July 3, 2006

Book 4/12: Taggerung by Brian Jacques; New York: Ace Books, 2002; 403 pages; ISBN 0441009689.

This wasn’t what I intended to read next, but the Federalist papers are going to take me a while to finish. Taggerung is set during the days of the the badgermum Cregga (Rose-eyes), though I can’t remember offhand which of the previous books involved her offhand (it’s been over five years, heh); this is after those, though. Anyway, the title character is kidnapped to be raised by a vermin tribe as their warrior champion, and the story involves both how he finds his way back to his family and how Redwall choses a new Abbot/Abbess after many seasons without one. This was a better book than the previous one in some ways, though there were a few minor things that irritated me. First, sometimes Jacques will explain a situation a little more than it needs to be (telling the underlying motives that might otherwise by deduced), though that may just be that the age group he’s aiming at doesn’t get the subtle stuff that easily (and I’m older now than when I first started reading them). Secondly, the end of this one had an element of Deus-ex-machina, but one that tied in with the rest of the book’s happenings enough to be plausible. The other irritation was a sort of nature/nurture irritation that’s probably just me having had too many anthropology classes and reading into things too much. Part of my mind was saying, why would an otter raised by vermin not be like vermin?, and the other part was saying, dude, it’s about mice and squirrels and otters and ferrets and foxes; what does it matter? Overall, it is, as is usual for a Redwall book, an engaging story with an ensemble cast of fun characters. And way too many descriptions of mouth-watering food to be reading on an empty stomach. >.<

Triss is up next, I think.

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