Tribute to Brian Jacques

Ordinarily I am adverse to more than one post in a day. I don't want readers going "ugh, he posts too much" and to stop reading - be honest. I do this with some blogs I have in my reader. If they are too inundating with posts, and the posts are super uber long, I glance, skim, or skip. And I'd hate for that to happen here.

But I feel in this case it is justified. This post in itself is in many ways belated. It couldn't be helped. This is the first I could get to it.

Brian Jacques died over the weekend of a heart attack. Which is heart-breaking. I literally stopped breathing for a minute when I found out. I'm still not over it and I've known for like four days.

Granted, he wasn't one of my best friends, but he had a large part in my life (well, his books did anyway). I mean, in the time of this blog alone (very short), I read and reviewed 6 of his books (4 here, one here, and one here).

Here's the thing about Jacques: I can't go so far as to say he's my favorite author, or the BEST of the BEST... but I'll say this. Brian Jacques is the author I have most widely read. Hands down.

I am PROUD to have read all 24 of his novels (21 Redwall, 3 Castaways). That's right, ALL 24. And I'll confess to checking my local library repeatedly over the last few months to see if there's a new one out yet. May 3rd people. There will be one more (as I thought. I figured he'd already finished and it was at the publishers. I mean you have to be ahead on these me, I'm a writer with actual published author friends). Is it May 3rd yet?! I want to read it now!

When I discovered Brian Jacques, I fell in love instantly with his friendly creature characters, and the wonderful story-telling that had descriptive food, creative songs and ballads, memorable chants, and riveting storylines. I remember even drawing some of the characters after reading about them (>.> and people, I DON'T draw). His books stuck with me, and were always a welcome source of reading escape.

Funny story about Jacques' books. I believe I discovered them around 7th or 8th grade. I read his 8 Redwall novels, and when I finished Outcast of Redwall I remember thinking, "Dang, it's too bad he's dead. More Redwall novels would be great. Imagine my surprise when The Pearls of Lutra came out! He's NOT DEAD!? AWESOME!!!! That was a great, great day in the life of a book-lovin' kid like me.

And then he published 16 more Redwall books (soon to be 17)!

I don't know that I have a favorite novel by him. There were many I liked better than others. High Rhulain, Doomwyte and The Sable Quean are some of my more recent favorites.

I think as far as all-time favorites go, I'll have to pick two:

Castaways of the Flying Dutchman came out just when I was graduating High School. I remembering thinking Jacques was crazy for writing something outside of Redwall. That's CRAZY TALK! But I was SO excited to read it! And I loved it. The trilogy lost its glimmer as the novels went, but the first one was amazing, and so refreshing as a non-Redwall read.


Mossflower will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. I can't remember if I read it or Redwall first, but it's the one that's stuck with me. I still remember alot of the story, and many of the others have long been forgotten. Mossflower is also one of the 5 books that I actually OWN. And it's totally the one I tried to draw the cover page. Heh. Such great memories.

Brian Jacques will be missed as such a welcome constant in my reading list. With my words, I echo the cry of the many who know the lay of the land and can hear the tolling bells Matthias and Methuselah in the distance. Whenever trouble brews, shout for your people and victory:




To Brian Jacquesssssssssssssssss!

POST EDIT: Check out this remembrance site they created:


Tabitha said…
I'm so impressed that you've read all of his books! I read a bunch when I was little, then I saw some at a yard sale I was at with my mother-in-law and when I bought all of them she started watching for them for me and has gotten me a bunch too. (sadly I haven't had the time to read most of them - something about a 4 year old and a 2 year old) :) I had to laugh though because just like you I also thought he must be dead when I read his books long ago and was so surprised to found out he was still alive. Did you ever see the animated version? I like it and have shown my kids some on youtube but what I really loved was when it was on TV there was a short part at the end where Brian Jacques came out and talked about some part of medieval history and how he used that actual fact in his stories and I LOVED that part because he had this amazing accent for one and it was so cool to see and hear an author talk about the history he loved and how he incorporated it into his amazing books. It is so sad that he's gone but at least he was around long enough to give us what he did, and I hope to be able to someday say that I've read all his books too.

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