Book cover of Redwall.
Book 1 of the Redwall series


Redwall is the first book in Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. It tells the story of Mathias, a mouse who follows his destiny to become the warrior of Redwall Abbey and defeat the evil rat Cluny the Scourge.

I loved the Redwall series as a child, and I’m now enjoying reading them to my own children, ages 6 and 7. Although aimed at children, not adults or even young-adults, I didn’t find Redwall annoying to read. The themes are simple, the plot is uncomplicated, and it follows a typical hero’s quest narrative.

The morality in the book is black and white—the good guys are purely good and the villains are truly evil and eventually suffer for it. However, Redwall does not shy away from some more mature themes. Death is a constant part of the narrative. The bad guys come to gruesome ends and even the hero’s friends aren’t safe. I think we parents can find this uneasy, wanting to shelter our children a bit, but my kids handled it well. I know as a child I would have love the inclusion of topics adults were hesitant to discuss.

I highly recommend Redwall for new readers and parents looking to get their kids hooked on books. My kids loved it so much they begged me to read constantly, and I didn’t mind doing so. When we finished, we immediately picked up the sequel Mossflower and dove right in.