Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information

Welcome to the Redwall Wiki, your communal Redwall and Brian Jacques information resource! Free registration eliminates the ads!


Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information
Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information

This article is about the book. For the place, see Redwall Abbey. For the series, see Redwall series. If you are visiting us for the first time, please go here.

Redwall, U.S. Covers

Year Published: 1986
Illustrator: Gary Chalk
U.S. Cover Artist: Troy Howell
UK Cover Artist: Pete Lyon
Page Count: 351
ISBN: 0399214240
ISBN-13: 9780399214240
Chronological Order: 9
Publication Order: 1

Redwall, UK Covers

Redwall is the first book in the Redwall saga by Brian Jacques. It was originally published in 1986 in the UK by Hutchinson Children's Books after Jacques' friend Alan Durband sent the manuscript to his publisher without telling him. It became an overnight success. Redwall was published in the U.S. by Philomel, a division of Penguin, in 1987. The manuscript was discovered by Patricia Lee Gauch, who edited 16 of the novels before retiring. Philomel publisher Michael Green also edited Redwall.

As the novel was never intended to be published, several elements of the storyline are quite different than later books in the series. The mention of a horse, a beaver, dogs, towns, real-world references, and the actions of some characters are unique to this book alone.

Book Divisions (English)

  • Book 1: The Wall
  • Book 2: The Quest
  • Book 3: The Warrior


After marauding brute Cluny the Scourge attacks the peaceful residents of Redwall Abbey with his horde of evildoers, a young mouse, Matthias, embarks on a quest to retrieve the legendary sword of Abbey founder, defender, and hero Martin the Warrior, which he believes will provide victory over the vermin. Methuselah, the Abbey gatekeeper, finds a riddle behind the tapestry of Martin, which leads the two mice to the warrior's secret underground tomb.

In the meantime, Cluny schemes to take Redwall. He directs a horde member to steal Martin's tapestry from inside Great Hall in an effort to reduce Abbey morale.

Having discovered Martin's shield and sword belt, another rhyme instructs Matthias to place Martin's shield above the Gatehouse. At night, it reflects moonlight up onto the weathervane. The mice enlist the help of Jess Squirrel to scale the Abbey and retrieve the sword, however, she is attacked by the Sparra, birds who reside on the Abbey roof. The young Warbeak is taken captive, and Methuselah tricks her into revealing that her leader, King Bull Sparra, possessed the great sword. Matthias and Warbeak visit the loft, but the dangerous king refuses to let Matthias go when he learns the sword is now owned by an adder, Asmodeus. Warbeak and her mother protect Matthias and the two young creatures become friends. Matthias attempts to escape, but plunges into the Abbey pond, along with Bull Sparra. The fall was fatal for the menacing sparrow monarch.

Cluny employs local healer foxes Sela and her son, Chickenhound, to assist his efforts. However, he soon orders their execution for treachery. Sela is killed, but Chickenhound survives to pillage the Abbey. When Methuselah bravely attempts to stop his thieving, Chickenhound hits him with a sack filled with valuables, unintentionally killing the frail old mouse, and flees into Mossflower Woods. The fox encounters Asmodeus in the wilderness and receives a nasty bite. Jess and Basil Stag Hare retrieve the tapestry and place it in its rightful location in Great Hall.

Matthias, now recovered, sets out to defeat Asmodeus and reclaim the sword. He gets assistance from the argumentative Guerilla Union of Shrews in Mossflower, Log-a-Log, and the president of the "shrew union", Guosim. They direct him to wildcat Squire Julian Gingivere, who is feuding with owl Captain Snow. Matthias meets with Snow, using a token from Basil as his protection, and strikes a deal: if he can regain the sword, Snow will never eat another mouse or shrew, and he will reconcile with Julian. Matthias tracks Asmodeus to his lair in the Quarry and beheads the adder. Matthias is ultimately successful and acquires the sword, although Guosim is killed by Asmodeus.

The young mouse returns to the Abbey, which has been captured by Cluny in his absence. With the help of the shrews and Warbeak's Sparra, he launches an attack and fights Cluny in the Bell Tower. Matthias slices the Joseph Bell from its rope after Friar Hugo is caught while hiding under the stairs, and it falls, killing Cluny. Abbot Mortimer dies shortly thereafter, as Cluny had lashed the mouse with his poisoned tail barb.

Matthias marries Cornflower, and they have a son, Mattimeo. Brother Mordalfus becomes Abbot.

Characters in Redwall


  • In several printings of Redwall, Killconey is identified inconsistently throughout the text as either male or female. Brian Jacques confirmed that Killconey was male.



  • TIME Magazine's 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time (2020)
  • Lancashire Libraries Children's Book of the Year Award
  • Western Australian Young Readers' Award
  • Parents' Choice Honor Book
  • Booklist Editor's Choice
  • American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
  • School Library Journal Best Book (1987)


  • Carnegie Medal (1988)

Redwall Collector's Editions And Reprints

Redwall 10th Anniversary Edition UK

The first publisher of the series, Hutchinson, issued reprints of the original UK hardcover in 1990 and 1994. The 1990 edition had an increased price of £9.99. The 1994 edition featured updated dust jacket copy that referred to the series as a whole as well as a £12.99 price, and listed the published Redwall books up to The Bellmaker. The ISBN stayed the same for all three versions.

For the 10th Anniversary celebration of Redwall in 1997, Hutchinson, re-released Redwall in a special collector's edition in the UK. The hardcover book was bound in green leather with a pictorial front board and included 13 new illustrated color plates by Fangorn. It retained Gary Chalk's original chapter illustrations. This publication is sometimes referred to as the "Redwall Illustrated Collector's Edition".

A special 10th Anniversary Edition was also released in 1997 in the U.S. by Philomel. This hardcover version has six color plates by Troy Howell (Matthias battling King Bull Sparra, near the title page; Cluny the Scourge speaking to members of his horde in Book 1, Ch. 6; Constance and Abbey dwellers on the wall in Book 1, Ch. 18; Matthias, Methuselah, and Cornflower in Book 2, Ch. 4; Basil Stag Hare in Book 2, Ch. 18; and Matthias crossing a Mossflower river in Book 2, Ch. 22), a new cover from Howell, and a special introduction from Brian Jacques. This introduction features an imprint of Brian Jacques' signature at the bottom, but this should not be interpreted as a signed edition of the book - every published copy features this signature. These same six illustrations were repeated in a 2000 paperback edition that maintained the original 1986 cover.

Circa 2000, an "Author's Limited Edition" was sold exclusively on, with each one numbered and signed by Brian Jacques. This was a facsimile of the original UK Hutchinson hardcover, with only 500 available. It used the same dust jacket copy as the 1994 reprint, but without the £12.99 text. This item was featured in the Redwall Collectors Community series.

In 2007, the 20th Anniversary of Redwall being published in the U.S., another special anniversary edition with new Troy Howell jacket art was released, as well as a 20th Anniversary Gift Package. From 2006-07 in the UK, Random House re-released all 14 Redwall books in their catalog as paperbacks with new covers. Around 2010, Firebird released new paperback editions of the entire series.

No special edition was released for the 30th anniversary of Redwall in 2016 or 2017, however the 10th anniversary edition of the paperback was updated to reflect the 30th anniversary on the cover and in the introduction.



In 1998, Redwall was adapted into a two-act musical opera by Evelyn Swennson, Redwall: The Legend of Redwall Abbey.


Redwall was adapted into a three season TV series by Nelvana in 1999. Season one is based on Redwall.

Redwall Graphic Novel

In 2007, Redwall was adapted into a graphic novel by Stuart Moore and Bret Blevins.


As of February 2021, Redwall is being adapted into a feature film by Netflix.

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