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Posts Tagged ‘Mossflower’

The Rogue Crew – A Review

Posted on October 6th, 2014 by Anna in Reviews - Staff

rogue crew       The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques Read by: Anna/Central Teen Room This is the final story in the Redwall series. It chronicles a group of hares, shrews, sea otters and a few hedgehogs, as they race against time to reach Redwall Abby before the murderous vermin crew of the ship, Greenshroud. The ship and her wearat captain, Razzid, once thought to be defeated by fire, have returned, bigger and better than before. Now, the ship not only sails the seas, it has wheels that allow it to sail on land as well! Will the warrior hares from Salamandastron and the mighty sea otters of the High North Coast reach the Abby in time to save the good woodland creatures who live there? Or will more vermin along the way keep them from reaching their goal and their friends? I started reading this series nineteen years ago. Yes. You read that correctly. Nineteen years. The first book in the series, Redwall, was originally published in 1987, though I didn’t find it until a few years after that. The Rogue Crew (book #22) was first published in 2011. So you can see just how long this series has been going on. If it weren’t for the death of the author, Brian Jacques (pronounced Jakes), this series would still be going on. This will always be one of my favorite series, and Brian Jacques will always be one of my favorite authors. Though he lived in Liverpool, England, I was lucky enough to get to meet him on three separate occasions and I can say he was an amazing person to listen to. His voice was as rich and deep as his stories. Did you know Redwall got started as a story for blind children? Jacques delivered milk to a blind school and wrote Redwall for them, making his style of writing as descriptive as possible so the children could see everything in their imaginations.  A former teacher of his eventually showed Redwall to a publisher without telling Jacques, and as they say, the rest is history. Because of his descriptive style, his work makes me feel like I’m in an adventure with all these different creatures who are kind, caring, tough, warrior-like, evil, mean, innocent, whatever words you can use to describe people, you can use to describe these creatures. I really do feel like I’m there, in the midst of a battle, or enjoying a huge feast on a beautiful summer evening. Though, one thing I adore about these books that tends to be a deal breaker for other readers, is the fact that each type of animal has its own way of speaking and Jacques uses that throughout all of the dialog. I see it as a fun time to learn how to speak like a mole or a hare. Others, find it distracting. If that is something that bothers you, this might not be the book for you. If it doesn’t, I urge you to check it out.  I can’t recommend these books highly enough, and I’m very sad to have finally reached the end. A note about the order of the books: Each book is its own story with its own set of characters. If you’re new to the series, you should start with either Redwall or Mossflower. Redwall was the first book published and Mossflower is the prequel. After that, you can read them in any order you like. I admit, they might get tiring after awhile if you attempt to read all 22 in a row, but take a long break and come back to them and you’ll remember why you enjoyed them so much when you first picked them up. To me, these are timeless classics set in their own fantasy world. Thirty, fifty, even perhaps one hundred years from now, I imagine they’ll still be readable and enjoyable by many and I hope they’re never forgotten by readers of all ages.

Doomwyte – A Review

Posted on August 10th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

Doomwyte by Brian Jacques

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

This is the story of the woodland creatures of Redwall Abby who live by the code of honor and friendship to all. A riddle is found that was written by Gonff the Prince of Mousethieves many seasons ago, detailing the whereabouts of the Doomwyte Eyes. These are four precious jewels Gonff stole from the Wytes, a murderous band of birds and their snakes, who still harbor a hatred toward any creature they can kill and eat. Not only is there one riddle to start off the search for the jewels, there are several more along the way. Not only are there riddles, there are plenty of songs, feasts, fights, bad guys, good guys, laughter, love, and lots of fun.

I just finished this wickedly awesome fantasy adventure novel this afternoon and completely loved every minute of it. Some of the Redwall books seem to be the same as the others, but this one provided a fresh story with new creatures and very different adventures that made it fun to read Brian Jacques all over again. I was constantly wondering where the book would end up because at no point was the ending obvious. I especially loved the character of Umphrey Spikkle who showed that one doesn’t need to know how to read and write in order to do good work, have fun, and save the day. He also shows that it’s never to late to learn what all those squiggles on the page actually mean.

A note about Redwall as a series: Brian Jacques (pronounced Jakes) wrote the series to be read in any order. Each novel makes for a good stand alone story. However, I highly recommend reading Redwall and Mossflower first, as they explain the story of Martin the Warrior, the eventual spirit guide who appears in later novels, and the beginnings of Redwall Abby.  I also highly recommend Mossflower because it’s the prequel to Redwall, and is by far, my favorite of all the Redwall books.

 

My Summer Reading List for 2012

Posted on May 29th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

I know most of you reading this will have to read at least one or two books over the summer for school, right? I might not be going back to school next fall, and teachers might not be handing me a list of books I have to read this summer, but a lot of the books on your list are great books. And so, I’ve decided to join you in reading books/authors from the Boston Public Schools list for 2012. Some of the books on this year’s list are books I’ve already read, by authors I love, so instead of rereading the same books, I’ve chosen related books that I’ve been meaning to read for awhile but haven’t gotten around to.

As soon as I’ve finished reading a book, I’ll post a review of it here in the blog so you can check out my progress and see what I thought of each book.

 What am I reading this summer? Here’s my Summer Reading List:

 FICTION

 The following are on, or are related to, books on the BPS Summer Reading List for Grades 9-12.

 -Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clark (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

The Overlords came to Earth and brought peace and prosperity with them… but then they began to take the children away from their heritage in the first step to eliminate the human race!

 This is a classic science-fiction novel that I’ve been told all sci-fi writers need to read. Thus, it makes sense that even those who don’t write sci-fi, but love to read it, should read this book too. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but occasionally I like to dabble in writing sci-fi stories, so I’d like to check it out, and hopefully improve my writing by enjoying a good book.

 

 -Doomwyte by Brian Jacques (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

A young mouse, Bisky, and his friends seek a fabled Redwall treasure: the jeweled eyes of the Great Doomwyte Idol, which leads them to the realm of the fearsome Korvus Skurr, the black-feathered raven…

 This is book 20 in the classic fantasy series Redwall. Brian Jacques is my favorite children’s/YA author, and the prequel to this series,  Mossflower, is the book on the official Summer Reading list. It is also my favorite, and most read, book in the entire Redwall series. As I have yet to read Doomwyte, I’ve chosen it for my summer list. When reading this series, there are a total of 22 books, and it does not matter in what order you read them!

 

 

 -Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen’s own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense. But a conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar against the Queen by unknown forces. Talia must protect her and the heir, before danger can strike!

 The official reading list includes Magic’s Pawn, the first book in The Last Herald Mage trilogy by the same author, which I read and loved immensely.  Arrows of the Queen is the first book in her trilogy The Heralds of Valdemar, and while only a few of the characters are the same, it is set in the same kingdom of Valemar as The Last Herald Mage trilogy. I’ve been curious to see if it’s as good as the other, which is why I’ve chosen this book.  

 

 

 -Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (Mystery/Suspense list)

Odd Thomas is a young man with a faithful companion in his dog named Boo. Though they are anything but ordinary. Odd can see the spirits of dead people who are reluctant to move on from this world. And Boo is one such spirit. In the past he has been haunted by nightmares that have come true. In the small California town where he’s currently living, he’s been having the same repeat nightmare. Will it lead to someone’s death? Or will Odd be able to save another’s life?

 The Mystery/Suspense list includes Odd Thomas, the first book in the Odd series about a 19-year-old boy who can see dead people. Odd Hours is the fourth book which I have yet to read, thus, it is one of my reading choices this summer.

 

 NON-FICTION

 Three of the non-fiction titles I’ve chosen were on a Summer Reading List in 2011 when they caught my eye. Since then, I’ve been looking for an excuse to dive into them, even though they are no longer required reading for school. Those books are:

 

-A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo

A memoir of the Vietnam War.

 

-Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

A minute-by-minute account of the first sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War in 1993.

 -Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

This is a true tale of survival, adventure, and the most incredible rescue mission of World War II.

 

A Little Big Life by Dean Koontz

This was a last-minute addition to the list in place of The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding, which is not in print in the states yet. This book is a “Memoir of a Joyful Dog” and is written by the author of one of the fiction books I’m also reading, so I thought it would be fitting to read this joyful little tome.

 

So, in total, I have chosen to read 8 titles this summer between June 1st and August 31st. I’m not sure how far I’ll get, or in what order I’ll be reading them, but check back here for any reviews I post to see where I am in this list and what I have left to go.

Legendary Author Passes Away

Posted on February 11th, 2011 by Anna in Books

Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques, whose Redwall series, set in the mythical Redwall Abbey, has sold more than 20 million copies, died last Saturday of a heart attack. He was 71.

The 22nd and final book in the Redwall series, The Rogue Crew, will be published in May by Philomel, a Penguin Young Readers Group imprint.

Philomel president and publisher Michael Green noted that Jacques “initially wrote Redwall to entertain the children at Liverpool’s Royal Wavertree School for the Blind, where he would read aloud, giving voice to the many accents, giving aroma and flavor to the famous Redwall Abbey feasts, and giving life to a world in which mice and hares were heroes to the end. The world has lost not only a talented author, but a truly gifted entertainer and champion of children.”

Jacques was born in Liverpool, England. Penguin said that his interest in adventure stories began in childhood, when he read the works of Daniel Defoe, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and Edgar Rice Burroughs. One of his favorites was The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.

BBC noted that Jacques showed literary talent at an early age (and we’re lucky he survived a teacher’s reaction): “He was caned by a teacher who could not believe that a 10-year-old could write so well when he penned a short story about a bird who cleaned a crocodile’s teeth.”

-Shelf Awareness Daily News (www.shelf-awareness.com)

If you’re looking for any of his past published books, we have a display in the Copley Teen room containing several of his Redwall books and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman. Also, if we don’t have it, there are many of his books downstairs in the children’s room. So whether you’re looking to relive your childhood, or reading his books for the first time, we have them here!

The Rogue Crew, his latest book due out in May, is not YET available to be put on hold through the BPL catalog (www.bpl.org). But do keep an eye out for it. When we order our first copies you will be able to put your name on the request list to be one of the first to get it. Also, if you’re looking to purchase it, there are bookstores that will let you preorder the book ahead of time. Barnes and Noble (www.bn.com) is one such bookstore, but there may be others if you wish to shop around.

Road Trip Wednesday # 65

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Anna in Books

YA Highway is a blog (www.yahighway.com) by a group of young adult authors from all over the world! And every Wednesday YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination, from their blog, and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

But, why not do the same thing on our blog every week? I’ll post their question and you can put your answers in our comments section, or on your own blog and link back to it in our comments (and theirs too, if you’d like, because I’m sure they’d enjoy reading your answers!)

YA Highway is a blog (www.yahighway.com) by a group of young adult authors from all over the world! And every Wednesday YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination, from their blog, and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

But, why not do the same thing on our blog every week? I’ll post their question and you can put your answers in our comments section, or on your own blog and link back to it in our comments (and theirs too, if you’d like, because I’m sure they’d enjoy reading your answers!)

This week’s topic:

Happy Groundhog Day! If the groundhog sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter (and we’re hoping he doesn’t, since 2/3 of the US is covered in blizzard right now).

In the movie “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray has to relive the same day over and over. What books would you pick to read over and over for the rest of your life?

Don’t forget to give the title, author, and your reasoning as well!

Here’s mine: Mossflower by Brian Jacques

This is the prequel to Redwall, and is part of his ongoing/never ending series. This has been a favorite of mine since the first time I read it. It includes awesome animal characters, each with their own voices and accents, lots of adventure and dangerous situations, humor (even during a dangerous battle scene there’s plenty of humor to go around), and even a little romance too.  That’s why I like it. It has a little bit of everything for everyone.