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Mossflower (Redwall, Book 2) Paperback – September 30, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 340 customer reviews
Book 2 of 22 in the Redwall Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Right from the start of this rousingly old-fashioned prequel to Redwall , readers will submerge themselves in the culture of the woodlanders and their council, the Corim, against the wicked Kotir. Kotir is the name of the group holed up at the castle, led by Tsarmina, a wildcat who poisons her father and imprisons her good brother Gingivere so that she may rule in her own way. Into the woodlanders' midst comes Martin the Warrior, who becomes fast friends with Gonff the mousethief and others; they soon set off to find the only warrior who can lead them to victory. More important than the outcome of the story, where good triumphs over evil, are the characters: baby hedgehogs Ferdy and Coggs, doing their valiant best to become warriors; the kindly Gingivere, who finds his heart's joy as a farmer; Lady Amber, the squirrel Chief and her band of archers; Chibb, the robin who will spy for anyone as long as he is paid in candied chestnuts. Martin's heroics pale in comparison to the acts of his fellow-fighters, so colorful are their escapades. While Redwall fans will enjoy this, no prior knowledge of that book is necessary. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up In this prequel to Redwall (Philomel, 1987), Jacques describes the epic adventures leading up to the foundation of Redwall Abbey. A band of weasels, stoats, and other unpleasant creatures from Kotir Castle, led by the evil wildcat Tsarmina, is making life unbearable for the animals of Mossflower Woods. Then Martin, a young warrior mouse with a rusty sword, appears and inspires them to resistance. Leaving the others to harass Tsarmina, Martin sets out with two companions on a quest to find the great badger, Boar, the true ruler of Mossflower. All of the characters, good and evil alike, come fully alive. Jacques has the true fantasy-writer's ability to create a wholly new and believable world, down to the last details of food, drink, and local dialect. He is not so skilled with his plot. Suspense does not arise from the situation itself, for the end is never really in doubt. Instead it is produced by rapid and often confusing cuts back and forth between groups of characters. The writing is smooth and swift-paced; scenes of violent battle take place so quickly that readers may have to go back to what has happened. Lacking the unifying device which the seige provides in Redwall, the narrative seems overly long and crowded with events. This will be enjoyed mainly by those whose reading of Redwall has already aroused their interest in Mossflower and its inhabitants. Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Redwall (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird; Redwall, Book 2 edition (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142302384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142302385
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mossflower is one of the most dynamic books I've read. I'm 19 years old and I remember my 5th grade teacher reading me this book when I was 10! From that point on I have collected all the books in the series. I remember being able to identify with Martin and his followers from day one. Everyone in my class (even the class clown, David!) loved the time when our teacher would whip out her paperback and pick up where she had left off the previous day. Everyone groaned when the rats and ferrets chased after the otters, everyone held their breath when the Gloomer was sent in the water. Everyone laughed when Gonff danced with the crab. Everyone was spellbound with delight when Martin and Gonff met the hares, and everyone cheered when . . well I'm not going to say! The tone and style of the story weaves itself around you until you are spellbound by its magic. Even though the reality of animals talking isn't possible, in Mossflower you accepted that they did and moved on to the adventure. The characters were all well developed and there was just enough flat characters to contrast with the dynamic ones. The result is that you get a sense of realistic stability not often found in a talking animal book. The obvious character foils made you sense the good and evil and you take a side; the side you stick with until the end. All in all, this book is a classic. The poetry, the words, the characters, and best of all the magic, make it come alive into your heart, imagination and soul. This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend to anyone.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One series to rule them all...

A dark army that has overrun the land. An unlikely hero on sent on an epic quest. A sword that is broken and forged anew. A search for the lost king. I could easily be describing Lord of the Rings! I have read several books in this amazing series (and shall not stop till I have read them all), but so far this one is undoubtedly my favorite. When you read Redwall and Mattimeo (and some of the other books in the series), you feel as if it's set in the present. But when you read the books about Martin the Warrior, the legendary hero of Redwall Abbey...

The time of great heroes

What can I say, reading Mossflower is like reading a book about the legend of King Arthur or Robin Hood. You're stepping back in time to an era when villains were more wicked, heroes were more brave, and the country was more wild. The story begins with Martin entering the country of Mossflower and then swiftly being imprisoned because he is carrying a sword. The ultimate climax of the book is set up swiftly when Martin swears vengeance upon the evil Queen of the land (who in an awesome scene breaks Martin's sword and tells the guards to have him wear it around his neck). But even for the Hero Martin, vengeance doesn't come easy.

Have you ever been on a quest?

Like Redwall, there is a major sidequest for our hero to embark upon (you can't kill the main villain with a broken sword now can you?), involving a search for the old Badger Lord king of Mossflower. Also like Redwall, there will be clues to unravel, friends to make, and alliances to forge. And like the great Lord of the Rings, there will also be beautiful songs to sing and poems to read.

Hungry yet?
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Format: Hardcover
I think that Mossflower is simply the most fantastic book in the whole Redwall series, and close to perfection. This is the story of how Martin the Warrior, a legendary hero, came to Mossflower country. It is a time of desparation, when no one is safe from the evil Tsarmina and her army. Unlike the other Redwall books, this story has an uncanny sense of adventure, soul, suspense, and humor. The characters are larger than life. Mossflower chronciles how all the great legends of Redwall came to be, and you see how the characters became part of ancient legend. It is a wonderful book, and unparalled in its grand storytelling.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Redwall-series book, but is actually a prequel to "Redwall". The storyline is very thin, but it is certainly exciting for the kids with lots of action. My kids produced plenty of laughter due to the antics of Martin, Gonff, and Young Dinny. Jacques writes well, and this is to the benefit of my children who want to plow through the umpteen books in this series. One is enough, though, for me to read aloud. (For now, until they beg for more!)
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By A Customer on May 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read every Redwall book from Redwall to The Legend of Luke. i am going to get Lord Brocktree once it comes out. This is the second-best book in the series, the only one better is Pearls of Lutra. Mossflower has villains you will hate with all of your heart and heroes you just can't resist, such as Gonff who teaches a crab to "dance" on his route to Salamandastron, home of the badger Lord Boar the Fighter. The evil wildcat queen, Tsarmina's, tyrannical reign needs a quick finish, and Martin the mouse is the one to do it. Oh and by the way, "Tsarmina" is a play on "tsarina" with "mean" added in.
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Format: Paperback
The Redwall series was recommended to me by my own readers, who recognized a similarity between the writing style, animorphism, and medieval setting of my own debut novel "The Other Side of Yore" and of Brian Jaques' famous books. As I learned more about the books, I was amazed that the books had escaped my attention for so long. Sure I had heard the name in passing, but I really didn't know what the books were about, and had probably passed them over as too child-oriented when I was a young blossoming fan of fantasy. Boy, had i been missing out!

Mossflower may be the best YA fantasy book I've read since "The Hobbit," maybe even surpassing "The Chronicles of Narnia" for imagination, superb writing skill, literary worth, and sheer reading enjoyment!

Far from being just a book for young adults, I am well over thirty and highly critical of most fiction books, and was unable to put the book down. Not only does Jaques write in an incredibly skillful and beautiful style, but his plots and subplots are nothing short of genious. The character developement of the animorphed creatures is far superior to even the average bestselling author of fiction starring realistic human characters. Jaques is a master of dialogue and dialect, and I especially enjoyed the strange coloquial mole-speech;

"Hurr, Oi be liken it moiself better'n any deeper-n'-ever pie oive et, stan' on moi hole!"

The triumphs, determinations, and gallant speeches of Martin the Warrior actually brought tears to my eyes a few times during the tale, and the antics and humorous songs and poems of Gonff made me laugh out loud more than once.
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