View Poll Results: How do you rank "Outcast of Redwall" within the series?

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Thread: Book Focus: Outcast of Redwall

  1. #1
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    Book Focus: Outcast of Redwall

    Well, here we are again. "Outcast of Redwall" has always created great controversy in the ROC, so there should be plenty of material here:

    How did you rate it within the series?
    What were its most pleasing elements?
    What were its least?
    Who were your favorite characters?
    If you were Brian, what would you have done differently?
    What were you surprised or disappointed by?
    Which "half" or the tale did you prefer: Sunflash and Swatt vowing revenge on eachother or Bryony and Veil battling against prejustice and perhaps the ferret's own intrinsic nature?
    Did Veil die evil?
    If so, was he always evil or driven in that direction?
    This was the first tale where you really get to see inside the hoard. Were you convinced by the politics and backstabbing or did you feel like Brian was "filling"?
    This is perhaps the longest tale in terms of inside the story itself. Did this work or did you loose a sense of tension?
    Many characters are driven by anger and a lust for revenge at different points in the tale, such as Swatt, Veil and Sunflash. Was there any distinction between when it is evil and when it is right? If not what is it that guides the characters to condemn certain characters and not others?
    The end is admittedly not the quickest in the series, but this was perhaps a result of the mood of both loss, reflection and restoration. Did the ending drag? If so, how could this have been better done?

    Do not feel obliged to answer all or even any of these points; they are there as starting points.

  2. #2
    Registered User Slagar the Cruel's Avatar
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    How did you rate it within the series?
    Currently, I'd rank it as my sixth favorite.

    What were its most pleasing elements?
    I loved how the many subplots of the book were woven together, significantly and interestingly, over a long stretch of time. Speciffic parts I especially enjoyed were Sunflash and Skarlath's friendship, the looks into life at Salamandastron and in the vermin hordes, and the way Redwall was defended by the woodlanders.

    What were its least?
    I don't think Byrony's closing statement was a fitting conclusion to the Veil subplot, and the ending was a little drawn out.

    Who were your favorite characters?
    Sunflash, Skarlath, Captain Zigu, and Jodd Squirrelhare.

    If you were Brian, what would you have done differently?
    I definately would have given the Veil subplot a longer, more reflective ending... what we got seemed to be akin to glazing over the point so the focus remained on Sunflash.

    What were you surprised or disappointed by?
    I was pleasantly surprised that the ending of Mossflower made it into the book, and was even extended on a little with Skarlath's reaction. It just made things connect for me.

    Which "half" or the tale did you prefer: Sunflash and Swatt vowing revenge on eachother or Bryony and Veil battling against prejustice and perhaps the ferret's own intrinsic nature?
    Probably the Sunflash and Swartt "half", though I enjoyed both.

    Did Veil die evil? If so, was he always evil or driven in that direction?
    I think that Veil lived his entire life wanting to be evil, trying to go against the way of the Abbeybeasts, and desiring to be with his own kind (where he probably believed everything would be much better)... but I think that in the end, when he met up with his father, it really got him thinking about what kind of people these vermin really were - they abandoned him, could care less about him when he shows up again, and are generally quite less savory then he expected. And when Swartt threatened Byrony, it really hit him that the Redwallers were right about Swartt and his kind, and that he can't let an innocent get hurt on his account... but by then it way too late, and he died just as the spark of good in him started to stand a fighting chance.

    This was the first tale where you really get to see inside the hoard. Were you convinced by the politics and backstabbing or did you feel like Brian was "filling"?
    I was satisfied with the looks into the horde. We usually only get to see the workings of vermin over short periods of time, so a chance to see the backstabbing, changing of leaders, and assimilations of different tribes over the seasons was very interesting.

    This is perhaps the longest tale in terms of inside the story itself. Did this work or did you loose a sense of tension?
    As I've said, the best thing about this book (for me) is watching different subplots change and develop over a long period of time.

    Many characters are driven by anger and a lust for revenge at different points in the tale, such as Swatt, Veil and Sunflash. Was there any distinction between when it is evil and when it is right? If not what is it that guides the characters to condemn certain characters and not others?
    As in any Redwall book, it's really dictated by karma. Swartt deserved to get his sixclaw paw smashed because of what he did to Sunflash, so he didn't really deserve to get revenge on Sunflash.

    The end is admittedly not the quickest in the series, but this was perhaps a result of the mood of both loss, reflection and restoration. Did the ending drag? If so, how could this have been better done?
    Perhaps the ending should have skipped straight from Veil's death to the return at Redwall... there's about two chapters between this that are largely unnecessary.

  3. #3
    Patroller Senav's Avatar
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    How did you rate it within the series?
    5th or 6th. Kinda middle-ish. Lukewarm

    What were its most pleasing elements?
    Neat little sideplots (those are fun), and getting a look at life in Salamandastron and the horde. I also thought that the way Sunflash's arrival at the mountain tied in with the end of Mossflower was great, they matched almost word for word, I believe.

    What were its least?
    How Bryony thought of Veil at the end. You don't act as mother to someone a good portion of your life, and suddenly decide you were wrong all these years and that your child was an evil brat.

    Who were your favorite characters?
    Veil, pretty much any hare, Nightshade, and Jodd.

    If you were Brian, what would you have done differently?
    Maybe devoted more of the book the the character it was named after?

    What were you surprised or disappointed by?
    Bryony. She kinda bugs me. Otherwise, it was pretty good.

    Which "half" or the tale did you prefer: Sunflash and Swatt vowing revenge on eachother or Bryony and Veil battling against prejustice and perhaps the ferret's own intrinsic nature?
    I liked 'em both. Both plots tie in nicely.

    Did Veil die evil?If so, was he always evil or driven in that direction?
    I says he was more or less good. Maybe he was responsible for many a dissapearing item, but being continually hounded will drive you to evil. Even if the Redwallers weren't openly saying that they hate Veil, any idiot can tell if everyone else doesn't like them. Veil's last words, even if I can't remember them, tell that he regrets that Bryony followed him, that he didn't truly hate her. I say he's an anti-hero; a character who appears bad to the bone, but is still good inside.
    Veil'd probably throw a fit if he knew what Bryony said about him afterward.

    This was the first tale where you really get to see inside the hoard. Were you convinced by the politics and backstabbing or did you feel like Brian was "filling"?
    They were very convincing politics. From what I can tell, modern politics are the same, minus the blunt objects But yes, I like.

    This is perhaps the longest tale in terms of inside the story itself. Did this work or did you loose a sense of tension?
    Worked nicely, if you ask me (and you did, sorta). Despite the seasons/years that were skipped, what we did get was good. Wouldn't want to hear about the events in between, eh? Feast here, thrash some searats there, the usuall...

    Many characters are driven by anger and a lust for revenge at different points in the tale, such as Swatt, Veil and Sunflash. Was there any distinction between when it is evil and when it is right? If not what is it that guides the characters to condemn certain characters and not others?
    Revenge is fun. Very satisfying. Sunflash wanted revenge for a good reason, Swartt was just miffed over his paw (face it, extra digits aren't special anymore). Veil wanted to see what his kind are really like, and to kill every Redwaller in existance, so his motives are kinda mixed.

    The end is admittedly not the quickest in the series, but this was perhaps a result of the mood of both loss, reflection and restoration. Did the ending drag? If so, how could this have been better done?
    It could go faster. I admittedly get the urge to skip it. But when Sunflash met with Bella (reunited?), I thought it was very nice...


    Now I want a pet ferret. I shall call him Fluffy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Fluffy
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  4. #4
    Dibbun
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    How did you rate it within the series?
    I'm not very good at list but I can say its very high up.
    What were its most pleasing elements?
    I loved the relationship between Veil and Bryony
    What were its least?
    I can't really think of anything, although Abess Meriam was a bit creepy (not sure why?)
    Who were your favorite characters?
    Veil, Bryony, Swartt, Sunflash, Skarlath, The rude little bankvole that was near the waterfall.
    If you were Brian, what would you have done differently?
    Nothing.
    What were you surprised or disappointed by?
    I wasn't really disapointed or by anything.
    Which "half" or the tale did you prefer: Sunflash and Swatt vowing revenge on eachother or Bryony and Veil battling against prejustice and perhaps the ferret's own intrinsic nature?
    I really liked the Swartt/Sunflash bit at the beginning and then the Veil/Bryony stuff made the tale even better.
    Did Veil die evil?
    No he was just very naughty.
    If so, was he always evil or driven in that direction?
    This was the first tale where you really get to see inside the hoard. Were you convinced by the politics and backstabbing or did you feel like Brian was "filling"?
    No I really liked all that stuff.
    This is perhaps the longest tale in terms of inside the story itself. Did this work or did you loose a sense of tension?
    I did get a little confussed when Veil was suddenly grown up and had to go back and read that Swatt was left wardering during the winter looking for Salamandastron. but apart from that it was fine.
    The end is admittedly not the quickest in the series, but this was perhaps a result of the mood of both loss, reflection and restoration. Did the ending drag? If so, how could this have been better done?
    I didn't feel it dragged at all.

  5. #5
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    How did you rate it within the series?
    7th to 8th.

    What were its most pleasing elements?
    I love the feeling of being inside vermin life and relationships, which is one of the key reasons I like "(The) Taggerung" so much. I think for the first time they were more than just a band of soldiers who marched to war against innocent woodlanders. They had families and this did actually affect them. I thought Swatt's relationship with both his wife, Bluefen, and his son gave a rounder portrayal of his character. It was interesting to see how patriachal the hoard society was, bar Nightshade, compared to Redwall abbey, where the majority of the key figures are female.
    The sense of fate and tragedy were very strong in this book, perhaps at their strongest in the series. This not only gave an interesting dimention to the tale but it also helped to preserve the momentum when, for much of the book their is not a huge amount of "action".
    It was also good to see Brian tackling such an emotional theme and not relying on battles and adventure to carry the storyline.
    The tale as a whole dared to be sombre and dark.

    What were its least?
    I suppose my key quibble, which stops me ranking it higher, is the conclusion of the Veil storyline. I would estimate that the majority of fans think of Veil as not wholly evil and Brian himself has remained ambiguous, which would suggest to me that he wants us to be left to judge or choose not to judge him. However, at the end of the story we have Bryony agreeing with Bella and the abbess that there really was no hope for him and that she had been too compassionate. I would have no problem with this as it is interesting to see characters not necessarily find the truth, but I think there was a need for some countering opinion, not necessarily in this scene but at some point after the ferret's death to allow the audience to judge for themselves. The fact that the abbeydwellers are against him after his death does not bother me, as the abbey is shown in a less flattering light in this book compared to others: the Redwallers are said to gossip, appear judgemental in their treatment of Veil and at times seem to enjoy expelling the outcast. I just wish a balancing scene had been included.

    Who were your favorite characters?
    Sunflash, Swatt, Veil simply for being interesting, Bryony for being a heroine not for her bravery and fighting skills but for her compassion, Nightshade and Shang Damsontongue just for having a dyed tongue.

    If you were Brian, what would you have done differently?
    Beside adding the balance scene I would have tightened the ending up a bit, but there is really very little I can pick up on.

    What were you surprised or disappointed by?
    Well, the Veil storyline struck me as very different from the two other tales I had read at that point, "Martin the Warrior" and "Mossflower". The length of time it was spread over caught me by surprise. Oddly I did not expect the deaths we got. Obviously I was not an experienced enough Redwall reader at that point.

    Which "half" or the tale did you prefer: Sunflash and Swatt vowing revenge on eachother or Bryony and Veil battling against prejustice and perhaps the ferret's own intrinsic nature?
    On initial reading when I was 11 I prefered the fated warriors who vowed to kill eachother, but with time the other side of the book has grown on me and I now prefer it.

    Did Veil die evil?
    I do not think Veil died evil. True he did try to murder the Friar, but, in some ways, is this not slightly similar to Sunflash wanting to kill Swatt. Both are trying to avenge what was done to them in their younger seasons. Of course it is an understatement to say that he had issues.
    The problem was that he thought the world was against him. Despite Bryony's obvious love for him he still thought that she would always side with the abbey beasts. Perhaps this is because of the species difference, which was a key factor in the break down of Tagg and Sawney Rath's relationship. However, as Slager said, when he did find his real father he realised that he was not going to find love there, not one bit. I think when he saw that Bryony had followed him, despite his many rejections of her and all he had done, he was moved to see that her love was not limited by species or by culture. At the end it seems that he is still amazed by this fact as his parting words are that she return to the abbey and leave him.
    This does make Bryony's final verdict on him seem rather harsh, but perhaps listening to her elders and believing them that she did not need to care for him was easier than standing by her original conviction and facing the emotional pain of dealing with the fact that someone dear to her had died and that others whom she loved were partially responcible.

    This was the first tale where you really get to see inside the hoard. Were you convinced by the politics and backstabbing or did you feel like Brian was "filling"?
    Well, as I have already said, this part of the tale really interests me. We often get to see idylic abbey life, but the flip side is so much more fun to read about in my opinion. While I do think it was used as a way to space out passing time to a certain extent it was a really good filler and was excellant in itself.

    This is perhaps the longest tale in terms of inside the story itself. Did this work or did you loose a sense of tension?
    Brian did very well to sustain the momentum of the story. As I have already said, the big part of destiny helped in this. It did also allow realistic growth of characters, perhaps more than is possible in any of the other tales.

    Many characters are driven by anger and a lust for revenge at different points in the tale, such as Swatt, Veil and Sunflash. Was there any distinction between when it is evil and when it is right? If not what is it that guides the characters to condemn certain characters and not others?
    As I have already said, I think Sunflash and Veil have relatively similar claims for vengenge, as both are, or at the very least feel, bullied. The discerning factor seems to be that the ferret wants revenge on woodlanders, immediately turning us against him.

    The end is admittedly not the quickest in the series, but this was perhaps a result of the mood of both loss, reflection and restoration. Did the ending drag? If so, how could this have been better done?
    I personally did feel the ending dragged and yet, as I have said several times already, there were scenes that should have been there in my opinion. If Brian felt the need for the journey back to Redwall he could have springled it with some emotionally significant moments. That said it was not quite so dragging and over long as the ending of "The Legend of Luke".
    Last edited by Keyla; January 20th, 2004 at 02:30 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User Slagar the Cruel's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, I forgot! Another pleasant surprise in OOR was the return of Bat Mountpit. I've always liked the bats, and they deserved to show up in more than one book. Come to think of it, they're about due for another appearance...

  7. #7
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    It would seem that "Outcast of Redwall" has not come off too well from our voting; it's weighted mean average is 10th in the series, far below what on would expect after seeing how other books have been rated. It's score is actually lower than one might think as the distribution has a biest towards the middling rankings. I am quite surprised; I always thought it to be a popular, if somewhat controversial entry to the series.

  8. #8
    Patroller Senav's Avatar
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    Eh, really. I wouldn't call it stellar, but I wouldn't put Outcast at tenth.
    And I want more bats.
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