The Redwall book series by the late Brian Jacques is one of the biggest and best fantasy series for kids ever written. Spanning nearly three decades and over 20 books, the stories of the titular red-stoned abbey and the mice that live within it were massively popular with kids of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s
Though the franchise came to an end in 2011 due to Jacques's unfortunate death from an aneurysm at the age of 71, the 22 books that he left us with continue to remain a favorite of kids worldwide. Even today, we all still love characters like Matthias, Martin the Warrior, and Mariel of Redwall. Here are just a few of the really excellent books to be found in the Redwall series.
The story that started it all. Redwall introduced us to the world of Redwall Abbey, the legend of Martin the Warrior, and to the kind of epic story we could expect from this franchise. A young mouse named Matthias is orphaned and forced to flee to Redwall Abbey, only for it to be attacked years later by the same sea-rat that killed his family, Cluny The Scourge.
With a lovable cast of characters, genuine tension and some surprisingly dark moments (main characters straight-up die throughout the book), it set the tone for the rest of the series, and we loved it for it. They even made it into a cartoon series, along with Mattimeo and Martin the Warrior.
The followup to Redwall jumps back in history to when Martin the Warrior first comes to Mossflower Wood and founds the Abbey along with refugees from another abbey called Loamhedge. The story here is full of enough political intrigue and betrayal to make George R. R. Martin blush, and it's interesting to get a look at a history that the first book only hints at.
Mariel of Redwall (1991)
In a story of personal revenge, Mariel, a young mouse escaping from a group of pirates, searches for her father and aims to kill the sea-rats that had kept her imprisoned. One of the few Redwall books with a female protagonist (who is one of the series' absolute best), it also tells the story of Redwall Abbey's famous giant bell, a plot point from previous stories!
The badgers are easily the most badass of the hero races of the Redwall series; they live in the giant volcano fortress of Salamandastron, defend Mossflower from any number of scary things, and fly into a rage called the "Bloodwrath" whenever they fight. So of course, the first book to focus on a badger lord protagonist is one of the most badass of all the books.