I am having a bit of trouble getting through Redwall. I feel terrible, since I know lots of people – including one of my best friends who I talk about here – loved the books, and so many people have told me they are fantastic, but I am finding reading it a bit of a battle. As I mentioned before, I have been a bit sleep deprived for the past few weeks, so it is entirely possible that I misunderstood or just missed the section where Brian Jacques explains everything but… my main problem is that I can’t visualise everything in my head because I can’t work out the proportions!
Let me explain.
Redwall takes place in a fantastical world, where animals talk and have human characteristics and wear shoes and swords and eyepatches. The main character is Matthias, a young mouse who lives in Redwall, an abbey in the middle of a forest. Here is where my problem lies. It is never clearly explained whether this abbey is human-sized, and the mice mice-sized, or if the mice are human-sized and live in a human sized abbey, or whether everything is mice-sized. Do they live in the walls of the abbey, and co-habit with humans? Other creatures take shelter in this abbey, such a badger, a hare and a family of squirrels. Is the badger normal badger-sized, and the mice mice-sized? Or are all the animals sort of evened-out, so they are all a similar size?
These questions are never answered (or if they were, I must have dozed off at that point). There is mention of a horse pulling a cart which contains two hundred rats, which makes me think that all the animals are their normal size. But if so, how does the badger fit in a mice-sized abbey? There has been several times that I have put down the book and gone: but how does that work?
I need some sort of diagram to clarify it all for me.
Until then, I am having trouble picturing everything, since I don’t know what size everything is supposed to be! An without a book filling your head with lovely images, it is hard to engage with the story. I do like the sparrows though (who speak a language called sparra – a sort of pigeon english. See what I did there?). Perhaps thats because I can see sparrows and mice talking to each other – they are almost the same size.
I know at least one of my followers is a Redwall fan. Can he (or anyone else) explain the dimensions of everyone to me, so I can settled down and finish the book?