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Essay: Scary SImilarity


Articledrive This is an essay. It is not a policy or guideline, it simply reflects some opinions of its authors. Discuss this essay on the talk page or in the comments below.


BE PREPARED BEFORE READING, THIS CONTAINS TONS OF SPOILERS FOR SOME OF THE BOOKS. (Namely, Redwall, Mattimeo,Mossflower, Martin the Warrior, Marlfox, Triss, and all the books with the Painted Ones.)

There's this book I've read once entitled Swordbird. It was written by an adolescent like myself and was a fiction about,well, birds. The one thing that struck me about the book the most was the uncanny similarity it bore with the Redwall series. The basic plot was: some evil hawk arrives in the forest, starts capturing woodbirds and making them his slaves. This hawk antagonist commands a horde of more than fivescore crows and ravens. Sound familiar? Even into the first three chapters, I began to wonder if the author had ever read Redwall and was plagiarizing parts of the different books.

The evil hawk wore an eyepatch, like Cluny the Scourge. He commanded a horde of slavers--like the ones of Slagar the Cruel in Mattimeo, and he was gathering up slaves for the construction of his fortress--like Badrang the Tyrant!   The dishes the protagonist birds prepared were very like the ones of the Redwallers, with the exception of bugs, because, well, they're birds. In the book, there was also a traveling band of theater birds, resembling the Rambling Rosehip Players in Martin the Warrior. Both player groups had theme songs, and both songs had lines about 'bringing tears to eyes or giving you joy'. There was a gluttonous gannet among the players who was just like Ballaw de Quincewold, or Florian Dugglewoof Wilffachop, of the Sensational Wandering Noonvale Companions Troupe from Marlfox. The weapons of the birds were very commercial; swords, bows and arrows. But there were sabers and rapiers included, and even though they appear in some other books, they are still very Redwall-like.

Now, back to the main antagonist; the hawk also owned a slave compound, and the description of the compound resembled the compounds in Martin the Warrior, Marlfox, and High Rhulain. The slaves escaped, just like the incident in Martin the Warrior. Later in the book, two birds, one of the protagonist woodbirds and an escaped slavebird, go on a quest to find the ex-slavebird's tribe and take an item they need to save the forest. Along the way, they are attacked by a shabby band of jackdaws with unconditional language who seemingly attack anyone who enters their domain. *cough* The Painted Ones *cough**cough*Gawtrybe*cough* Suffering from the wounds inflicted in the encounter with the jackdaws, the ex-slavebird died soon after they arrrived at his tribe. Very similar to the cases of Felldoh and Shogg; slave martyrdom. All in all (maybe I should have mentioned this earlier), the woodbirds put their faith in some magical bird spirit who owned a magnificent sword. The bird spirit speaks to some woodbirds in their sleep. The Spirit of Martin the Warrior!

Near the end of the book there is one big heated battle, where the big baddie hawk and his horde die. No casualties, oddly. This big battle can relate to tons of battles in various books. The book ended with an excerpt from the woodbird librarian's records, about the eight seasons after the battle, the founding of a library, marriage, and such. How many Redwall books end in record excerpts? Plus, the writing style of the except was a lot like the writing styles of all the Redwall concluding excerpts.

The successor of this book (Sword Quest) sounded less like the Redwall books, which was good, except for one thing. It was a prequel, like Mossflower, about the origins of the spirit bird. The spirit bird had companions. There was a comic musician eagle, like Gonff the Mousethief, and a reserved little woodpecker, who reminded me of Young Dinny. Yes, it was like rereading Mossflower with a bird touch. Altogether, the similarities were really very freaky. At the end of the first book (the one like the mashup of differing Redwall books), there was a whole feature on the author, favorites included. Her favorite book was NOT Redwall. In fact, Redwall was never mentioned among the favorites and the really long interview. It was an entirely different occurence that made her write the books. The fact that her stories resembled the Redwall books were evidently coincidental.

Don't you agree? Tell me if I mistook something.

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