The Long Patrol Links Interviews Forums Brian Jacques Releases The Bookshelf Editorials Features

The New Year
February 16th, 2003

Keyla Every New Year when I read the first bit of new Redwall news I wonder what the year holds in terms of Redwall. We know already that this is a bumper year, though some details are sketchy. Here are the near definite features:
a.. The Angel's Command.
b.. A Divvil of a Lad.
c.. Urso Brunov.
d.. Tribes of Redwall: Mice.
e.. The Redwall Cookbook.
f.. Loamhedge.

I will now lay out what we have to look forward to in each book. I will not work from sources and quote but simply give what is known or supposed.

The Angel's Command:
   Already people have been able to get hold of advance reading copies. Martin has already read it and has written review telling us that it is in fact really two stories, La Petite Marie and The Razan, and informing us of the start of these two tales. I will not repeat all he has already said but I will comment that these both appear to be good starting points for the storylines, in particular the second one. It is interesting to note that the page count is 372, which is about what one might expect from a tale of Redwall. I felt that "The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman" was a little too short and this should give a more substantial read.
   In terms of release date appears to be suggesting the end of March. However, I checked in a local bookstore today to see when they said they would have it in stock and they said September. This seems a little strange, though it may just be a mistake on the part of the bookstore.

A Divvil of a Lad:
   This is particularly interesting. It appears to be an autobiography of Brian's life and promises to be both interesting and entertaining. It does not appear clear to me how much of his life it charts. If it runs right up to the present day it could be potentially quite long, though I feel it would be very interesting to see the contrasts throughout his life as he appears to have had a very varied one. One thing I would particularly like to see is how becoming an author as he is now has affected his life. However, the only sample of content I have seen refers to his childhood and possibly suggests that this is possibly what the book focuses on. No date is known for release.

Urso Brunov:
   This is another picture book, though this time entirely separate from Redwall. It appears to concern a bear of this name. It has been commented that the name seems to be drawn from the Latin word for bear Ursa. However, the name sounds more like Russian or German merely in its sound qualities, though the German for bear actually sounds just like the English word. Perhaps this sound quality is a hint of the setting. It is a point to note that the bear is a symbol of Berlin.
   At the moment it appears to be 48 pages long and will be released on the 1st of September. The illustrator is believed to be Alexi Natchev.

Tribes of Redwall: Mice:
   This is the third title in this series and has the widest choice to take from. Due to this even wider choice we might expect even more character profiles than the normal 15. I think it will be interesting to see what characters are included, in last year's Otters five of the fifteen were from the most recent book at that time, "The Taggerung". Though mice are not particularly prominent in "Triss", there will most probably be an emphasis on the more recent tales such as "The Legend of Luke" and "The Taggerung". The illustrations are a particular highlight of this series for me and I look forward to depictions of Nimbalo and Bryony, who I have not seen illustrated professionally. The release will most likely be the typical midsummer one.

The Redwall Cookbook:
   Here very little is known at all and it really little more than a promise made in Ask Brian. In fact it may not even be released this year if the delays experienced with the TV series are anything to go by. However, when it does come out it will be great to find out how to make all those brilliant dishes. As this is a product on sale in the shops I would guess that these recipes have been perfected and should produce some stunning and very tasty results.

   Despite all the other items and their merits, this is what I am looking forward to most. Since I last looked at this some things have been clarified, putting it in a far clear perspective:
a.. There are two seperate storylines: the search for Loamhedge; a bumbling vermin crew coming to the abbey.
b.. Loamhedge appears to be like Brockhall as a lost place in Mossflower. If this is so it may be similar to Brockhall in that there is more to the storyline than simply finding it.
c.. Something, some kind of secret, is required from there, hence them choosing to quest for it.
d.. The vermin are particually in search of what they believe to be a magic sword, ie. the sword of Martin.
e.. The only known characters at this stage are Martha, Sarabando and Bragoon.
f.. Martha is a hare who has been wheelchair bound all her life; perhaps this has something to do with the quest.
g.. Sarabando and Bragoon are an otter and a squirrel that were slightly infamous as dibbuns and tell stories about it to the abbey young.
h.. There are no character reappearances, though the above mentioned surely cannot be the only main characters.

It seems clear that there is a potentially good book here and I look forward to its release the most quite simply because it is the new Redwall and I am hungry to get into it. To put it plainly, I cannot wait!

This coming year looks to be a great one for Redwall atleast and I hope that in whatever may lie ahead that we can take moments of quiet in our busy world.


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