sucker for goo In the spirit of #TBT, I decided to review MOSSFLOWER by Brian Jacques. Why? Probably because this series is the reason I'm a writer. During my formative years, I read and re-read the Redwall books more than Mr. Jacques' editor did, and then some... And if you didn't partake of this wonderful, creature-filled world, then you are seriously missing out. Of all the countless stories Brian Jacques told, MOSSFLOWER is my favorite. Most likely because it predates REDWALL, and I'm a super sucker for good world-building. You see, in REDWALL, there's this awesome sword that the mouse protagonist must find to defeat Cluny the Scourge, who is as evil as his name suggests. It's the sword of an ancient, honored warrior... and MOSSFLOWER is the story (well, part of it) of that warrior! Martin is his name, and kicking vermin butts is his game. This novel is a conflation of probably the two best tropes in fantasy: the "quest" and the "siege". The quest is about finding a warrior fit enough to take down Tsarmina--the wildcat patricide who lords over Mossflower woods. And the siege, well, there's actually two of them, are both pretty rocking. Oh, and there's a ship named *Bloodwake* and food is called 'vittles'. Epic stuff. But those aren't the reasons I love MOSSFLOWER. I love it because of its themes. Martin has a sword. It's reforged from the shard of a meteorite. But that just makes it a better tool. The sword is neither good nor bad, though it can be *used* for good or for bad. The first REDWALL book made a pretty clear distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. Good guys = friendly, cute creatures. Bad guys = rats and gross creatures (adders, ferrets and the like). But MOSSFLOWER deals with morality in a more evenhanded fashion. Martin could choose to use the sword to rule over Mossflower like his enemy does, but he elects to help others instead. On the other hand, there are a few 'villianous' creatures who end up being decent people, like Tsarmina's wildcat brother. All in all, it's a much more realistic look at storytelling (as realistic as talking animals can be, that is...) So if you haven't been paying attention, this book is great. Read it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Book 2 in the Redwall series (prequel to Redwall) In this prequel to Redwall, we meet Martin the warrior and understand how his heroic deeds, as well as his ability to form alliances, leads to the creation of Redwall Abbey. The Corim, the governing council of the woodland creatures, tries to protect themselves against the evil Kotir, malicious wildcats determined to rule all the animals. Tsarmina is the cruel and mentally unstable ruler of the Kotir. When Martin the Warrior has a run-in with Tsarm Book 2 in the Redwall series (prequel to Redwall) In this prequel to Redwall, we meet Martin the warrior and understand how his heroic deeds, as well as his ability to form alliances, leads to the creation of Redwall Abbey. The Corim, the governing council of the woodland creatures, tries to protect themselves against the evil Kotir, malicious wildcats determined to rule all the animals. Tsarmina is the cruel and mentally unstable ruler of the Kotir. When Martin the Warrior has a run-in with Tsarmina and ends up in the Kotir dungeon, he meets Gonff the mouse thief and they strike up a friendship that carries them through many adventures. Once again, Jacques creates a believable world peopled with well-drawn characters that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. This series is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for fantasy readers of all ages.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Leslye ✴

    This is the second book in the Redwall series, but it is actually a prequel to Redwall. It is the story of how Martin the Warrior, a legendary hero, came to Mossflower Woods. Tsarmina, an evil wildcat, is ruling the land with an iron fist. There is no Redwall Abbey here. Instead there is a rundown fortress called Kotir where the bad guys (mostly rats and weasels) live. It's a story about how the good and honest creatures of the woods set out to free themselves from the tyrannical rule of Tsarmin This is the second book in the Redwall series, but it is actually a prequel to Redwall. It is the story of how Martin the Warrior, a legendary hero, came to Mossflower Woods. Tsarmina, an evil wildcat, is ruling the land with an iron fist. There is no Redwall Abbey here. Instead there is a rundown fortress called Kotir where the bad guys (mostly rats and weasels) live. It's a story about how the good and honest creatures of the woods set out to free themselves from the tyrannical rule of Tsarmina. By the end of the novel, you forget that mice can't talk and that badgers don't wield swords. I highly recommend this fun, magical series... even to adults who just want to escape to an age of innocent adventure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Henry Martin

    After finishing Redwall, I wanted more. The prequel Mossflower seemed a pretty reasonable choice. I did enjoy the read, nevertheless, while the writing was excellent, the storyline was not as good as Redwall. Jacques still does an amazing job in creating a fascinating world of woodland creatures, but the story just didn't grab me the way I hoped it would. After finishing Redwall, I wanted more. The prequel Mossflower seemed a pretty reasonable choice. I did enjoy the read, nevertheless, while the writing was excellent, the storyline was not as good as Redwall. Jacques still does an amazing job in creating a fascinating world of woodland creatures, but the story just didn't grab me the way I hoped it would.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This will always be one of my favorites. We first met in the Florida library when I was 10. We reunited when I was 13 and facing my own wildcats in the form of high school bullies. We then parted ways for over a decade when I was 18, until last year. Martin & Gonff are childhood heroes with a tale that translates for any age group.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    2.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    Took its sweet time getting started, but it sure was epic once it did! Also, Gonff is amazing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bodosika Bodosika

    Not too bad but not good enough... 3star

  24. 4 out of 5

    F.D. Gross

    A prequel to the Redwall series. And a damn good one at that. The fabled Martin the Warrior makes his debut in this second installment. A book split into three parts, each section has its own ups and downs throughout, focusing on the pinnacle ideas that tyranny and freedom can relate to in today’s society. A big thumbs up to Jacques and his quirky yet memorable characters. Martin, Gonff the this, and Dinny the mole, each of these personalities lent their personas to the overall enjoyable atmosph A prequel to the Redwall series. And a damn good one at that. The fabled Martin the Warrior makes his debut in this second installment. A book split into three parts, each section has its own ups and downs throughout, focusing on the pinnacle ideas that tyranny and freedom can relate to in today’s society. A big thumbs up to Jacques and his quirky yet memorable characters. Martin, Gonff the this, and Dinny the mole, each of these personalities lent their personas to the overall enjoyable atmosphere of Mossflower, the country where Redwall was born. I do wish however I had read this book before the first book, because it really shows what happens in the seasons before the Redwall Abbey was built. Moss flower laid the ground work which led to the epic novel that is so well known. There is so much to cover, I will only focus on the best parts. Martin the warrior, however tiny of a mouse he was, was in fact the traditional hero who would stick his neck out for any and all creatures. A big heart, yet little stature. Throughout the story, you will get to see his transformation from becoming enslaved to escaping tyranny and then eventually questing to find a legendary hero that would aid in the monarchy of Kotir, the castle fortress ruled by the evil queen Tsarmina. But what Martin doesn’t know is that in reality, he is on a quest of transformation, and any outside help he can muster for the cause is really all from him. His determination alone allows him to become the hero that saves the day in the end. Symbolism couples with this little hero as well. In the beginning, his sword is shattered. As a token of memento, he wears the broken hilt of his father as to ever remind him of his vow to kill the queen of Kotir. Tsarmina, the evil self-proclaimed queen of Mossflower, is quite the ballistic type personality that grows on the reader, even though she is the main antagonists of the story. As you progress through the story, the reader will start to see paranoia and insanity slowly take over her, and it is quite entertaining to watch. The story has some good comedic quality throughout. One of these core laughable traits of the story is how she conducts her army and captains. Through her short lived reign, she promoted over a five or more captains due to blunders which ended in death or displeasing the queen. She as a villain was true to her nature, instilling fear as a means to control her weasel and rat army. It was certainly interesting to see how all the woodland creatures came together and interacted throughout the tale. On any given chapter, you could see how squirrels and otters got along, fighting alongside one another, and badgers and shrews cooking meals for the warriors defending their realm. At one point, a pact of leaders formed a group called Corim, a sort of alliance between many creatures to protect the land. This particular idea of the story reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings, plus the multitude of complex dialects certain creatures spoke. Yet another great aspect of the story. Although sometimes hard to understand, the mole speech was down right difficult to get. However, once you figured out the cadence of the words, the flow made sense and made the story that more enjoyable. One of favorite dialects by far were the hares. “Jolly good show, if I do say so myself. Wot!” Sometimes the speech almost fits the type of animal perfectly and I think Jacques was brilliant in understanding this comparison. So if I were to compare what this story related to, I would say it is the LOTR of woodland creatures. Rat’s versus mice, cat’s versus badgers, fox’s versus otters. The list goes on and on. And you could easily substitute how an orc or elf would fit in. Mind you, there are no humans in these stories. Just imagine medieval life, but without us. Perfect. Regardless, this series is a win for me thus far. I’ll keep reading it, probably pick up the next book after the halloween season. Now it’s time to read some scary books. 5 out of 5 stars F. D. Gross

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Just as good as the first one!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Hanson

    This is another old favorite of mine that I rediscovered on audiobook. Like Martin the Warrior, the audiobook features a full cast including the author Brian Jacques who is a masterful storyteller and his radio experience is clearly evident. I always feel like I'm reviewing the entire series when I review a Redwall novel but here goes. Yes, it's forumlaic. Yes, all of the books have a similar theme. Yes, the good guys are pretty easy to spot from the bad guys, but I DON'T CARE! Haha. Eh ahem. Se This is another old favorite of mine that I rediscovered on audiobook. Like Martin the Warrior, the audiobook features a full cast including the author Brian Jacques who is a masterful storyteller and his radio experience is clearly evident. I always feel like I'm reviewing the entire series when I review a Redwall novel but here goes. Yes, it's forumlaic. Yes, all of the books have a similar theme. Yes, the good guys are pretty easy to spot from the bad guys, but I DON'T CARE! Haha. Eh ahem. Seriously, I'm not sure that if it's because I have so much nostalgia built up around this series but I love it. The storytelling is good. There is a lot of detail that it feels like you could actually visit this place. It's light-hearted but sometimes it's refreshing to read a swashbuckling book with a happy ending. This book also features Gonff who is one of my favorite characters in the series. He's impossible not to like. I also tend to enjoy the prequel stories because of Martin who has a pretty fascinating life story and ultimately drives the entire series through his spirit which serves as a symbol of goodness. I realize that this is a bit of a gush review but I like these books too much to really be objective.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah

    I didn't really connect to this one as much as the original. Even though I can't remember as much as I'd like from the original Redwall, having read it 6 years ago now, I distinctly remember loving Warbeak and couldn't really say the same for any particular character this time around. I didn't really connect to this one as much as the original. Even though I can't remember as much as I'd like from the original Redwall, having read it 6 years ago now, I distinctly remember loving Warbeak and couldn't really say the same for any particular character this time around.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Continuing my new purpose of writing about books that influenced me as a child, I had to get started on Mossflower. This book! This series! Chronologically this is not the first of the group, but it is the first one I read. Brian Jacques did such a long and great series of short books geared tower young adults/children. I’ve read all of them, and I recently enjoyed reading them again. I was so sad when he died, considering he filled my childhood with such wonder. It was a series with fascinating Continuing my new purpose of writing about books that influenced me as a child, I had to get started on Mossflower. This book! This series! Chronologically this is not the first of the group, but it is the first one I read. Brian Jacques did such a long and great series of short books geared tower young adults/children. I’ve read all of them, and I recently enjoyed reading them again. I was so sad when he died, considering he filled my childhood with such wonder. It was a series with fascinating animal characters who had general but interesting personalities, and a through line of certain themes and relations between the books. This was the first really long series I started. I also saw the animated show. It wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t that bad either, in my opinion. There’s only one general criticism I have of the series, but I’ll talk about that in a bit. Mossflower is the major location for the series. The majority of the books take place there. Martin the Warrior is the most famous of characters, and he becomes a messiah like figure later on, his ghost appearing in some cases. One of the major characteristics of him is that he’s a mouse, who typically are small and not particularly warlike most of the time, but he’s very dangerous. When Martin arrives in Mossflower, he’s coming from a traumatic background that they get into with greater detail in other books. He is immediately accosted by the corrupt army of the leader in the are, the aging warlord wildcat Verdauga Greeneyes. They are robbing the people blind and letting their criminal bully minions do whatever they want. The people wish to rebel, but they have no real focal point or person to rally their cause. Enter Martin. This is a very Robin Hood like story. Verdauga dies, poisoned by his daughter Tsarmina and her vixen companion Fortunata. Fortunata masquerades as a healer. Tsarmina is cruel and vicious and wants to have all the power, and she blames the death on her gentler, kinder brother Gingivere. She establishes herself quickly as the villain by the murder and breaking Martin’s family sword. While imprisoned, Martin meets the clever and cheerful mouse thief Gonff. They become close quickly, and they are rescued by the Corim, a group dedicated to getting their lands back. Loamhedge is introduced here too as an abbey where they had to flee from because of the plague, and Abbess Germaine is the main character from there. We also meet the badger Bella, who is a ringleader and swears only her father Boar, the Badger Lord of Salamandastron, can save them. Salamandastron is also a major location in the series. Martin, Gonff, and Young Dinny the mole head off to find Boar. They also meet the shrew Log-a-log, a character that is mostly a title we see a lot of in the series. They have a series of adventures on the road, partly why people compare this to The Hobbit’s journey. They have a greater goal, but there are pit stops as they nearly die frequently. My personal favorite is the terrifying eel Snakefish who they nearly get eaten by in a pit, but they actually end up helping to escape. They make it to Salamandastron and meet Boar, and he helps fix Martin’s sword. The Badger Lord and his dangerous hares are also major characters in the books, so this is one of the earlier starts to them. Boar is killed in a duel with his great enemy, so Martin has to accept he is the hero who must save Mossflower. They return after taking over a slave ship and sailing back with the freed slaves, and Martin kills Tsarmina. There’s an interesting part where they nearly drive Tsarmina mad by slowly flooding the castle, and no one believes her when she keeps claiming she can hear water. Having her break down reminded me a bit of Lady Macbeth. Martin nearly dies in the final battle but he does survive. He goes to be a Redwall legend as this courageous warrior who helped them get their land back. My only real complaint in the series, and this is something many people bring up, is how black and white the characters are. In this case, it’s specific to the species they are. I get it’s easier to go “well all mice are peaceful but have inner strength” and “all rats are inherently vermin.” But it did often feel like the characters were too two-dimensional because of it. Later in the series he does redeem some of the evil species characters, but it’s rare. He was capable of making complex characters, Martin certainly was one, but too often the bad guys were just evil. Nothing else. Evil. It also doesn’t feature too many strong female characters; don’t get me wrong, Bella and Gonff’s love interest Columbine were interesting! It just took awhile before a woman was the lead character and a badass. Anyway, overall this book is a delight. I’ve read it multiple times over the years, and it’s always entertaining. I forget how many little adventures they had on the road. Revisit it if you only read it during childhood. It holds up!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Will

    The writing is noticeably flawed in this one (my dude never met an adverb that wouldn't set his world on fire), but it's still just romp city. Jacques gets more comfortable with his secondary characters, as well as settling in for the long haul on building the world's lore (in retrospect, the ending feels very much like when Marvel would do the post-credits stingers, and it is good and sly. On cruise control through this series thus far, although I remember almost nothing about the next book, an The writing is noticeably flawed in this one (my dude never met an adverb that wouldn't set his world on fire), but it's still just romp city. Jacques gets more comfortable with his secondary characters, as well as settling in for the long haul on building the world's lore (in retrospect, the ending feels very much like when Marvel would do the post-credits stingers, and it is good and sly. On cruise control through this series thus far, although I remember almost nothing about the next book, and it's noticeably longer than the first two, so we'll see if it's as easy of a read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nate Adams

    As good or better than when I read it as a kid.

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