Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Books: The Ribbajack


I loved Brian Jacques' Redwall series as a youngster, so it surprised me to see some of his youth fiction on the bargain shelf of the local Books-A-Million. For a paltry $3 (less than the cost of a magazine in this day and age), I picked up the short story collection, titled "The Ribbajack & Other Curious Yarns."

The title story is a fun tale about a particularly loathesome boy named Archibald Smifft, who tries to summon the Ribbjack. Jacques' plot is light and predictable (similar to most of his Redwall books, now that I think of it), but the focus here is on description and incident. If you want a deep reflection on the nature of good and evil, read something else.

There's a wonderful stiff-upper-lippedness about the whole affair; after all, it turns out that the most formidable foe Smifft encounters is an old British soldier. Aside from "The Ribbajack," there are five other short stories to suit your fancy, so give the bargain bin a look next time you visit.

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