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Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool in 1939. He left school at age fifteen and found work as a docker, a truck driver, a policeman and a stand-up comic, all before turning his attention to writing. He wrote his first novel, Redwall, for the children at a school for the blind in Liverpool. Since 1986, his descriptive style of writing has captivated readers from age 8 to 80. His books have won international awards and acclaim and have been made into a TV series. Learn about the reading order for the Redwall series (and other stuff) at Brian Jacques’ website.

Redwall: The hero’s tale in an animal world

Redwall by Brian Jacques

For those who have not discovered Brian Jacques delightful and exciting REDWALL series, you’re in for a real treat. Though aimed at the young (I first enjoyed the first book at age eleven), it can easily be enjoyed by adults as long as its intentions are understood (I read it this year, and though the experience was not the same, I still enjoyed it). A combination of animal and heroic fantasy, Jacques transforms the meadowlands and forest into an epic landscape where mice, badgers, shrews, moles, hares, foxes, stoats, and all variety of woodland creatures live in pastoral harmony, fighting for survival when evil looms. The series now standing at twenty-two books in total, the first, entitled Redwall, was published in 1986 and is the subject of this review.

Redwall Abbey is a brick structure standing in the middle of Mossflower Wood. A place of safety and tranquility, woodland crea... Read More

Mossflower: Woodland creatures rebel against a cruel tyrant

Mossflower by Brian Jacques

Martin, a traveling warrior mouse, is accidentally caught up in a war between the wildcat Tsarmina, who rules over Mossflower Wood, and the gentle woodland creatures starving under her rule. The creatures have formed a resistance group, but most of them are farmers or weavers who 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 Brian JacquesREDWALL series as a child, and re-reading Mossflower as an adult was a very nostalgic experience for me. It's been long enough since I last read the first few books of the series that I don't remember exactly which characters make it to the end of the novels and whi... Read More

Mattimeo: Jacques perfects his formula

Mattimeo by Brian Jacques

Mattimeo is the third REDWALL novel written by Brian Jacques, and contains all of the elements which have come to define the series in the minds of fans: noble heroes, dastardly villains, young animals who mature into budding heroes, lengthy descriptions of food, mysterious riddles, and dual plots which see the residents of Redwall Abbey defending its red sandstone walls against invaders while the principal hero-characters journey far afield. Subsequent books do jump around quite a bit within the series’ chronology, but Mattimeo takes place “eight seasons” after the events of Redwall and features Matthias the Warrior Mouse, his wife Cornflower, and their son Mattimeo in prominent roles.

During their annual feast celeb... Read More

Eulalia: Another great Redwall story

Eulalia by Brian Jacques

Torn from his humble home in the Northern Isles, Gorath the badger is taken captive aboard the feared vessel Bludgullet captained by the feared Viska Longtooth, a savage and crazed fox with an unquenchable blood thirst.

Meanwhile, far away in the heart of Mossflower Woods, a young thief is exiled from the great Redwall Abbey. Orkwill Prink, a spirited and energetic hedgehog, forges ahead into the unknown to seek his fortunes in the wider world. Orkwill is unaware, however, that he is soon to cross paths with the mighty badger and a crew of vile vermin.

I have always been a lover of Brian Jacques’s Redwall series, and Eulalia was no exception. I love Jacques’s work because, even though the reader visits the same places over and over again in all of his book... Read More

More books by Brian Jacques


Castaways of the Flying Dutchman — (2001-2006) Publisher: A young boy and his dog stow away on board the Flying Dutchman, a ship bound for South America, in 1620. The pair are thrown overboard as the ship rounds Cape Horn, but are saved by an angel. From then on the two are fated to travel the world, through time to help people in trouble.

Brian Jacquees 1. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman 2. The Angel's Command 3. Voyage of SlavesBrian Jacquees 1. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman 2. The Angel's Command 3. Voyage of SlavesBrian Jacquees 1. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman 2. The Angel's Command 3. Voyage of Slaves

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSeven Strange & Ghostly Tales — (1991) Publisher: Filled with humor, adventure, and imagination, these seven short stories go from the lighthearted to the bizarre. From a teenager who drives a museum curator to mummify him for signing Phantom Snake (an anagram of his name) all over his exhibits, to a boy who’s dared to visit the tomb of a vampire at midnight only to discover that the vampire boy he meets has a mother who nags just like his own, the eerie and chilling settings and characters will captivate readers.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Ribbajack & Other Curious Yarns — (2004) Publisher: Self-described “scalawag” Brian Jacques (venerable author of the beloved Redwall series) sets out to spook young readers with six scary (but, of course, not too scary) tales, steeped in a mulligan stew of folk fables, ancient myths, and horror-flick fiends. The star of the sextet is undoubtedly Jacques’ eccentric style–his diction, humor, and unmistakable brogue–which (in context) shouldn’t give young readers too much trouble, and often makes for very-fun reading besides: “No, sir, I h’arrived too late. But I knows me rats, sir. If the h’Oriental chap says that’s wot ‘appened, then I’ll back ‘im h’all the way.” Kids, of course, figure prominently in each story, too–whether as protagonists or as more scurrilous lads and lasses getting their well-deserved comeuppance. One such schoolboy causes much mayhem in the book’s first (and by far best) story, in which an aspiring scoundrel named Archibald Smifft summons an occult creature, the Ribbajack, to do his evil bidding. Other stories riff off various other creepy creatures, from werewolves to ghosts to even Medusa, usually with some winking moral woven in by Jacques.