This article is about the book. For the character given that title, see Veil Sixclaw.
|US Cover Artist:||Troy Howell|
|UK Cover Artist:||Chris Baker|
Book Divisions (English)
- Book 1: A Friendship Made
- Book 2: A Broken Trust
- Book 3: The Warrior's Reckoning
In the snowy north, a young hawk named Skarlath is knocked out while flying. He is captured and bound by the cruel ferret Swartt Sixclaw and his group of vermin. He discovers a young badger who has also been kidnapped by the horde, and the two young beasts helped each other escape from the vermin camp. In the scuffle that ensued, the badger used a massive limb to severely injure Swartt's sixclawed left paw. The ferret and the badger both vowed to extort revenge, each declaring the other his mortal enemy.
As the young badger could not remember his name, Skarlath named him Sunflash after the distinctive golden stripe running down his snout. The two young beasts quickly became inseparable friends and traveled throughout Mossflower Woods together, defending the weak and helpless and growing older. Sunflash's reputation quickly spread throughout the land. He eventually molded his hornbeam limb into a fearsome, stone-spiked warclub, calling it his mace.
Meanwhile, Swartt grows stronger and smarter. He travels the northern lands and eventually ends up at the camp of Bowfleg, a fat ferret with a large horde who has settled down in a plentiful land. As an earlier rival of Swartt's, he is suspicious, and rightly so: with the help of his seer fox Nightshade, Swartt cunningly murders Bowfleg with a goblet that had poison smeared on the rim and inside. Swartt assumed leadership over his large horde and took his daughter, Bluefen, as his mate.
At this point, Sunflash and Skarlath had spent several seasons in the Lingl-Dubbo cave, the home of the families of Tirry Lingl the hedgehog and Bruff Dubbo the mole. During the period of time he was there, he got bitten twice by an adder, in his side and back. Sunflash was eventually called to the mountain Salamandastron in his dreams, and so he traveled there to become Badger Lord. He and Skarlath parted ways, and Sunflash became Lord of the Mountain. Swartt Sixclaw and his large horde have passed through the Redwall region of Mossflower, which was efficiently defended by the resident squirrels and otters. However, the nursemaid of Swartt's infant son was killed, and the infant ferret lost in the woods. He was retrieved by the good-hearted woodlanders and taken to the Abbey.
At the Abbey, the young ferret's fate was determined. Abbess Meriam and Bella of Brockhall decided to entrust the baby to the care of Bryony, a young mousemaid, and Togget, her sensible mole friend. The ferret was named Veil by Bella, and as the seasons turn he grew into a young adult in the Abbey. As a youngster, he was naughty and mischievous, but as a young adult his true vermin nature began to show through, as the ferret would steal, lie, and be generally unpleasant to all, especially his adopted mother, Bryony. He was eventually banished from the Abbey when he attempted (and failed) to poison Friar Bunfold. Bryony, feeling his banishment was unjust, left the Abbey to track the ferret down. Her molefriend Togget accompanied her. Together they followed Veil as he wandered through Mossflower. The young ferret, remaining unapologetic and as mean as ever, makes life difficult for the mousemaid and her friend.
Leagues away, Swartt came upon Salamandastron and launched an attack. Together with a smooth-talking ferret corsair named Zigu, an attack was mounted and war began. Zigu was eventually killed by a skilled swordshare of the Long Patrol named Sabretache, and Swartt's horde grew once more. With the help of neighboring woodlanders, the vermin attack was deflected, though Nightshade killed Skarlath with a poison arrow. Distraught with grief, Sunflash tracked her down and slaughtered her in the forest. Swartt and his depleted horde fled to the mountains west of Salamandastron.
Veil, Bryony and Togget reached the same mountains, Bat Mountpit, from the east, and Veil met his father for the first time. Neither was impressed by the other. Sunflash was stunned and captured by Swartt, and Bryony encountered the evil ferret. Swartt tried to kill her by throwing a spear; Veil, in a moment that betrayed his true emotions toward the mousemaid, saved her life by taking the spear, dying in the process. Sunflash then kills Swartt by throwing him from a mountain. Bryony leaves with her friend and the badger, believing that despite Veil's sacrifice, he could not have been able to completely abandon his evil nature.
Sunflash, Bryony and Togget returned to Redwall. Bryony was later made Abbess and Togget is made Foremole. Sunflash met Bella, who is his mother, for the first time since he was a youngster. He stayed with her until her death many seasons later, and he then returned to the western coast to rule at Salamandastron.
- The scene in which Sunflash arrives at Salamandastron (both narration and dialogue) is lifted word-for-word from the last chapter of Mossflower.
- 1995, UK, Hutchinson Children's Books Ltd., ISBN 0091767210, Pub. Date: July 1995, Hardcover
- 1996, US, Philomel Books, ISBN 0399229140, Pub. Date: February 1996, Hardcover
- 1996, UK, Red Fox, ISBN 0099600919, Pub. Date: July 1996, Paperback
- 1997, US, Ace, ISBN 9780441004164, Pub. Date: February 1997, Paperback
- 2004, US, Puffin, ISBN 9780142401422, Pub. Date: May 2004, Paperback
- 2007, UK, Red Fox, ISBN 186230243X, Pub. Date: August 2007, Paperback
- 2007, US, Red Fox, ISBN 186230243X, Pub. Date: September 2007, Paperback
- 2010, US, Firebird Books, ISBN 9780142401422, Pub. Date: January 2010, Paperback
|Books in the Redwall Chronicles, by Brian Jacques|
Redwall | Mossflower | Mattimeo | Mariel of Redwall | Salamandastron | Martin the Warrior | The Bellmaker | Outcast of Redwall | Pearls of Lutra | The Long Patrol | Marlfox | The Legend of Luke | Lord Brocktree | Taggerung | Triss | Loamhedge | Rakkety Tam | High Rhulain | Eulalia! | Doomwyte | The Sable Quean | The Rogue Crew