Gr 5 Up-Jacques shows no signs of flagging in this latest tale about a Badger Lord named Brocktree, a fatally beautiful haremaid named Dotti, and an evildoing wildcat named Ungatt Trunn. Trunn and his Hordebeasts have invaded Salamandastron and caused the death of Lord Stonepaw. However, from off in the forests and meadows, help is coming. The shrews, hedgehogs, moles, river and sea otters, squirrels, and a pack of Highland hares band together with Brocktree and Dotti. Trunn is eventually defeated, and the Horde quickly disperses, leaving the "Redwall" creatures to their favorite pastimes-dancing, singing, and of course, eating. Jacques continues to have an amazing gift for keeping his story fresh. He starts this one from two different points: the invasion, and the adventures of Dotti, Brocktree, and their friends. The two stories converge near the end of the book for a thrilling conclusion. The story itself is framed as a history written by the current lord of Salamandastron. The plot is well balanced, chapters of floating on a river and feasting with friends are set in counterpoint with the horrors of war. The characters, as always, are easily defined and identified by their accents, a Jacques specialty. It may take some readers a while to figure out what everyone is saying, but they will make the effort as these beasts are all so engaging. There is no need to have read the earlier books for this one to make sense, but new readers will undoubtedly be asking for more, and fans will just eat it up.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"He is a wonderful storyteller, immersed in his own kingdom." -"The Guardian" "Not since Roald Dahl have children filled their shelves so compulsively." -"The Times"