Mattimeo, US cover

Year Published: 1989
Illustrator: Gary Chalk
US Cover Artist: Troy Howell
UK Cover Artist: Pete Lyon
Page Count: 446
ISBN: ISBN 039921741X
ISBN-13: ISBN 9780399217418
Chronological Order: 10
Publication Order: 3

Mattimeo, UK cover

For other uses, see Mattimeo (disambiguation)

Book Divisions (English)

  • Book 1: Slagar the Cruel
  • Book 2: General Ironbeak
  • Book 3: Malkariss


Exactly eight seasons after the events of Redwall, Matthias and Cornflower have a son named Mattimeo, who has been spoiled by all the Redwall residents since he was born. Mattimeo fights with the young and obnoxious rat Vitch and is finally being punished so that he may learn his responsibilities. Meanwhile, the masked fox Slagar the Cruel and his gang of slavers are planning to sneak into the Abbey during the Midsummer Feast. Unbeknownst to the Abbey dwellers, Slagar uses Vitch as a spy in order to obtain important information about the activities of the feast. Slagar and his gang thus manage to gain entrance to the Abbey by pretending to be a traveling circus. During their performance, they slip a sleeping draught into the drinks and asks for everybody to drink a toast.

After drugging the Abbey residents, Slagar kidnaps Mattimeo, Tim and Tess Churchmouse, Cynthia Bankvole, and Sam Squirrel. The only witnesses to the event are Friar Hugo, Lettie Bankvole and John Churchmouse, who decided not to toast. Lettie and Hugo are murdered while trying to stop Slagar's gang. John is not killed, but in critical condition from a deep wound.

The next morning, pouring rain awakens the Redwallers as they slowly recover from the effect of the drug. Upon discovering the missing Dibbuns, Matthias, Basil Stag Hare and Jess Squirrel leave the Abbey to hunt down Slagar and return the young creatures back to their parents. They follow a fake trail, intentionally left by Slagar's gang, and, in the process, meet a young otter named Cheek.

The kidnapped young ones find out that they are at Saint Ninian's Church and they have been chained. They meet Auma, a young badger maid, who has been captured earlier. The slave gang and the slaves start their long journey towards the underground kingdom of Malkariss, though the slaves don't know their destination.

During their journey, Basil, Matthias and Jess join up in their search with Orlando the Axe, the father of Auma and Jabez Stump, the father of a young hedgehog named Jube. Jabez, Orlando and the daughters of Jabez are fighting against one another, because the hedgehogs think that Orlando kidnapped Jube before they realize that Slagar had captured their children. As they journey, they team up with the Guerilla Union of Shrews in Mossflower who agree to assist them on their quest.

The Father Abbot of Redwall, Abbot Mordalfus, has a dream, during which Martin the Warrior says the mysterious words: "Where the Little Folk Go". In the morning, Redwallers start to solve the riddle together and eventually it leads them under the Abbey, to the abandoned chamber where the grave of Abbess Germaine is located. There, they find a green plate that contains Loamscript, which only John Churchmouse can translate. The message of the riddle is found on the roof of Redwall and it contains information which is important for questors. Redwallers send Queen Warbeak and her warriors to carry the message for Matthias, Jess and Basil.

The slaves meet a hedgehog, Jube, who has been recently kidnapped by Slagar. Jube seems to be confident that his father is coming to rescue him soon. As the slave gang travel onwards and onwards, Mattimeo and his friends try to escape, but they fail and are recaptured again.

After a long journey climbing up cliffs, fighting a horde of archer rats, and crossing a desert, Matthias's gang finally arrive at the Kingdom of Malkariss, where Slagar has been trading his slaves and Vitch. There, the heroes fight the massive army of rats and Matthias challenges the infamous Wearet. During the duel, Matthias falls into the abyss and meets Malkariss by accident. Malkariss, the old and shriveled polecat, is killed by the slaves with stones, and Matthias frees them and is reunited with his son. Having destroyed the kingdom, the now liberated army of slaves starts to leave the area when suddenly Slagar appears, striking Matthias in the head, then disappearing into a secret exit. Vitch has also survived the destruction of Malkariss, but Slagar kills him with his weapon. Matthias and Orlando give chase and Slagar runs from them, but then falls into an old well and dies. The party returns triumphantly to the Abbey and there is peace once again in Mossflower.

Meanwhile, back in Redwall, an army of rooks, crows, magpies and ravens, led by the raven General Ironbeak, have taken the Abbey under siege, conquering it from the top down and killing all the sparrows who have not left to assist Matthias. The Abbey dwellers seal themselves in the large dining room (called Cavern Hole), and  harass the birds by making them think the Abbey is haunted. Their plot is quite successful and the army of Ironbeak really think that there is a ghost in the Abbey. As the siege drags on, a large, badly injured redkite, named Stryk, manages to fly to the Abbey, and is rescued from the rooks by Constance. Eventually, Ironbeak does manage to infiltrate Cavern Hole, but is attacked by the now healed Stryk and killed.

Tim Churchmouse becomes official recorder of Redwall. Mattimeo becomes Abbey Warrior and marries Tess Churchmouse. They have a son and call him Martin II after Martin the Warrior. Father Abbot declared the season Autumn of the Warriors' Return.

Characters in Mattimeo



  • Western Australian Young Readers' Award


  • Carnegie Medal (1989)

Release details

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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