Hello, y'all! I hope you've noticed that this is my first blog of 2016! Hurray! I just wanted to put this little author's note here because I felt like it. Continue reading at your own risk.
As we all know, Mr. James Brian Jacques, the author of everyone's favorite anthro fantasy series, died on February 5th, 2011, at the grand old age of 71 in his hometown of Liverpool England.
His 22nd, and final, Redwall book, entitled The Rogue Crew, was published posthumously on May 3rd, 2011. However, due to it not being finished, and very seldom do you see an unfinished book being published, the book had to supposedly be finished by an unidentified "ghostwriter". What I write now may not be the truth, but, this being an essay, I will bring forth some characters, plotpoints, and whom I do not believe were created by B.J., rather were created by this supposed "ghostwriter, whom I have decided to name Mr. Wraith.
I'll start with her name. While Lancejack is a title used by Long Patrol hares, Sage is a name used by:
- Lt. Sagetip, a Long Patrol officer in High Rhulain
- Sister Sage, a sister at Redwall during the events of both Mariel of Redwall and The Bellmaker.
I have seen that very seldom did Mr. Jacques ever repeat a name or title, and if he did, it may have been a simple mistake. The title Lancejack may have been on purpose, but the name Sage seems unlikely to be used more than twice.
Grumby was a male cadet of the Long Patrol under Violet Wildstripe. The name itself doesn't sound very hare-like, but of course there may be the possibility that Grumby wasn't raised at the mountain, meaning his name wouldn't sound like a normal hare's, but even in the case of a place like Camp Tussock, it would usually be commanded by a former member of the Patrol.
Ferrul was also a young haremaiden of the Long Patrol, but her name is also very similar to a whole family of characters:
- Feril Furrel
- Durby Furrel
- Mrs. Furrel
This leads me to believe that she was not created by the author we all know and love.
Twoggs was an old hogwife who was most likely related to Uggo Wiltud. B.J., when writing characters who share last names with one another, would usually specifically have them interact and have a set of dialogue points with one another. And most of us would remember when she killed herself trying to frickin' jump down the stairs to the cellars and taking a nasty fall. Yeah, I don't think hedgehogs would usually do that, and as funny as it was, I don't think B.J. would have written that.
She was a young female hedgehogs, just out of Dibbunhood, and was also very great at climbing trees, like most hedgehogs are in the real world. In Mr. Jacques' world, I never really remember hedgehogs doing much climbing. I always thought squirrels were the best. I understand that perhaps this is because she is young and wild, but still Brian wouldn't have written that in.
I know that a few Redwall books do not take place at the Abbey, but this feels more like it just didn't have enough Redwall for me. Sure, the beginning to middle feels "Jacques-y", but the ending and all that jazz doesn't cut it for me. It feels written by someone else. Someone "phantomatic", if ye catch me drift!
The beginning has the likes of Salamandastron or The Long Patrol, with the mountain playing an important role, but is not in itself the spot where all the action is at. However, due to Brian Jacque's death, Mr. Wraith picked up with what he knew how to do: introduce new characters to the overall plotline.
I like hares as much as the next blighter, but too many makes it confusing to tell who's who. In steady amounts, with things that set a lot of them apart, it's okay, but if all of them are the same, then I really can't make heads or tails of which one's the captain and who's the subaltern.
In conclusion, though I believed The Rogue Crew to be a good yarn, I thought that were some parts of it that contradicted what Brian Jacques had already set up as facts in Redwall.
Thanks for reading! :)