It's ages since I last read a Redwall book, but I felt like being nostalgic yesterday and so when I went to the library I picked this one up. As one of the more recent ones, it's one I haven't read as often as some of the earlier ones (all the ones before Rakkety Tam I've probably read at least 6/7 times, and Taggerung and Outcast of Redwall I reckon I've read somewhere between 15 and 20 times...), I couldn't really remember what happens. I worried as I determined on this course that I would discover that Redwall just isn't as great as I remember it being, and that I would lose a piece of childhood nostalgia by realising it wasn't actually that great. But it was still great.
There's something uplifting about a good vs evil book, where you know that good will win but you don't know how yet--or whether those who are 'goodies' will all survive. With the Redwall series being about the inhabitants of a place, rather than a specific character Brian Jacques had (he sadly died a few weeks ago) the freedom to kill off characters without jeopardising the future of the series. Unlike books set around a single character/characters (like the Dirk Pitt books, for example), you can't be sure that the main characters will survive. Which has led, I might add, to a good deal of sobbing on my part. Especially in Martin the Warrior.
Riddles, feasts, fighting, and a wonderful cast of characters, including a brilliant hare, plus a whole host of mice, squirrels, and a new Gousim tribe, plus the Gonfellin tribe, makes this a brilliantly woven tale. I thoroughly enjoyed it--couldn't put it down. And that's despite having read it before :) It's inspired me to go read the rest of the Redwall books, and I can't wait to get my hands on the most recent one (just come out in paperback, so I think amazon is called for as they seem impossible to find in most bookshops). It might be a children's series, but it's uplifting and exciting in equal measures.