Pearls of Lutra

Brian Jacques, Author, Troy Howell, Illustrator, Allan Curless, Illustrator
Brian Jacques, Author, Troy Howell, Illustrator, Allan Curless, Illustrator Philomel Books $23.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-399-22946-6
Reviewed on: 01/27/1997
Release date: 01/01/1997
In this hybrid mystery/adventure, the latest Redwall saga, six beautiful pearls are hidden in Redwall Abbey. A marauding mob of corsairs seeking the jewels kidnaps the Abbot as a bargaining chip, thereby setting the plot off in two distinct directions. In one, the denizens of the Abbey, led by the young hedgehog Tansy, must solve a series of riddles to find the pearls; theirs is a fun- and food-laden search that harks back to a similar hunt in the series opener, Redwall. Chapters of this quest alternate with a more epic tale, as the warrior mouse Martin leads a small band on a great chase across the open sea to rescue the Abbot. After an intriguing meeting with ""sealfolk,"" the rescuers snatch the Abbot off an island in a bloody-and implausible-battle with the corsairs. The triumphant return of Martin and his cohorts diminishes the importance of the hunt for the pearls, a disappointing loose end; in Redwall, Matthias puts the sword he has quested after to good use. The pearls do allow Tansy, one of a number of strong female characters in key roles, the chance to prove that she is fit to be the first Abbess-but only by throwing them away. The incomplete meshing of the two story lines, and the recycling of a plot from a previous installment, suggest that even though there is plenty of adventure left, this well-loved series may finally be running out of steam. Ages 6-up. (Jan.)
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