The Bellmaker By Brian Jacques | Book Review
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As a direct sequel to Mariel of Redwall, Mariel and Dandin’s story continues in The Bellmaker. When Mariel and Dandin come upon endangered creatures in Mossflower Woods, they immediately jump to save them. Upon doing so they discover Gael Squirrel King has been besieged by the foxes Silvamord and Urgan Nagru. Meanwhile, in Redwall Abbey, Mariel’s father Joseph the Bellmaker dreams of Martin the Warrior. Warned of the danger his daughter faces, Joseph gathers a team of Redwall creatures to aid Mariel.
Brian Jacques introduces new twists on villains in The Bellmaker. Foxes are a known adversary of Mossflower creatures, but never before has a Foxwolf appeared. Urgan Nagru thrills in the hunt. His blood-curdling howls he unleashes strike terror into his prey. A chill raced down my spine hearing it on audiobook. The Foxwolf prides himself on tactics and his determination to win. Mariel, Dandin and their companions will be hard pressed to escape Urgan Nagru’s clutches. Readers will be pulled into the challenges Nagru and his mate throw at the heroes.
Another known adversary to the creatures of Mossflower Woods are sea rats. When their pirate ship is stolen, sea rats Slipp and Blaggut find themselves wandering Mossflower Woods. When they stumble on two lost dibbins, they find themselves escorted to Redwall Abbey. No one is happy about their presence, but the creatures of Redwall are willing to give them a chance. While the two plot and plan to steal treasure from Redwall, readers will be surprised by the actual outcome of their endeavors. Brian Jacques deviates in a way I never would have expected.
The Bellmaker is a tale to be enjoyed by all ages. While there are battles, Brian Jacques writes in a way that minimizes the details and yet still engages readers. There is no doubt creatures fall in battle, but the story doesn’t focus on these moments. Instead, Brian Jaques allows readers to understand how the heroes feel about their actions. They do not enjoy the act of violence, but when there is no other choice they must defend themselves.
Each Redwall book explores what it means to be a hero. And each hero finds themselves aided by wonderful creatures they call friends. Despite the hardships that are present within The Bellmaker there is also a healthy dose of humor, friendship, and action. Lives may be lost, but there is always the presence of hope coursing through the story. I enjoyed the new take on different creatures, showing that despite all the lore and worldbuilding present in the Redwall series, there is still much left to discover.
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