View Full Version : Book Focus: Martin the Warrior

July 21st, 2003, 04:21 AM
I realise that some people might not have said what they want to say in the Brocktree thread but I thought I might start up the next as they can obviously still post in the old one. This will again be spoiler filled so don't read any of these posts if you haven't read the book yet.

So, how do people rate it?
What were its strengths?
What were its weaknesses?
What surprised or disappointed you? (Obviously, there are very few here who can actually say they read Redwall before this book was released but people can still compare they're expectations upon reading the blurb and hearing the premise to what they actually got.)
Who was/were your favorite character(s)?
What "moments" worked well for you?
If you were Brian how would you have done it differently?
Considering how much you enjoyed this book, how would react to the news of Brian writing another tale that is not set at all in Redwall Abbey?
Of all the deaths in this book, which one did you feel was best written and the most effective and why?

I'm putting it in the top three. One of the reasons I like it so much may be because it was the first tale I read. But I felt that besides this the tale it self was very strong: the characters were compelling; the plot, whether by design or not, built extremely effectively; there was good juxtaposition.

Its key strengths are what I have stated above. In terms of characters the following would have particularly outstanding for me in any other tale, all in the top five, yet here mix together to form a rich cast: Martin; Brome; Felldoh; Grumm; Clogg; Ballaw; Celandine; the Mirdop family; Aggril. You may be wondering why I left Rose out, possibly shouting at the computer screen (sp? suddenly I can't spell) that her tragedy is the best bit of the book. I would not disagree with that, but her character it self is not as dynamic as that of the characters I have listed, in my opinion. As I've said the plot was very strong and there's a real sense of momentum as there is a chain reaction of events. By splitting the storyline Brian managed to get the best of both worlds: a quest, giving variety as the characters travel through different lands; an attempt to free the slaves and eventually guerilla warfare (sp?). As I have said the juxtaposition is very well done: the snooty comical Mirdop family against the canibilistic lizards of the marshes; the peace of Noonvale against the suffering in the war against Marshank; the craft Badrang against the foolish, though still dangerous, Clogg; the fearsome looking yet actually good Boldred against the harmless seeming yet malicious Aggril.
However, above all of this the tragedy of Rose towers as the books greatest strength. Not only was it sad in it self as the death of a character, but what I found most moving was its effect on Martin. At the end we have imprinted upon us the very powerful image of him wandering off alone, leaving the northlands forever, his memories locked in his heart never to be shared. He has learnt painfully of the price of war. These experiences explain much of the maturity of the Martin we see seasons later in "Mossflower".
I have two complaints in regard to this tale, both concerning plot. Firstly, I felt that Felldoh essentially defeating Badrang before being cheated of his victory, showed the villain as weaker than he had seemed before to me, making the victory of good seem inevitable. One might also say that there are similarities in the broad plot with that of "Mariel of Redwall". However, I believe there are enough original elements for this to be overlooked.
I bought it hoping it would be something along the lines of one of "The Chronicles of Narnia", but obviously a little longer. This compounded my surprise at Rose' death. I was surprised at how quickly I devoured it: reading on average 50 pages per day was unheard of for me.
My favorite characters over all would have to be Martin, for the sympathy I had for him by the end, Brome, for his development as a character, and Clogg, for the humour he provided.
In terms of moments: Felldoh's battle with Badrang really captured me; the travellers fleeing from the Gawtrybe (sp?) really got my adrenelin (sp?) going; Martin alone at the end was a fantastic ending.
If I were Brian I would most likely not have had Felldoh fight Badrang. Perhaps somehow his second in command but who actually had a great deal to do with the slaves so that he did not feel like he was only getting second best, making him less eager for revenge on this person. But other than that there isn't really anything.
If Brian were to announce that had written another tale set beyond Redwall Abbey I would be excited as I would be at any new tale. However, I am glad he is forging the future of Redwall rather than just falling back on its past.
Of all the deaths I felt Rose' was the best written; though the death it self was not greatly dramatic, the shock and sorrow of it hits the reader gradually, perhaps giving it a greater sense of realism than just all out drama.

To spark some debate here are some possible complaints with the book, which I don't necessarily agree with but feel are valid: Pallum was an unnecessary character, adding nothing to the tale; Rose was too bland and nice, too much without fault; by setting it where Brian did he made it feel detached from the rest of the series, lowering its contribution to the series.

July 21st, 2003, 12:28 PM
MtW is one of my favorite "Redwall" books. I don't have time to go into details or answer all the questions but I do want to address two points.

First, about Rose being too nice, that can be said about other characters in the redwall series. I think Rose does have a mean side; she just shows her mean side for a good cause, like attacking Badrang. In general, I don't mind character not having many visible flaws, probably because when a good character(s) flaws are overempathized it can be a turn off too. For example, I have found myself disliking a character(will not say who) in the "Sonic the Hedgehog" comic because even though this character is on the good side, the flaws were overempathized.
I have come up with a reason that Pallum is useful. He (or her) seems like a honest creature. Seeing that one of his or her desendents is one of the travelers to redwall that bring the story to light, makes the story credible, meaning the story is likely to have happend the way it was told(for the most part).

July 21st, 2003, 04:38 PM
Rose has a mean side? She near-perfect. She can sing, do imitations, is very brave, and obviously stunning. I'll bet the girl could do backflips as well. So sweet she'd give ya cavities. Not that I hate her, but as far as I'm concerned, the best thing to happen to her was getting killed by Baddie, whether by wall or by sword, depending on whether you read the book or watch the TV show.
All of the other characters were spiffy. Especially the Gawtrybe. Homicidal, ADD squirrels are ever so much fun! As much as I didn't like her, I know Rose was very important in what happens to Martin.
I saw what happened in the end a mile away. Read Mossflower first, silly me:rolleyes:

Lumping it firmly in the middle. Firm is a cool word.

Dannflower Reguba
July 22nd, 2003, 10:38 AM
Bottom three.

Strengths: The Warden, the Gawtrybe, Clogg, the pygmie shrews.

Weaknesses: Martin, Rose's death.

Surprises: How Martin acted after Rose's death.

Disappointments: How Martin acted after Rose's death.

Favorite characters: The Warden and the Gawtrybe. (Hee hee hee! He fall down!)

What "moments" worked for me: The stump-pulling part. It seemed, to me, the most peaceful time in Martin's life until he came back from hearing Luke's tale.

How I would have done it differently: Martin and Rose would become interesting characters.

Another story without Redwall: Sure. I don't care much, as long as that "sanctuary" is defined clearly. In most of them it's Redwall, in LB it's Salamandastron, and in MtW it's Noonvale.

Best death: Felldoh's by far. I despised Rose's. Alright, I didn't despise as much as feel cheated by it. For me, there was no emotion involved. That pathetic "We could've cut down that tree with this." line is NOT something one should say at the time of their beloved's death!

No, I don't like Martin. I never have, I probably never will. I don't like him for the same reasons I don't like Boar and pre-blind Cregga. Too bloodlusty.

Rowanoak, you gotta tell me who you're talking about in the Sonic comics. I'm searching through my mind for characters, but I can't remember any good guys whose flaws were overemphasized. Antoine, perhaps? *chuckle*

July 23rd, 2003, 08:30 AM
To answer your question Dannflower, the character in the "Sonic the Hedgehog" comic that I was talking about was St.John ,although he is not that much of a bully anymore. From what I read from other Sonic fans on the net, I am not the only one who has a low opinion of St.John.

Dannflower Reguba
July 23rd, 2003, 11:00 AM
Ah, Geoffrey! Well, he's not necessarily my favorite char. But then, it's kinda hard to understand him when he was, what, a quadruple agent? That and the Sally clone and whatnot. Got me all confuzzled. :D

July 24th, 2003, 04:29 PM
What were its strengths? Its strengths where the tale itself, telling martin's past before mossflower was very much needed.

What were its weaknesses? Badrang, hes one of the worst redwall villians

What surprised or disappointed you? That clogg was driven crazy. When he went crazy..the book went downhill a bit.

Who was/were your favorite character(s)? Martin, Felldoh, Rose, Clogg, and Keyla. Oh and grumm.

What "moments" worked well for you? Rose's death and martin wandering away.

If you were Brian how would you have done it differently?
I'm not sure actually..i wouldn't want to.

Considering how much you enjoyed this book, how would react to the news of Brian writing another tale that is not set at all in Redwall Abbey?
I'd read it definately. A setting other than redwall abbey is nice once and a while.

Of all the deaths in this book, which one did you feel was best written and the most effective and why? Felldoh's. The desire of burning revenge and bringing down a handfull of vermin before dying was cool.

July 26th, 2003, 09:59 PM
I placed it in the middle. I thought the parts about the Rambling Rosehip Players(sp?), the escaping slaves, Felldoh, Keyla Brome, etc. was much more interesting and exciting then the part following Martin. The part where Hillgorse gave his life up, and Felldoh wanted to go back to him, but Tullgrew insits they must escape for him was glueing. I also liked when Brome mascaraded as a searat. It seems like Martin wasted a lot of time on his way to Noonvale. I liked Pallum, though. I like it better when there's a bit of a larger group. The conversation in more interesting.

July 27th, 2003, 09:33 AM
I thought I should talk about my favorite characters in MtW. I have noticed that there have been a few criticisms of Rose, who is one of my favorite characters in the book. In itself it does not bother me except the criticism of Rose did get a little mean. In one post it seemed like the person was saying that Rose deserved to die because she was too perfect; at least that is how I took it, and that seemed cruel. I want to expand on what I meant about Rose having a mean side. From the fiece way she fought, Rose did not totally come across, to me, as a "Snow White" type. In the book, I did come to admire Rose for her bravery and unselfishess. I have spent so much time on Rose, I have decided to come back later to write about my other favorite characters.

July 28th, 2003, 08:02 AM
To contiue on characters in MtW; I found Martin to be interesting enough. I do see some people's point about him being too bloodthristy, but I do see his more peaceful side in the book and I also understand why Martin would not want to abandon his friends too. Felldoh is complex, he does have an angry side but also has friendly side, like Martin, only Felldoh's two sides seem to stand out more. Felldoh seems like a loving son, and from his interactions with Brome I get the impression he would have made a great older brother, or a father(if he had lived). I have to admire Keyla's cleverness.

About deaths in the book: I thought both Felldoh's and Rose's death were equally effective though I think Rose's death was done better in the TV series. I don't mind Martin's first reaction to Rose's death in the book, considering he was so out of it after the battle he probably didn't realize what had happened.

July 28th, 2003, 04:46 PM
That Rose is gorgeous and can fight, along with a host of things, is what makes her perfect. Put her through a Mary Sue litmus test.
I don't hate her, I just highly dislike her;) Sometimes I overreact or something comes out the wrong way. Especially in real life.

August 7th, 2003, 12:23 PM
I have come up with a question, Badrang and Clogg have different versions of what happened to cause their first falling out. My question is which version, Badrang or Clogg's, do you think is closest to the truth? I find this hard to decide because neither of them come across as being the least bit honest.

Slagar the Cruel
August 8th, 2003, 08:14 PM
It's never been one of my favorites. What killed "Martin the Warrior" for me is the lack of connection to other books. It just feels too remote. Forced. A way to show Martin's past while at the same time ignoring or making trivial most of the hints to his past given in Mossflower. Still, I liked Brome's "Bucktail" alter-ego and what it leads to, and Laterose's tie in with "Redwall". I love it when Redwall books tie in with eachother... something Martin the Warrior basically did not do at all.

August 10th, 2003, 03:51 PM
How do you rate it?
Well, I voted fourth, but there is a slim margin between my top four books (Redwall, Mossflower, Mattimeo, and Martin the Warrior).
What were its strengths?
The plotline with the Rambling Rosehip players and their plans to free the slaves, attack Marshank, etc. was highly entertaining. And the very fact that it was about the battle for freedom had me captivated (to use an oxymoron of sorts).
What were its weaknesses?
To tell you the truth, Martin's adventures on the way to Noonvale was a tad dull ...
What surprised or disappointed you?
That it was about Martin's childhood! When I first got the book, I was expecting another adventure with Gonff and Dinny and all the others; after I read the summary, I learned that was not true. However, the summary also lead me to believe that Luke would be the one to rescue Martin from Marshank; when I found out he (Luke) left the picture before Martin was captured, I didn't know what to expect.
Who was/were your favorite character(s)?
In order: Felldoh (huge favourite, here), Brome, Keyla, Martin, Rose; on the baddie side, I liked Skalrag (for the little he was around) and Hisk. Oh, all right, I like Clogg, too, as insane as he was.
What "moments" worked well for you?
Felldoh's revenge. Wow. That was meaningful to me. I also liked his little speech about how he wished he wasn't so vengeful. Martin's departure was powerful, and I particularly enjoyed the scene when he looked at his reflection and declared that he would protect Rose more than himself. Beautiful, that was.
If you were Brian, how would you have done it differently?
Well, I wouldn't've killed Rose ... *wry smile* Nah, it was almost dictative that she die. Felldoh's death, on the other paw ... Yeah, I'd take that out.
Considering how much you enjoyed this book, how would you react to the news of Brian writing another tale that is not set at all in Redwall Abbey?
Er, Lord Brocktree, anyone? *cough* I know what you mean, though, and I think I would enjoy another book set away from Redwall, providing it was about a meaningful character like Martin was. Perhaps one about Gonff's childhood?
Of all the deaths in this book, which one did you feel was best written and the most effective, and why?
Felldoh's was ... I liked Felldoh's death; he got the perfect revenge against Badrang. Rose's death left me in a daze. I wasn't sure it was true (I certainly didn't want to believe it.), and it took a long time for it to really hit me.

August 14th, 2003, 10:19 AM
On a side not Delaila, are the one of the same name of Questors Bold II?

October 7th, 2003, 02:29 PM
Just as a note of trivia. Thus far "Martin the Warrior" has been voted on mean average as sixth in the voters' list of preference.

October 7th, 2003, 04:00 PM
I loved the book, I voted top three with Triss and Mossflower. I was dissapionted when Rose died, but if she haden't Martin would have never wandered through Mossflower.


Basil Stag Hare
October 8th, 2003, 09:17 PM
I liked the book, but I didn't like that Felldoh died. He should have
killed Badrang....But the author wouldn't do that because Martin
is the main character...

Cheek Stag Otter
January 4th, 2004, 08:56 AM
So, how do people rate it?
I'm no good at raking and rating things because I'm so fickle. Its definately one of my favourites though. I didn't think I was going to enjoy is as much as I did actually.
What were its strengths?
Using a different location than Mossflower. The first four books all followed the same basic outline. One group of hero's go off questing for something and those who stay behind in the abbey have to fight off another enemy (don't get me wrong this works very well), but I'm really glad that in Salamandastron and Martin The Warrior we we're taken to many different place's. It was a nice change and made both books really strong for me.
What were its weaknesses?
Once Martin et al got to Noonvale and decided who was going back to fight it seemed to take them forever to get back. Even though it was only a few chapters I really wanted them to get their quiker.
What surprised or disappointed you?
When I started to read Redwall books I always thought Martin the Warrior was the story that didn't really need telling. I felt his history was alright the way it was explained in Mossflower so I was surprised that I really enjoyed it so much.
Who was/were your favorite character(s)?
Brome, Rose, Pallum, The Rambling Rosehip Players, The Warden and Polleekin
What "moments" worked well for you?
The stuff between Ballaw and Cap'n Tramun Clogg, Brome being a healer instead of a warrior the way it leads into the events of Mossflower.
If you were Brian how would you have done it differently?
Tighten up the chapters of Martin and the gang going back to fight the war.
Considering how much you enjoyed this book, how would react to the news of Brian writing another tale that is not set at all in Redwall Abbey?
It always depends, as I've said Salamandastron and Martin the Warrior didn't have much of the abbey in it and I enjoyed them all the same. But in something like The Bellmaker I wanted to read more about the stuff that was going on the in the abbey rather than anywhere else.
Of all the deaths in this book, which one did you feel was best written and the most effective and why?
Rose, I didn't really like Martin's line about the sword being used to cut down the tree but everything else was fine.