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Happy holidays everyone! In our 8th anniversary release, I promised in coming weeks a new feature would be coming. I am pleased to announce that it is here! Unfortunately, it took longer than I anticipated because the package I was expecting was shipped from China!
Since 2011, I've been attempting to verify the alleged 28 languages (source) that Redwall is supposed to be translated into. Now, we've officially uncovered 23 of them, with the new addition of Chinese.
While conducting a deep search online, I found the Chinese editions, which are called Red City Kingdom. There are a few different versions of several of the books, and I acquired two of them. Actually receiving them proved to be difficult, which I’ll soon discuss. Now, when you see the more modern covers down below, you're going to wonder why I selected the ones that I did, so I’m going to review those books first.
As you can see, nothing is particularly different about this cover, as it’s the original UK artwork. What caught my eye though, was the other image next to it on the online listing for the book. What is that? Some sort of poster? I wasn't sure, but it appeared to me like previously unseen character artwork, artwork that looked so strange I knew this was a must-buy.
The book arrived in this plastic bag. When I turned back the cover, the character artwork was the very first page – they are actually little punch-out collectible cards. I'm not 100% sure of who they’re supposed to represent, but here is my best guess. First row: Matthias, Methuselah, Basil Stag Hare. Second row: Constance (as a male?!), Ambrose Spike, Cornflower. Third row: Silent Sam, Queen Warbeak, Cluny the Scourge. Fourth row: Killconey, Sela, Asmodeus. In particular, the fox in modern medical clothing was incredibly amusing. (H/T to Julian for updating my guesses with a correct translation)
Then I turned the first page, which consisted of full Christopher Denise artwork from The Great Redwall Feast (p. 58-59)! This made no sense. The rest of the book is like any other publishing of Redwall – same map and chapter icons.
This second Redwall translation got my attention because I wasn't 100% clear which one it was…as you’ll observe, this is the UK Mattimeo cover, with Matthias from the US 10th anniversary of Redwall cover superimposed on top of it – poorly. Note the lower half of Asmodeus' body on the sword, with the rest nowhere to be found. This was too comical for me to pass up, so I had to get it.
The book also arrived in a similar plastic bag. The letters on the front pop out, like the more modern Redwall editions. When I flipped back the cover, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it had a flap, just like the dust jacket of a hardcover novel. It was firm and sturdy, and in fact all of the pages in this version are high quality. The first two consisted of the front and back cover artwork of the original Redwall novel.
Now, this is where things get more interesting. The book does utilize the original chapter icons, however they've been made smaller, and they do not receive a new page each time a new chapter begins. Every page of the book is framed with the artwork from the back cover. Additionally, new full-page illustrations are sprinkled across it, which I'll share now.
Finally, the back of the book also has the dust jacket flap, with what appears to be a brief bio of Brian Jacques as well as references to possibly similar editions of Mattimeo and Mossflower, which are now on my list, as they too may have these full-page drawings.
Next up, we have what I'd consider the more modern editions of the books, as they all feature a styling inspired by the 2010 repackaging. Each novel has been split up into three books, which are available separately, as well as in a box set.
Redwall - 红城勇士 or 紅城王國 – Red City Kingdom
Mossflower - 红城王国之野猫终结者 – Wildcats Terminator
Mattimeo - 红城王国之大战蒙面狐
Mariel of Redwall - 风暴勇士 - Storm Warriors
Salamandastron - 獾主的城堡 – Badger Lord's Castle
The entire collection is also available in one giant box.
How can you get these? Here’s where the difficulty arises:
- For the earlier editions, like the ones I own, the best resource is a Chinese website for used books called KongFZ. While navigating it isn't tough, you’ll discover, as I did, that you can’t check out without a Chinese keyboard. Luckily, a connection assisted me in getting these books (shout-out to that individual). Once again, you will need a Chinese keyboard, or you’ll need to know someone in China.
- Modern editions can be found at tmall.com, a well-known Chinese retailer. I have not tried to check out here, but I'm willing to bet it's also quite difficult.
- Modern editions can also be found at Zxhsd (direct search link) and Dangdang.com.
- I think your best bet at buying a modern edition is going to be Amazon China (direct search link), as the layout is just like Amazon.com or Amazon UK. If you have a tab with both open, it appears as if you may be able to sort it out properly.
These other search terms might prove useful:
- 【英】布里安 雅克
As always, we're still on the quest to locate all Redwall translations. Do you have one we haven’t covered? Contact us!
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