What is the Redwall Series?
Redwall is a fantasy series that is centered around the lives of animals -- yes, that's right, animals. Humans are mentioned only briefly in the first Redwall book, and there has never been and almost certainly never will be a human character in the stories. The characters, though animal, possess many human qualities and can be considered as almost human in many respects.
So, if Redwall's just a bunch of talking animals, what makes it cool?
You mean, what makes it cool besides the fact that it features animals in their natural habitats with human-like attitudes? Well, for starters, the Redwall series is one of the most highly descriptive series that I've ever read. The author goes to great lengths to describe things so well that you can nearly see, touch, taste, and feel them; the feasts are described in mouth-watering detail, and the imagery is such that you're practically walking through the forest, trekking through the desert, or sailing across the seas.
In this time of complexity, of changing values and standards, of blurring the lines between what's acceptable and what isn't, the world of Redwall has refreshingly clear lines between good and evil. There are certain species which almost universally turn out to follow the paths of good, and there are other species that almost always turn bad. There is very little "gray area," and most of the characters in the books fall neatly into the category of either "good" or "evil." The main source of conflict in the books is the classic good vs. evil struggle, with the evil and agressive "vermin" bringing war to the usually peaceable woodlanders and their allies. This is not utterly realistic, at least by today's standards, but the series maintains a graceful simplicity that has endeared itself to many a reader.
Who wrote the Redwall series?
Brian Jacques, the author of the series, was born in Liverpool, England in 1939, just as the war in Europe was starting to flare up. Over the years, Brian worked a variety of jobs -- from driving buses and trucks to writing plays to working as a Police Constable, until he finally found his true calling in the writing of the Redwall series.
How did the Redwall series get its start?
Brian originally wrote Redwall, the first book in the series, for the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind, where he would deliver milk. He used very descriptive imagery in Redwall so that the blind children would be able to hear the stories and "see" them in their minds. From this humble beginning, the Redwall books have become one of the most-loved series in all the world, and Brian has become one of the favorite authors of millions around the world.
For more information, check out the Official Redwall Site at http://www.Redwall.org.