By Brian Jacques
Slagar the Fox is bent on revenge - and decided to carry demise and destruction to Redwall Abbey. amassing his evil band round him, Slagar plots to strike on the middle of the Abbey. His crafty and cowardly plan is to thieve the Redwall young ones - and Mattimeo, Matthias's son, is to be the most important prize of all . . .
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Additional info for Mattimeo (Redwall, Book 3)
K. Bollard stresses the tight interlace structure of the Four Branches: "The events of one episode are made clear by comparison with other similar but different episodes" (69-70). Similarly, Jeffrey Gantz believes these tales contain "a highly structured matrix of thematic parallels" (Gantz, Mabinogion 28). By omitting part of the story, Lanier has broken this interlaced structure. And, of course, moving this concluding part of the Fourth Branch to a position ahead of the Second and Third Branches damages the structure further.
In a footnote he defines Annwn as "the Realm of Faerie" (13), rather than as the Welsh Land of the Dead. He omits Efnisien's repentance, so that the destruction of the cauldron appears to be part of the general battle rather than a heroic self-sacrifice. Most importantly, there is no indication of the wholesale slaughter of the Irish people or the five pregnant women who survive to repopulate the island. Instead, Colum stresses the fact that there were only seven Welsh survivors of the battle, from which a reader may infer that the Irish were the winners in this encounter.
The only edition that offers any competition is Gwyn Thomas and Kevin Crossley-Holland's Tales from the Mabinogion, published by Gollancz in 1984, slightly more than one hundred years after Sidney Lanier introduced the Mabinogion to English-speaking children. Whereas Gwyn Jones provides a lively and imaginative romp through the Welsh legends, Thomas and Crossley-Holland main- Retellings of the Mabinogi 41 tain a dignified stateliness, which, while internally consistent, is less in keeping with the high-spirited humor of the original.
Mattimeo (Redwall, Book 3) by Brian Jacques