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The Bellmaker (Redwall)
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About the Author

Brian Jacques (redwallabbey.com) was born in Liverpool in 1939. He left school at age fifteen and found work as a docker, a truck driver, a policeman and a stand-up comic, all before turning his attention to writing. He wrote his first novel, Redwall, for the children at a school for the blind in Liverpool. Since 1986, his descriptive style of writing has captivated readers from age 8 to 80. His books have won international awards and acclaim and have been made into a TV series.

Reviews

Gr 4 Up‘Fans of Jacques's books will be delighted to see this one hit the shelves. The story has four distinct settings: Castle Floret, where a fox dressed in a wolf skin rules as the Urgan Naguru, chief of the Horderats; Mossflower Abbey, where two infants befriend Blaggut, a surprisingly gentle Searat; Southsward, where a band of river otters and moles fight to protect the Squirellqueen Serena and her son Truffen; and the bounding main, where the title character, Joseph the Bellmaker, and his band of Redwall adventurers join forces with sea otter Finnbarr Galedeep, skipper of the Pearl Queen, to search for Joseph's daughter Mariel. With the exception of the Redwall Abbey folks, all points converge at Castle Floret for a grand battle, with fights to the finish for the bad guys, and a grand celebration feast for the victors. This is storytelling at its best. Adventures abound, and with them comes heartache. Not every beast survives to the end of this story, and Jacques is wise enough not to perform too many miracles. Characters are easily identified by their speech and the rabbits, with their ``toodle pip, wot?'' are a positive delight. It is not necessary to have read any other Redwall books to make sense of this one, though new readers will undoubtedly demand the other titles after finishing it.‘Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA

For the seventh volume of the Redwall series, Jacques sticks to the tried-and-true formula-action aplenty and a huge cast of woodland creatures-that has won him such a dedicated following. When the merciless Foxwolf Urgan Nagru and his mate, the scheming vixen Silvamord, oust good Gael Squirrelking from the throne of Southsward, Mariel the Warriormaid and her companion Dandin-two adventuresome wandering mice from Redwall Abbey-join forces with those forest denizens still loyal to their king. Meanwhile, back at the Abbey, a prophetic dream inspires Mariel's father to round up a party to search for his daughter. Comic relief-as well as a touch of tragedy-is provided by a pair of uncouth and piratical rats as a seemingly endless stream of cliff-hangers and dazzling combat winds its way through lovingly described forest feasts. The author must be commended for creating a world of equal-opportunity adventuring, in which female creatures can be just as courageous (or as diabolical) as their male counterparts, but the characterizations are broadly drawn. Despite their well-delineated quirks, foibles and quaint speech patterns (``Zurr, thurr'm a gurt 'ole in ee shipper 'ere''), ``nobeast'' really grows or changes much in this neck of the woods. Ages 9-up. Author tour. (Mar.)

"This is storytelling at its best."--School Library Journal

"For the seventh volume of the Redwall series, Jacques sticks to the tried-and-true formula action aplenty and a huge cast of woodland creatures that has won him such a dedicated following . . . A seemingly endless stream of cliff-hangers and dazzling combat winds its way through lovingly described forest feasts."--Publishers Weekly

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