Top critical review
Same old, same old
on 8 December 2006
This essentially tells the first tale of the renowned Martin the Warrior as he helps the 'woodlanders' of Mossflower rise up against the evil Tsarmina and her minions in the fortress of Kotir. To do this Martin must venture to Salamandastron to return Boar the fighter to help with their uprising. Meanwhile the woodlandes employ a spy, and a master of disguise in order to break out their prisoners, while the stoats etc launch reprisal attacks etc.
If you have ever read a Brian Jaques book before, this is exactly the same, and I mean EXACTLY. Every book seems to have the band of evil creatures holed up, trying to rule the innocent hedgehogs, squirrels etc. There are a few skirmishes, a quest, numerous plans and strategies on both sides, and a thoroughly nasty evildoer.
If you have read one, you have read them all. I have also read 'Martin the Warrior' and 'Marlfox' which stick to exactly the same pattern. The bad guys make stupid plans, those on the side of good are annoying, and in order to enforce some element of characterisation all he has done is make each race have a peculiarity with their speech (e.g the bats repeat the last few words that they speak).
Perhaps children may like this, and I would certainly encourage them to read rather than waste their lives in front of television, but there are so many better books out there than this. I would certainly not recommend reading more than one of this series, unless you want to read a virtually identical book with different named characters.