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Redwall: The Legend Begins
ISBN 0142302376 / 9780142302378 / 0-14-230237-6
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There's something wonderful in hearing an author read his or her own work. And when that work is an epic adventure with a mouse for a hero and a rat for a villain, it's also just plain fun. This entertaining fantasy opens with Matthias, a clumsy young mouse who has big dreams of becoming a warrior. "Poor Matthias, alas for your ambition," says the head mouse of the peaceful little group. "The day of the warrior is gone." But even as the words are spoken, that day is about to change. Led by the deliciously evil Cluny the Scourge, a savage army of rats is heading for Redwall, destroying anything in its way: "A farmhouse set alight ... piglets, an entire litter of them eaten alive." Matthias is about to get his wish--the only thing that can save the idyllic world of Redwall is a true warrior. But, as the little mouse quickly learns, that's a title that must be earned.
Yes, the characters are mice and rats (and a badger and a few birds), but there are no song-and-dance numbers here. These mammals take their quest seriously, and author Brian Jacques narrates his tale with all the drama and passion of an old-time storyteller. The full cast of talented but little-known actors rounds out the story and helps bring the memorable characters of Redwall to complete and vivid life. (Running time: 10 hours and 43 minutes, eight cassettes) --Sara Nickerson [via]