May 2nd, 2002
I am not sure whether this is really the right time of year to write this editorial. Then again, I can think of no particularly relevant time to write it. No relevant information concerning it has come to light and its release is a long way off, but I have decided to go through my general predictions for 'Tribes of Redwall: Otters'. But, before I do that, I think it is only right that I give my opinion on 'Tribes of Redwall: Badgers' and state what points on it will help us to predict.
I liked it. It would have actually made quite a good Christmas present, except that it was released in the summer. It was a bit of a shame that no really new information was revealed, but it was nice to see the artist's impression of the various characters and the quiz was testing if you had not read a few of the books for a while. I would not recommend you buy it if you have not read all of the books yet, as it gives away many of their often tragic fates. With the badger lords, I felt there was a slight over emphasis on the armour, especially with characters, such as Sunflash, that when I think of them in my minds eye I do not see them that way. But, perhaps that is just me.
There were, in total, 15 badgers featured, with some notable omissions, including Mellus, Rowanoak, and Nettlebud. In fact, they could have probably been included with just an extra two pages on the section concerning the individual characters. Interestingly enough (do not laugh at me for saying interesting), there were nine male badgers mentioned and six female. If the three I mentioned before had been included, it would actually be even.
Otters: This is most likely to take the same format as the Badgers, the main difference being species. I think the gender mix will lean slightly more towards the male side. It actually strikes me as quite odd that they chose the next one to be otters; though it will accompany 'The Taggerung', an otter dominated book, into soft release. My reasoning is this: in the two books next to be released ('Triss' and 'Loamhedge'), there are three main characters that are otters: Kroova, Shogg and Sarabando. It would seem more logical, to me, if they did Otters if it was not going to be so obviously outdated with the release of the next book.
There are two that we know for definite: Deyna/Tagg and Cheek. But, those two aside, it is all quite a mystery. So, I have decided to try some educated guess work; I am going to go through all the main otters (not including the two we know will be in there) and categorise them. 1 will mean that it would be virtually impossible for them to miss them out. 2 will say that I would be surprised if they were not included. 3 stands for a fair chance. While 4 is for an outside chance. I will list them in a vague chronological order:
Ruff 2I would guess that they will, again, examine 15 key characters. I am quite sure they would not do more as, though there are more otters than badgers, otters are often secondary characters, unlike badgers which, when they are featured, generally take large roles. You may think my ranking of them slightly odd, but you must remember that a memorable character is often featured for its novelty. For example, Urthwyte was featured, with his novel albinoness, while Mellus was missed out. Aside from that, I would guess that the format will be similar to that of Badgers, featuring an introduction, various puzzles, a quiz, and a poster.
We have been informed that after Otters comes Mice. This looks set to be an interesting one and certainly not short of candidates. I look forward to seeing proper colour artist's impressions of characters, such as Nimbalo and Dandin, whom have never made it onto a cover.
After Mice may come Hedgehogs, Squirrels, Hares, or even Birds. I doubt if there will ever be Shrews, as there is no great number of them in the key positions. As to villains, I would not know, but, it would be an interesting prospect, but perhaps that is looking too far ahead.