Martin the Warrior, US cover

Year Published: 1993
Illustrator: Gary Chalk
US Cover Artist: Troy Howell
UK Cover Artist: Chris Baker
Page Count: 376
ISBN: ISBN 0399226702
ISBN-13: ISBN 9780399226700
Chronological Order: 2
Publication Order: 6

Martin the Warrior, UK cover

Book Divisions (English)

  • Book 1: The Prisoner and the Tyrant
  • Book 2: Actors and Searchers
  • Book 3: The Battle of Marshank


Martin the Warrior has been captured by Badrang the Tyrant, and has been working as a slave in Fort Marshank. Revolting against the torture and cruelty of Badrang, Martin vowed to free himself and one day return to reclaim the sword of Luke, his father, which Badrang had stolen upon capturing him. Along with fellow slaves Felldoh and Brome, he is rescued by Brome's sister Laterose of Noonvale and her mole friend Grumm Trencher. During their escape, Brome and Felldoh are separated from the others.

An old "friend" of Badrang, Tramun Clogg, arrives with his pirate crew at Marshank and attempts to claim slaves from Badrang. The Tyrant refuses to give them to Tramun and an argument ensues. Finally, Tramun marches out of the Fort and begins to besiege Marshank.

The slaves of Marshank collect weapons for the day when they are going to attempt to free themselves. The leaders of the rebel movement, Barkjon, Keyla, and Hillgorse encourage the others to work, but one of the slaves, Druwp, is a secret spy for Skalrag. He spies on the events of the slave pen and reports them to the fox.

Brome and Felldoh meet the Rambling Rosehip Players, a traveling troupe. The squirrel and the mouse tell them their story and together they decide to assist in freeing the slaves from Badrang's fort.

Meanwhile, Martin, Rose, and Grumm are captured by Queen Amballa and her pygmy shrews where they meet Pallum the hedgehog. Martin saves Amballa's son, Dinjer from a gannet and she allows them to leave safely with Pallum. They meet the kind old molewife, Polleekin, and tell her about their journey to Noonvale, Rose and Brome's home. Polleekin warns them not to return to Marshank or a terrible accident will happen. They continue their journey to Noonvale and later bump into the snobbish Mirdop family. The travelers are warned about cannibal lizards by Fescue Mirdop.

The Rambling Rosehip Players, Felldoh and Brome arrange a performance in Marshank and during the performance Felldoh secretly sneaks to the slave pen to free the slaves, including his own father. Just as the slaves are escaping, Druwp sounds the alarm. Chaos ensues, Felldoh kills Druwp for treachery and Hillgorse is killed by the soldiers of Marshank while he is protecting the slaves. Only about half of the slaves in Marshank escape.

Martin, Rose, Grumm and Pallum arrive in a swamp and are captured by the cannibal lizards Mirdop warned them about. The travellers are fed in order to fatten them up and kept under the strict treatment. Later, Martin attacks one of the lizards as it tries to force Rose to eat by holding her down, so the lizards drag him to a roasting pit, but fortunately the travelers are rescued by the Warden of Marshwood Hill.

In the camp of Rambling Rosehip Players, Kastern and Rowanoak notice that the squirrelmaid Celandine is missing and Felldoh vows to find her. Together, the escaped slaves and the Rambling Rosehip Players form the Fur and Freedom Fighters unit in order to kill Badrang and bring down Marshank.

Tramun Clogg and his crew find the missing Celandine and give chase. Felldoh, Rowanoak and Ballaw de Quincewold rescue her and several of Clogg's rats are killed in the process. Brome, frustrated by how the others left him out from Celandine's rescue because they view him as a 'young one', decides to go to Marshank alone and free the rest of the slaves.

Tramun and Badrang make plans to murder one another. Badrang sends his captain Gurrad to slip the sleeping Tramun a flask of poisoned wine, and Tramun sends Oilback to murder Badrang. However, both end up dead, as Oilback mistakes Gurrad for Badrang and kills him, then drinks the poisoned wine.

The Warden of Marshwood Hill leads the travelers across the swamp and in the night is attacked by a group of snakes, but Martin and the others save him. Later they arrive at the base of a mountain and the Warden tells them to climb to the cave half-way up to meet the owl Boldred.

Brome, who is now disguised as a searat called Bucktail, sneaks into Marshank by helping Wulpp. After gaining access to the slave compound and knocking Wulpp senseless, Brome tells Keyla his mission and together they transport the rest of the slaves into the slave pit. They bump into Oilback, who is about to drink the wine meant for Clogg, and there is a momentary conflict. Finally Brome and Keyla get all of the slaves transported to the slave pit and Brome searches for the escape tunnel dug by Grumm. All the slaves enter the tunnel, only to find that the tunnel's exit has caved in.

Martin, Rose, Grumm and Pallum climb up the mountain and are attacked by savage squirrels known as the Gawtrybe, who destroy their camp. The foursome threaten the Gawtrybe by invoking the names of the Warden and Boldred, but the squirrels only jeer and leave the camp. When they later continue their journey up to the cave, the Gawtrybe again appear around them and their chief, Wakka demands Martin fight him without weapons. Martin agrees and wins.

Keyla, in a ferocious rage, digs out the tunnel exit and the slaves escape to the southern cliffs. Their escape is noticed in Marshank and the chase begins. Tramun tells Badrang that he will take his crew to search the north, while Badrang searches to the south. However, after Badrang's horde leaves, he circles his crew back to Marshank, where they barricade themselves inside. At the cliffs a battle takes place, but the slaves and Rowanoak, Felldoh, and Buckler (who has come to help) manage to escape. A few slaves and soldiers of Badrang are killed.

The four travelers meet the squirrels of the Gawtrybe again and this time they want to play a game. They want to chase the four up the side of the mountain, and when they catch them, throw them off. Martin gets them to agree, but only if they are given a headstart. Martin says that he'll signal them once they reach a specific ledge, but fails to do so. The Gawtrybe get angry and begin the chase. Finally Martin and the others reach the cave and call Boldred for help. She scolds the squirrels about their behavior. Boldred introduces her mate Hortwingle and their daughter Emalet to the four travelers.

Badrang discovers Tramun's treachery, but easily retakes Marshank by entering through the slaves' escape tunnel. To escape slavery or death, Tramun's crew switch their allegiances and join Badrang's Army, while Tramun himself becomes a slave.

The following day the travelers are led to the other side of the mountain by Boldred, who is now traveling with them to Noonvale, though she leaves them temporarily to chart a stream course. In a cherry orchard they meet a grim old hedgehog called Aggril, who scolds them about eating his cherries. Boldred turns up and tells Aggril that the cherry orchard isn't his. The old hedgehog apologizes, pacified by the presence of the mole Grumm, and takes them back to his home to serve them cherry cordial. The four are unaware that the cordial is actually a sleeping potion, and when they awake, they are on an otter boat with Boldred, headed for Noonvale.

The four finally arrive at the peaceful community of Noonvale, where Martin tries to convince Rose's parents, Urran and Aryah Voh to organize an army for a final attack on Marshank. Although Urran is committed to peace and is reluctant to involve his people in a battle, he allows Martin to raise a small group of volunteers.

Felldoh's lust for revenge eventually leads him to launch a solitary attack on the fort, where he wounds Badrang and kills many vermin before finally being overwhelmed and slain. This leads to an all-out war between the Marshank forces and the Fur and Freedom Fighters.

As Martin returns to Marshank, he rallies otters and shrews to his cause and finally allies with the Fur and Freedom Fighters for the ultimate battle. Martin successfully kills Badrang and reclaims his father's sword. Rose, however, is killed, and in his grief, Martin does not feel comfortable staying on at Noonvale. The legendary warrior eventually heads south into Mossflower Woods in search of more adventures, and possibly to try and run away from the memories of Rose he has in the area.

The plot itself is actually a "story-within-a-story", as the book begins and ends within Redwall Abbey, where the mousemaid Aubretia, one of Brome's descendents, and her hedgehog companion Bultip, a descendent of Pallum, are telling the story to the current Abbey dwellers, during the time of Abbot Saxtus, approximately a season and a half after Dandin and Mariel Gullwhacker went questing.

Characters in Martin the Warrior

Release details


  • The map drawn by Gary Chalk has two mistakes: The arrow points south, not north; and the east and west sides are flipped on the map.

Books in the Redwall Chronicles, by Brian Jacques

Redwall | Mossflower | Mattimeo | Mariel of Redwall | Salamandastron | Martin the Warrior | The Bellmaker | Outcast of Redwall | Pearls of Lutra | The Long Patrol | Marlfox | The Legend of Luke | Lord Brocktree | Taggerung | Triss | Loamhedge | Rakkety Tam | High Rhulain | Eulalia! | Doomwyte | The Sable Quean | The Rogue Crew

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