Rakkety Tam: A Tale from Redwall

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Another “Redwall Abbey” series book (#17)! We have read and enjoyed them. We have several of them. In Rakkety Tam, both the badger mountain of Salamandastron and the Redwall Abbey are invaded by a wolverine named Gulo the Savage and his white-furred armies from the land of snow and ice across the great sea, but are defended by a squirrel named Rakkety Tam McBurl who, with his mate Wild Doogy Plumm, has come from the north country to serve the foolish squirrel king and queen Araltum and Idga. Yes, the Redwall books are a little formulaic. Peaceful field and forest dwelling creatures are attacked or enslaved by tyrants and then are saved by unlikely or unexpected heroes who fight and win despite seemingly insurmountable odds. However, in their defense, they are clean. You can let your children read them with little fear of anything objectionable (the only thing I found in this one was a few references about dispatching evil beasts to “Hellgates”). Also, there is a clear feeling of right and wrong in which those who stand for the right never lower themselves by stooping to the level of those who are in the wrong. At the same time, they are not mere “feel good” books because characters do die (in fact, there have been times when reading aloud that I found my voice cracking and my eye tearing just a bit when some brave beast goes down while fighting for the right), but one thing I like is that the good guys are always characterized by a strong sense of duty and are willing to do what they have to regardless of the consequences. And, finally, the books are just plain fun reading. Eulaaaaliaaaa!

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