Reviews for Mariel of Redwall


Kirkus Reviews 1992 February
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 bell 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 clich piled on clich ; 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. (Fiction. 9+) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1992 March
Gr 4-8-- Redwall Abbey is once again the center of a multistranded adventure. Independent of its predecessors, Redwall (1987), Mossflower (1988), and Mattimeo (1990, all Philomel), it follows the mousemaid Mariel in her quest for vengeance against the searat Gabool the Wild and his Rodent Corsairs, who imprisoned her father and left her to drown during a storm at sea. Tough and resiliant, she makes her way to Redwall, where she finds stalwart companions who will accompany her through the Mossflower woods back to Gabool's stronghold, where he is descending into madness. Meanwhile, the good creatures of Redwall are besieged by a renegade band of searats. Intrepid readers willing to tackle a book this long will be further impeded by the sections of dialect used to delineate class structure. Since the writing style is cliched, much of the action contrived to be cute, the characters one-dimensional, and the villains predictable vermin, readers may wonder ``why bother?'' Nor will they find illumination of human-animal kinship. Clever substitutions like ``anybeast,'' ``foremole,'' and ``every ratjack of ye'' serve only to remind that these animals are almost entirely human surrogates. Even the frequent references to woodland cuisine are tedious enough to become unappetizing. A book that's somewhat pretentious, and one that will appeal mainly to fans of Jacques's earlier medieval fantasies. --Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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