Before I begin, it is extremely hard to review a forthcoming book without revealing too many spoilers. I will not be posting any complete character biographies or a full plot summary until after October 18, 2007, when Eulalia! is officially released.
Hopefully, this will whet your appetite for the book.
For people first reading this news entry, a few posts down you'll notice I received an advance copy of Brian Jacques' forthcoming Redwall novel, Eulalia!.
In terms of chronological placement, technically this book could take place any time after Salamandastron, but if you've been following my postings since last fall, you know that Brian and his wife told me it takes place after High Rhulain.
However, it does refer to some past events that we have not seen in the novels before; it will be interesting if Jacques decides to write a novel based on any of that (I would quite like it actually).
All the characters are new, and there are some new places. Contrary to recent Redwall novels though, there are no new species of animal, and the character species makeup remains the usual (hedgehogs, mice, badgers, shrews, moles, etc).
As mentioned in the summary from the book, there are 2 villains; one is Captain Vizka Longtooth, a mace & chain carrying corsair fox, the other is a rat chieftain (who I won't name or reveal too much about for suspense purposes) who crusades around Mossflower Woods.
They are unaffiliated with each other, and both want Redwall Abbey.
The Bloodwrath is a central occupation of the novel, and how to control it (if that is possible) is also explored.
Our hero is Gorath, who we see depicted on the Troy Howell cover, fangs bared, red eyes gleaming. Gorath is tortured by being prone to a very vicious Bloodwrath. How will this affect his surroundings? Is his Bloodwrath an aid or a curse? Can he overcome this?
How will Redwall defend itself against 2 baddies?
Jacques also adds more to the lore of Redwall by incorporating a sort of scholarly order in Mossflower.
As noted in the summary, there is a thief in Redwall. Again, not wanting to spoil too much, this character is not a traditionally "evil" species (like Veil for example). This character, along with another character who is not traditionally a baddie are explored as grey characters, and it will be interesting to see what kind of discussion this stimulates once the book is published.
Overall, I enjoyed this addition to the saga. As always, I am eager for more from the land of Redwall and with the conclusion of this one there is further potential for other novels. The characters were likable, maybe we'll see a sequel. If anything, I would really like a sequel or an exploration of Redwall/Mossflower/Salamandastron history in the next novel.
Feel free to comment below, and ask questions. No specific answers are guaranteed though.
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