Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
One to miss....stick to the older installments in the series
on 11 February 2007
Fans of Brian Jacques will have noticed a worrying trend in his series. In the beginning books such as Mossflower, Redwall and Outcasts of Redwall were about a small band of creatures fighting of an imperialist presence that had colonised their land. The founding fathers of Redwall strove to establish a state based on peaceful amendments and I feel they would have been truly shocked at this latest offering. In High Rhulain, Redwall Abbey having no need to defend its own borders plays its hand at colonisation. Its pretext is that the inhabitants of the Green Isle are under an evil dictator and must be freed; an otter by the way receives this information in a dream. It is the moral thing to do. Of course they cannot go it alone unilaterally, they need backing from a bunch of stiff upper lip hares who are a lot more experienced in colonialist warfare. The hare's of Salamandastrom serve as useful yes men who eager at the chance of any battle quickly take up arms and go ahead and do battle with the wildcats and liberate the otter slaves. Once liberated the slaves are then governed by a puppet dictator from Redwall and the story ends. Whilst admittedly the aims of the war are laudable this time, the way the series is going one gets the feelings that the way the next book will feature Redwall Abbey going to war for forestry or fishing rights.
This, the latest offering is I am sad to say also the poorest one, or perhaps it is that I'm just getting older. But there no longer seem to be any big battles in the Redwall series and there is no character ambiguity. In Mossflower one of the heroes is a kleptomaniac, Outcast of Redwall (my personal favourite) has a rat who is almost evil but redeems himself at the end paying the ultimate price. High Rhulain has none of these ambiguities, all the animals fit into the stereotypes given to them. An unfortunate feature that has plagued the last few Redwall books is the absence of likeable characters and this instalment proves no exception. All in all, this book just serves for a longing for the series to return to its original form.