|U.S. Cover Artist:||Troy Howell|
|UK Cover Artist:||Pete Lyon|
Redwall is the first book in the Redwall saga by Brian Jacques. It was originally published 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 later published in the U.S. by Philomel, a division of Penguin. The manuscript was discovered by Patricia Lee Gauch, who edited 16 of the novels before retiring. Philomel publisher Michael Green also edited Redwall.
As it 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
Matthias, a mouse of the peaceful Redwall Abbey, is in trouble, as are the rest of the inhabitants of Redwall. After marauding brute Cluny the Scourge attacks Redwall with his horde, 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 evil vermin. Methuselah, the gatekeeper, finds a riddle behind a tapestry of Martin, which directs the two mice to the warrior's tomb, where the shield and sword belt are located.
Another rhyme instructs Matthias to place the shield above the Gatehouse, where it reflects the moonlight onto the weathervane. The mice enlist the help of Jess Squirrel to climb up 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 go to the loft, but the dangerous king refuses to let Matthias go when he learns the sword is possessed by an adder, Asmodeus. Warbeak and her mother protect Matthias and the two young creatures become friends. Matthias attempts to escape, but falls into the Abbey pond, along with Bull Sparra. The fall kills the king.
In the Abbey, things have not been going very well. Local healer foxes Sela and her son, Chickenhound, were in Cluny's employ until he ordered them executed for treachery. Sela was killed, but Chickenhound survived to pillage the Abbey. When Methuselah bravely attempted to stop his thieving, Chickenhound hit him with a sack filled with valuables, accidentally killing the frail old mouse, and fled into Mossflower Woods, where he encountered Asmodeus and was bitten. Jess and Basil Stag Hare were able to retrieve the tapestry and place it in its rightful location in Great Hall.
Matthias recovers and sets out to defeat Asmodeus and reclaim the sword. He is assisted by 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 finds the sword, although Guosim is killed by Asmodeus.
He then returns to the Abbey, which has been captured by Cluny in his absence. With the help of the shrews and Warbeak's Sparra, he's able to launch 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 recently lashed the mouse with his poisoned tail.
- 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)
Collector's Editions And Reprints
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 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 the U.S. by Philomel. This version has six color plates, a new cover by Troy 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.
Circa 2000, an "Author's Limited Edition" was sold exclusively on Redwall.org, 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.
- 1986, UK, Hutchinson Children's Books Ltd., ISBN 0091650909, Pub. Date: October 1986, Hardcover
- 1987, US, Philomel Books, ISBN 0399214240, Pub. Date: August 1987, Hardcover
- 1987, UK, Random House/Red Fox, ISBN 0099512009, Pub. Date: September 1987, Paperback
- 1990, US, Avon Books, ISBN 0380708272, Pub. Date: March 1990, Paperback
- 1990, UK, Hutchinson Children's Books Ltd., ISBN 0091650909, Pub. Date: 1994, Hardcover
- 1991, UK, Arrow/Red Fox, ISBN 9780099512004, Pub. Date: November 1991, Paperback
- 1994, UK, Legend Books, ISBN 009931911X, Pub. Date: November 1994, Paperback
- 1994, UK, Hutchinson Children's Books Ltd., ISBN 0091650909, Pub. Date: 1994, Hardcover
- 1997, UK, Hutchinson Children's Books Ltd., ISBN 0091767296, Pub. Date: July 1997, Hardcover
- 1997, US, Philomel Books, ISBN 0399231609, Pub. Date: October 1997, Hardcover
- 1998, US, Ace, ISBN 0441005489, Pub. Date: June 1998, Paperback
- 2000, Philomel Books, ISBN 9780399236297, Pub. Date: September 2000, Paperback
- 2000, Author's Limited Edition, ISBN 0091893798, Pub. Date: 2000, Hardcover
- 2002, US, Thorndike Press, ISBN 0786238585, Pub. Date: February 2002, Hardback
- 2002, US, Puffin, ISBN 9780142302378, Pub. Date: September 2002, Paperback
- 2002, UK, Penguin Putnam Books, ISBN 0142302376, Pub. Date: September 2002, Paperback
- 2006, UK, Red Fox, ISBN 1862301387, Pub. Date: August 2006, Paperback
- 2006, US, Red Fox, ISBN 1862301387, Pub. Date: September 2006, Paperback
- 2007, US, Philomel Books, ISBN 0399247947, Pub. Date: October 2007, Hardcover
- 2008, US, Ace, ISBN 9780441005482, Pub. Date: Unknown, Paperback
- 2010, US, Firebird Books, ISBN 9780142302378, Pub. Date: January 2010, Paperback
- 2014, UK, Vintage Children's Classics, ISBN 9780099595182, Pub. Date: June 2014, Paperback
|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