Martin the Warrior: A Novel of Redwall

by Brian Jacques

Paperback, 1999



Local notes

PB Jac




Ace Books (1999), Edition: 1st, 376 pages


Captured and enslaved by the corsair stoat Badrang, young mouse warrior Martin vows to end the evil beast's plundering and killing.


Iowa Teen Award (Nominee — 1997)


Original language


Original publication date

1993 (original)

Physical description

376 p.; 4.24 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member norabelle414
The inspiration of Matthias in Jacques' "Redwall", Martin the Warrior is the hero that every small mouse needs to have. He fights for what's right, and those who can't defend themselves. Most of all, he knows when to hang up his sword and found an abbey.
LibraryThing member kaionvin
When I was about at the in-be'tween'y stage, I devoured all eleven Redwall books available to me at the local library. If you’ve read any the series, you don’t need to be reminded of Jacques’s world of sumptuous feasts and heroic quests and colorful protagonists and evil vermin and accents
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Since, I've occasionally reread the original novel, but not any of the others, until now. Although I don’t quite as much enjoy the slight wish-fulfillment qualities in this immersive world as much (Has anyone ever not daydreamed about the abbey’s feast creations?), on this reread I found myself admiring Jacques’s storytelling capabilities- particularly, the portrayal of the path of the warrior.

*Spoilers ahound* Being born to Luke, another 'the Warrior', Martin is born into the role of the warrior and is always referred to as such. It's an important role in his world of primarily chaos. This world is chock full of creatures with natures that run that gamut from selfish and anarchic tendencies (the squirrels, lizards, shrews) to outright tyrannous ones (warlords and pirates), that are only reluctantly checked by guidance and law and heroism.

Even as a slave, he cannot escape from his role- not even when the promise of freedom and peace is right before him, in the form of his love Rose and Noonvale, her idyllic home. He's mirrored in that regard by the squirrel Felldoh (his fellow warrior-slave), who shows the price of not being able to let go of hate and violence: death.

They win- Martin wins, but it is at a heavy price. This price is somewhat glossed over in the end but carries thematically into notably Mossflower and The Legend of Luke. Martin will learn to become the peacemaker, a founder of the peaceful place to come- and learning of his father's fate definitely helps the healing process, I'm guessing. But Redwall is the true follow-up, in that Matthias has the life not afforded Martin. Matthias can pick up the mantle of warrior (pick up Martin's sword of legend as his spiritual successor), but he can also put it down. Matthias can settle down, have kids- because a haven has been created. (Which, if I'm remembering correctly, sort of thematically leads right into Mattimeo, a story of leaving the haven and seeing the world outside.)

This installment is notably simpler than most of the other Redwall novels- containing relatively few (only two and a half by my count) and simple simultaneous plots. But it works in its favor, anchoring an origin story about the most recognizable character from the series- and allowing it to be one of the most emotionally affecting installments.
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LibraryThing member Cecrow
In the Redwall timeline, this sixth novel of the series establishes itself as the first chronologically by presenting the lost tale of Martin's origins before he came to Mossflower Woods. It turns out he had a more heroic origin story than the second novel gave us, with a credible explanation for
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the discrepancy. It's the usual cast of allies and enemies in their customary roles, and easier to follow than the previous book's excessive plotlines. There's some fun scenes we haven't strictly seen the like of before, a horde of mad squirrels and the Rosehip Players' disappearing act being a couple of the highlights. How Jacques managed to keep up the constant variety within the strictures of his template is one of this series' wonders. The villain's rival stock character gets a stronger spotlight this time and was one of my favourites, but of course nobody can outshine Martin in his front and centre role. There's a more solemn ending this time, taking advantage of this story's taking place well away from Redwall, but then the epilogue draws us back with a fine closing speech that might be aimed directly at the reader, leavening the mood by inviting us back for many more adventures.
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LibraryThing member Aerliss
A prequel to Redwall. A very dark children's book (as is only natural). There IS violence. There IS death. It follows the story of the legendary warrior, Martin, before he founded Redwall. He begins as a young slave, railing against his captors, vowing to free his friends. There are some heart
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wrenching moments as well as the requisite 1001 meals. Jacques is obsessed with food.
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LibraryThing member Calwise
This is definitely my favorite Redwall book. It held me from the first page and it explains Martin's backstory very well. I love the thirst for vengeance and liberty that the slaves show and Ballaw is just hilarious!
LibraryThing member jjohlend
Martin the mouse was rescued from enslavement, and sets off on a journey to raise an army to rescue the other slaves held in the fort Marshank by Badrang the Tyrant. This tale is a legend in the other Redwall books, and is here revealed in its entirety by travelers stopping by the abbey. The world
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of these small human-like animals is given rich detail in setting. Songs and odd accents abound, making for reading that can be at turns interesting and frustrating. The fact that chapters consist of many small sections of about three to four paragraphs each may help those with shorter attention spans, but may also cause those looking for a deeper experience to drift away. Readers may also want a dictionary close at hand, as many words that are not everyday speech make appearances. Also, I don't think I've ever encountered a piece of fiction that mentions food so much; it seems like every few pages someone is eating something that is described in loving detail. The plot felt very thin and predictable right up to the conclusion, where suddenly things coalesced into an exciting, emotional climax. Seekers of action will feel very at home here.
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LibraryThing member cat8864
I remembered seeing the cartoon as a kid, and thought that this might be interesting to read. Oddly enough is was engaging even if I couldn't understand what the characters where saying half the time. I haven't seen anyone manage to write such accents into their characters speech so
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Slavery, Rescue, Death, Pirates, Tyrants, Food, Seer, and Adventure. Not bad for a quick pick!
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LibraryThing member ALindelof
Mattias is a mouse in a city called RedWall. On day Cluny the scourge attacks RedWall. But luckily they have the huge red walls keeping them safe. What will happen. I reccomend this book to people who like war and mice.
LibraryThing member MatthewFjerstad
Martin the Warrior A Tale from Redwall. The book is filled with adventure, pirates, humor, friendships, and good food. This book is fun for all ages young and old.
PS- the ending is tragic.
LibraryThing member wealhtheowwylfing
In [book: Redwall], everyone knows of the famed Martin the Warrior, the founder and most valiant defender of Redwall Abbey. This is the story of how he came to be a legend. Martin is a fantastic character, and his adventures are enthralling.
LibraryThing member MrsLee
This is the story of Martin, the founder of Redwall Abbey. An heroic adventure of Fur and Freeeeeeedom! Searats have invaded the shores, along with stoats and various other unsavory characters. They have enslaved the smaller animals and intend to stay. Martin, who has been enslaved, humiliated,
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tortured and slated for death, comes into his own when he finds some friends to give him courage and help.

Jacques doesn't pull any punches with the drama, fighting and reality of war. I appreciate that he does not underestimate the audience he writes for. Also, his descriptions of feasts are amazing. Redwall is a terrific world to immerse oneself in, however, for me this time it dragged a bit. Some of the beast interactions became a bit quaint or repetitive and only slowed the story down. Perhaps that was the intent, but it made me begin skimming.
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LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
One of the best of the Redwall stories - Martin's deep history, before he showed up at Redwall the first time. It's a nicely done adventure, it explains quite a bit about Martin (a lot of the plot holes in Mossflower), including why he didn't tell this story when he showed up. The usual
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species-is-destiny, of course, though there are variants (Brome is no fighter, unlike Martin, or Rose for that matter). Lots of interesting characters, and various adventures of a split party - Rose, Martin, Grumm the mole and Pallum the hedgehog encounter the Warden of the Marsh, Boldred, a band of crazy squirrels and some nearly as crazy shrews (actually, two groups of the latter). Meanwhile Brome and Felldoh meet the Rosehip Players, and more directly confront Badrang and Clogg at the fortress Marshank. Badrang beat Felldoh, really - broke him, though he regretted doing so before the end. There's actually quite a bit of depth to this - choices, and consequences. One of the reasons I rank this above most of the other Redwall books.
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LibraryThing member Cephas730
I read this book in 7th grade english class. This is the book that introduced me to the Redwall series. I was hooked. Highly recommend.

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