Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Doomwyte by Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques' latest, Doomwyte, is no surprise. It has all the basic elements of a Redwall adventure - a rhyming riddle that hides a buried treasure or secret. Wicked vermin secretly approaching Redwall. A brave woodland creature bent on vengeance. A perilous hare to the rescue. Small abbey dwellers who discover their courage and use their wits to save the Abbey.

However, the series is getting a bit tired, and this is not one of the better additions. The "black avenger", after a big, mysterious build-up, falls rather flat as a minor character. The young characters who should be central are interchangeable and don't appear to have greatly changed by the end of the story. The most definite young character, the young Guosim Dubble, suddenly drops out of prominence in the end, and you have to read very closely to find out what happens to him. The Gonfelin mice-thieves are an imaginative touch, but never really fleshed out.

Too many characters and events, a loose plot, and a vague ending will make this one of the lesser Redwall series, along with Loamhedge, The Legend of Luke, and the last few additions to the series. Fans will want to keep reading, but those looking for strong animal fantasies will lose interest before reaching this lackluster entry in the Redwall roster.

Verdict: Redwall is still a very popular series in some libraries, but not in mine. This is probably the last title I will buy in the series - Warriors is more popular. If you still have a fan base, go for it. Otherwise it's not worth it.

ISBN: 978-0399245442; Published October 2008 by Philomel; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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