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LordTBT
May 13th, 2004, 04:40 PM
Ok. So I got the book the other day and finished it today. Here's my thoughts:

This was pretty much an updated "Bellmaker".
Brag & Saro = Dandin & Mariel etc etc
A more appropriate title would have been "The Wheelchair Hare"
because this book had about as much to do with Loamhedge as my keyboard here does.

The book:

A) Provided no further insight on Loamhedge. Nothing that much more descriptive about the plague, nothing. I was expecting a story featuring Loamhedge abbey life, maybe even becoming a subsect of the Redwall Series. There was nothing new in this book! Just new faces, but no further insight on anything regarding Loamhedge. Nothing on the plague, nothing on the community, nothing on the Abbey. I'm sorry I'm ranting about this but it's extremely disappointing. It didnt even provide anything I could add to my editorial. :(

B) The travelers weren't even successful on their initial quest! They found nothing in the Loamhedge Abbess' grave. Disappointing. No new secrets.

C) I guess BJ forgot about the wheels of the wheelchair that Fenna & that shemouse who's name I'm forgetting pocketed. I thought something would happen with them, but nope. They just pocketed them.

D) Martha did not become Abbess. This was the biggest surprise. Her character was wasted because of this.

E) Horty was by far my favorite character, and I predicted his joining the LP. And I'm glad that happened at least.



I did pick up that hardback copy of Castaways for $7 at Halfprice
:D So when I finish that (havent started it yet) I will post my little review.

Cheesethief
May 14th, 2004, 09:41 AM
the wheels may feature again. (the walking stone???)
i dont agree with you tbt, but martha shouldve been abbess.

Martin the Warrior
May 14th, 2004, 08:22 PM
You might want to try rereading the book, TBT, now that your expectations won't be so high. It's actually a very good Redwall tale.


The travelers weren't even successful on their initial quest! They found nothing in the Loamhedge Abbess' grave. Disappointing.

I actually liked that aspect of it. Any "magical cure" found at Loamhedge couldn't help but be incredibly contrived and I thought Brag and Saro creating their own was far more touching.


Martha did not become Abbess. This was the biggest surprise. Her character was wasted because of this.

Again, I actually liked this. It was unexpected and nice as a result. I thought it took a lot of guts to go against the established grain (Bryony, Tansy, Songbreeze, Mhera) and not give the Abbess-ship to the obvious choice.

The only thing I'd have changed was following through on the fake-out-- left Horty carrying the sword and make him Abbot as a result. I thought it would have been humorous. ;)

LordTBT
May 15th, 2004, 01:44 AM
Again, I actually liked this. It was unexpected and nice as a result. I thought it took a lot of guts to go against the established grain (Bryony, Tansy, Songbreeze, Mhera) and not give the Abbess-ship to the obvious choice.

I'm sorry, but taking someone who is a natural leader like Martha, and not making her Abbess was wrong.


The only thing I'd have changed was following through on the fake-out-- left Horty carrying the sword and make him Abbot as a result. I thought it would have been humorous.

Yes but Fenna didnt do much to earn her title.

Keyla
May 15th, 2004, 03:55 AM
But I don't think the fact that Martha took up the role she did in the seige meant that she should be abbess any more than Horty, Fenna or Spingald. To me her main line of development was a movement away from isolation, a greater involvement in her community as a whole and obviously her overcoming of the psycological barrier that stopped her from walking. Having her as abbess would have felt, to me, a bit like Brian doing it because "it was tradition". The twists and turns of the unexpected were particularly good in this, in my opinion, and I should imagine that's why this book has gone down relatively well in the ROC comparred to other recent tales as often the main criticism is that Brian follows to closely his mold, although some, of course, manage to find something that vaguely resembles an earlier book and pounce on it as Brian loosing his touch and running out of ideas. But, hey, there'll always be people doing that.



Provided no further insight on Loamhedge. Nothing that much more descriptive about the plague, nothing. I was expecting a story featuring Loamhedge abbey life, maybe even becoming a subsect of the Redwall Series. There was nothing new in this book! Just new faces, but no further insight on anything regarding Loamhedge. Nothing on the plague, nothing on the community, nothing on the Abbey. I'm sorry I'm ranting about this but it's extremely disappointing. It didnt even provide anything I could add to my editorial.

I wouldn't agree there. We may not have established much in the way of huge facts about the abbey but I think we got a better sense of its atmosphere, both in its fall and in the actual time this book is set in. Personally, anything closer than we got would have been destructive. Why? Two reasons: for a childrens book descriptions fever and death aren't the most pleasant of ideas and while it worked in "Salamandastron" that was because it added urgency to the quest, which in itself offered hope to those suffering, which the tale of Loamhedges demise could not; it would have also spoiled the mysterious atmosphere of the legend of the abbey, whereas in this book the sense of mystery becomes all the more palpable for the telling of the tale.



This was pretty much an updated "Bellmaker".
Brag & Saro = Dandin & Mariel etc etc


This barely works on a superfisual level. Yes, Saro and Bragoon were a pair of roguish travellers who came originally from Redwall. But really that is where the parallels end, so far as I can tell. The areas explored through their characters are far different from those done through Mariel and Dandin.
For a start we get to see how they fit into the roles of parents after a life of little responcibility and how they teach the young rips some respect. We see how while they are aged in body they still behave somewhat like dibbuns when around their old nurse. What I found most touching was their deep platonic relationship and how in contrast to character such as Lonna, Martha and Raga Bol, Saro and Bragoon showed the antithesis to the isolation of the other characters. Of course, it was also nice to see the ancient creatures in on the action.

Cheesethief
May 15th, 2004, 11:09 AM
the cliffs, badger and bell...where are they in relation to redwall?theyre not on the map, though it would seem they were around bat mountpit...

Martin the Warrior
May 15th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Keyla
Having her as abbess would have felt, to me, a bit like Brian doing it because "it was tradition". The twists and turns of the unexpected were particularly good in this, in my opinion, and I should imagine that's why this book has gone down relatively well in the ROC comparred to other recent tales as often the main criticism is that Brian follows to closely his mold, although some, of course, manage to find something that vaguely resembles an earlier book and pounce on it as Brian loosing his touch and running out of ideas.

Nicely said (and in two sentences no less, although that last sentence was rather long. ;)). I think that's precisely why it worked for me.


Cheesethief
the cliffs, badger and bell...where are they in relation to redwall?theyre not on the map, though it would seem they were around bat mountpit...

They're far south, past the Big Inland Lake. You'll find their approximate location on the map for Mattimeo.

Cheesethief
May 15th, 2004, 11:26 AM
they should make a new redwall map.

LordTBT
May 15th, 2004, 03:26 PM
I disagree with the majority of what you said Keyla.

Element_man
May 16th, 2004, 12:57 AM
It was interesting to see a badger with a bow for a weapon, but the story didn't seem to delve depe enough into Lonna.

And what happened to Badred? Did he just run away with the other guys from his group?

Keyla
May 16th, 2004, 01:57 AM
Yes, I believe he did, though he was no longer leader.

I personally don't think Lonna was meant to be that deep in a sense. I don't think Brian was trying to generate a great sense of empathy between the reader and the character, rather we got a rather more negative and gritty portrait of a badgerlord and the bloodwrath.

Cheesethief
May 16th, 2004, 05:01 AM
lonna's not like all de other badgers.:(

Keyla
May 16th, 2004, 10:16 AM
In what way? I would agree that he is certainly less likeable and a rather less sympathetic presentation of a vengeful beast than we are used to.

Cheesethief
May 17th, 2004, 09:42 AM
other badgee go killkill but lonner jus nuts.

Element_man
May 17th, 2004, 05:21 PM
Um, Lonna caused probably as much casualties as most otehr baders in the books.

And they're all nuts.

Rillflag27
May 17th, 2004, 09:32 PM
Except Russano, he was cool.

Me personally I thought the book was better than Triss. Although i can't say I hate it, it was fairly bad. Bragoon and Saro were cool to me, along with Horty.

Senav
May 18th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Uh, yeah. All the badger lords were pretty unstable. It's the Bloodwrath, I tell ye! I pity the door-to-door salesman who shows up at Salamandastron.

The travelers weren't even successful on their initial quest! They found nothing in the Loamhedge Abbess' grave. Disappointing. I like that part of the story, actually. Magical cure to paralysis? There isn't much else they could have found. Redwallers don't have modern medicine. And remember, not all expiditions end happily, even for good guys.

Plus, Saro and Bragoon have officially become my two favorite characters. They're old. They're not always nice. They way they behave around each other is VERY well written. You don't often see "old" protagonists, they're all young and dashing. And I think they came to a fitting end (who could honestly see them growing old in the Abbey?).
Er, does anyone have any guesses as to how old they were? I'd put them at the equivilant of somewhere in their 50's.

So, Senav's Rating: Better than TBT's ;)

Slagar the Cruel
May 18th, 2004, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Martin the Warrior
The only thing I'd have changed was following through on the fake-out-- left Horty carrying the sword and make him Abbot as a result. I thought it would have been humorous.
Oh, definately. It would have really worked, too, as it seemed like the death of Brag and Saro made him a great deal wiser and level-headed. Not to mention the irony it would have created in connection to his claims of being "ruler of Redwall Abbey" earlier in the book, and the landmark a hare Abbot would be to the series. Instead, one of the (rather uninteresting) Abbeymaids is rather needlessly made into the Abbess... causing me to feel sort of cheated.

Originally posted by Keyla
I personally don't think Lonna was meant to be that deep in a sense. I don't think Brian was trying to generate a great sense of empathy between the reader and the character, rather we got a rather more negative and gritty portrait of a badgerlord and the bloodwrath.
I agree wholeheartedly. The idea of badgerlords being fearsome, blood-chilling warriors really came through here - even moreso than with Cregga in The Long Patrol, who's bloodwrath was by far the most distinguishing characteristic she posessed throughout most of the novel.

LordTBT
May 18th, 2004, 11:15 PM
I like that part of the story, actually. Magical cure to paralysis? There isn't much else they could have found. Redwallers don't have modern medicine. And remember, not all expiditions end happily, even for good guys.

there was obviously some sort of cure, or they wouldnt have been told to leave Redwall and go all the way to Loamhedge to get it. Martha wouldnt have been visited. Furthermore, the Sister who discovered the cure in the first place wouldnt have walked.

They couldve found something.


Instead, one of the (rather uninteresting) Abbeymaids is rather needlessly made into the Abbess... causing me to feel sort of cheated.

Agreed

Cheesethief
May 19th, 2004, 02:03 PM
i second that tbt.
martha just got up halfway through the story, which was strange in my opinion. knowing brian, i thought martha would get up to welcome bragoon and saro back or something.

Keyla
May 23rd, 2004, 07:49 AM
Where once I dwelt in Loamhedge
my secret lies hid from view,
the tale of how I learned to walk,
when once I was as you.
Though you cannot go there,
look out for two who may,
travellers from out of the past,
returning home someday.

Well, there's the poem. Of course, one can see from that how it would get Martha's, and the reader's, hopes up that the travellers would find this cure, but it does not actually state that. To me it felt like Martin was acting as a kind of providential figure so that through the quest the three wayward abbeybeasts would learn some serious lessons. Does this mean Brian ends up giving us less than we expect and therefore disappoints us? Well, I personally was glad to have been decieved; having it all laid out at the beginning would have been far too simple. For me the purpose of quest wasn't what was expected by the majority of readers, Brian thinking ahead.

As to whether the Sister walked through circumstances similar to Martha's or whether she found a cure is open to speculation, though I feel that she did something along the lines of the former as from the circumstances surrounding her being able to walk she managed when she was at the point of either loosing her friends forever or walking, in the same way that Martha had either to stand or let the father abbot die.

Cheesethief
May 23rd, 2004, 09:50 AM
i have a feeling this may come up in a future tale...

Senav
May 24th, 2004, 03:23 PM
there was obviously some sort of cure, or they wouldnt have been told to leave Redwall and go all the way to Loamhedge to get it. Martha wouldnt have been visited. Furthermore, the Sister who discovered the cure in the first place wouldnt have walked. The cure was willpower, or something similar. They only thought it was some magical potion or spell.
I believe Keyla explained it better...

LordTBT
May 24th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Senav
The cure was willpower, or something similar. They only thought it was some magical potion or spell.
I believe Keyla explained it better...

that wasnt it. Martha herself stated in the book that it wasnt that, because she tried and really wanted to.

Cheesethief
May 25th, 2004, 11:10 AM
the cure was...at the right time, if it was vital a beast did something, then they could do it.:p like saving apodemus.

Keyla
May 30th, 2004, 02:58 PM
that wasnt it. Martha herself stated in the book that it wasnt that, because she tried and really wanted to.

Could you quote the bit with a chapter referance, as I can't remember that, though that's not surprising as I've only read it once thus far. *Gasp :eek: * Yes, yes, I know; get over it. Ive been busy, okay? ;)

LordTBT
May 30th, 2004, 10:36 PM
i'm busy too, work whew....busiest i've ever been today. gimme some time and ill get that quote

LordTBT
June 16th, 2004, 08:26 PM
Ok. Ch. 11

(p. 103 in hardback edition)


Martha shook her head. "No sir, though 'tis not for the want of trying. I collapse every time I do...."

Senav
June 17th, 2004, 05:59 PM
I think it was meant to be a different kind of situation. There's trying to stand and walk on your own time, and then there's saving your abbot, when there's no time to plan or stop and think.
When Martha was trying to stand on her own time, there's no doubt that she had a lot of willpower and such, but when she actually stands and delivers (bad joke!), it was a desparate situation. It's hard to explain.