This is a wonderful telling of a medieval abbey inhabited by mice, hedgehogs, badgers, hares, otters, and squirrels. (I think that's it...) This is the first in the series, and by far the one with the most plot and character developement. The detail is wonderful and, well...descriptive. (This is written in the style of Watership Down, another wonderfully written book, though it has a slow part toward the middle.) There is some violence. Some of the nice mouseys (as one of my younger friends describes them as) die deaths described in sometimes too much detail. Brian Jacques (pronounced 'Jakes') is setting up the rest of the series in this one volume. My mom has a comment though:"All the Redwall books have the same plot; something threatens the [Redwall] Abbey, and the main character goes on a quest for something with some other characters. The rest of the characters stay at the abbey and try and defend it. The questors (sp?) come back at just the right time, and save the abbey until the next book." This comment, for the most part, is completely accurate. I love this series personally, but sometimes requires multiple reads to completely understand it. Once you do, you will read them even more.