Mossflower (Redwall, Book 2)
Brian Jacques, Gary Chalk
The thrilling prequel to "Redwall". The clever and greedy wildcat Tsarmina becomes ruler of all Mossflower Woods and is determined to govern the peaceful woodlanders with an iron paw. The brave mouse Martin and quick-talking mouse thief Gonff meet in the depths of Kotir Castle's dungeon. The two escape and resolve to end Tsarmina's tyrannical rule. Joined by Kinny the mole, Martin and Gonff set off on a dangerous quest for Salamandastron, where they are convinced that their only hope, Boar the Fighter, still lives.
but good-hearted and an able-bodied shanty singer.’ Ben Stickle raised a paw. ‘I vote we rescue Gonff. We’d be ashamed to call ourselves true woodlanders, leaving one of our own in Kotir prison.’ Billum lifted a velvety paw. ‘Hurr, do moi vote count whoil gaffer Foremole’s not yurr?’ Bella thought for a moment while they all digested the meaning of the rustic molespeech. ‘Of course, Billum. After all, you are Foremole’s deputy and the Corim respect your judgement as a sensible mole.’ Billum
led Bella to the farmhouse, but she collapsed near the front doorstep, panting. Sandingomm dashed indoors. ‘I’ll get something to dry you down and you can have breakfast.’ Bella shook her head as she caught her breath. ‘No time, friend. Some water to drink, then I’ll be on my way. Abbess, are you ready?’ Germaine patted Bella’s heaving flank. ‘Oh, I’m ready. But you’re not, Bella. You need rest. You’d never make it back like that, so lie still awhile.’ Still panting with exertion, the badger
food, just like a pet. That there is my boat. It’s about finished. I was going to try it soon in the stream.’ Martin felt the sturdy polished hull. ‘It’s beautifully crafted, Log-a-Log. You know about boats, then?’ The shrew picked up a spokeshave. He took a sliver off the stern. ‘Ships, friend, ships. Though I’m a ferry-puller, like all my family, we used to live with our tribe on the banks of the River Moss, far to the north of here. One day, several seasons ago, we were invaded by sea rats
only be us to find the truth,’ Gonff remarked, shouldering the supplies. ‘What chance do monsters stand against a Prince of Mousethieves, a warrior and a champion digger, not forgetting a shrew like yourself, matey. Come on. Let’s get going.’ Towards evening, with the mountain burning bright above them, Martin first noticed they were being watched. ‘Do you see anything, Gonff?’ he asked, when he’d told his companions. ‘No, matey, but I know what you mean. I can feel the hairs on my neck
fish, birds, and vegetables to cook with them. By craft, guile and murder they had crossed the boundless northern lands, seeking warmer climes and easier living. Bane was weary of living on his paws, always on the move. He was on the lookout for some fat prosperous little community where he could hold sway without much argument. Then he spotted Kotir. A grand ruin that had seen better days, but the possibilities were there. Backed by woodland, fronted by flatland, practically skirting a road