Cover image for Salamandastron
Jacques, Brian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Ace Books, 1994.

Physical Description:
356 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
Reading Level:
890 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 16.0 10793.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.6 22 Quiz: 09947 Guided reading level: Y.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



New York Times bestselling author Brian Jacques gives us another tale of Redwall, filled with "The Knights of the Round Table with paws" ( The Sunday Times) along with their friends and enemies.

Urthstripe the Strong, a wise old badger, leads the animals of the great fortress of Salamandastron and Redwall Abbey against the weasel Ferahgo the Assassin and his corps of vermin.

Author Notes

Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15, 1939. After he finished St. John's School at the age of fifteen, he became a merchant seaman and travelled to numerous ports including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a police constable, a postmaster, and a stand-up comic. During the sixties, he was a member of the folk singing group The Liverpool Fishermen. He wrote both poetry and music, but he began his writing career in earnest as a playwright. His three stage plays Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, and Scouse have been performed at the Everyman Theatre.

He wrote Redwall for the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool, where he delivered milk as a truck driver. His style of writing is very descriptive, because of the nature of his first audience, for whom he painted pictures with words, so that they could see them in their imaginations. After Alan Durband, his childhood English teacher, read Redwall, he showed it to a publisher without telling Jacques. This event led to a contract for the first five books in the Redwall series. He also wrote the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series. He died on February 5, 2011.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-7. In a Booklist interview [BKL N 1 91], Jacques indicated that his main interest in writing for young people is to tell a good yarn; here, he has once again succeeded. Though part of the Redwall saga, this tale centers mainly on the badgers and hares of the castle of Salamandastron in the mountains near the sea. The castle is under attack by Ferahgo the Assassin, who, like all of Jacques' villains, reeks of evil. There's a lot going on in the story, which also follows the exploits of the mischievous young squirrel Samkin (chosen by the spirit of Martin the Warrior to wield his sword) and Samkin's sidekick, the young mole Arula, who face untold danger as they pursue the thieving stoats who made off with the sword and left the Abbey infected with a deadly plague. The action switches back and forth between various adventures: those of Samkin and Arula; of the young badger Mara, who runs away from Salamandastron, and her ravenous hare companion, Pikkle; and of the otter Thrugg and Baby Dumble the dormouse, who brave the rigors of the Mountains of the North in search of the plague's only cure. But all the plot threads work well together, and the grand climax comes at Salamandastron when the great bloody battle is fought. Once more, Jacques charms readers with well-developed animal characters, all suited to the roles they play--whether heroic, villainous, or comical. And as usual the characteristic dialects contribute to the sense of character and place, and the setting is integral to the story. Another winner for the series' following. ~--Sally Estes

Publisher's Weekly Review

The beastly names have changed but the epic struggle between good and evil rages on in this continuation of the acclaimed Redwall series. Leading the fight is the badger maid, Mara; a dashing hare named Pikkle; and Dumble, a baby vole all aptly named in the colorful tradition of Jacques's animal characterizations. At stake are the lives of all the good beasts of Redwall Abbey who are stricken with a terrible plague. A bittersweet relationship between Mara and her guardian, the Badger Lord of Salamandastron, provides an emotional thread that cleverly joins far-flung bands of swashbuckling beasts, on various quests and fighting sorties, in its moving ceremonial conclusion. Against the backdrop of a seemingly endless parade of heroes and villains, danger and daring rescues, Jacques has created over the years a loyalty between his readers and the creatures of Redwall Abbey: the reader feels included in the Abbey's history as it is being written, and Jacques encourages that empathy by creating animal characters that respond to extraordinary circumstances with compellingly human-like humility and strength. Chalk's black-and-white illustrations above each chapter number are small marvels of nuance and personality. Ages 10-14. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved