Monday, February 7, 2011

Blood 'n' Vinegar

I just learned the most heartbreaking news ever.

Just two days ago, one of the most beloved children's authors died. One who breathed life into talking animals: warriors, vermin, abbots and abbesses alike. One who blessed the world with tales of an eternally young boy and his dog. One who I will always regard in high esteem; an author who wove together some of the most fascinating tales that many people will hold in their hearts forever.

Yes, dear friends. I'm talking about Brian Jacques.

I just read the news from whisper's blog, and also several online articles to confirm the fact. He died at the age of 71, of a heart attack.

My first thought was, I hope he was saved, but alas, I won't know until I get to Heaven myself.

My second thought was, No more Redwall?!? No more Ben and Ned.... no more.... no more....

However, his last book, The Rogue Crew, will be published in March. I'll be looking forward to it, though it'll be a bittersweet read.

My third thought was, Wow. Look at what he's left behind: over 20 books for us to read and cherish and remember him by. 21 Redwall books, 3 books from the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series, among several other books. 

He's left behind quite an incredible armada of tales. And I know for a fact that they've left a permanent mark on me. His epic tales of good and evil opened doors to other worlds-- worlds I was better for having visited.

And as an author, too, he was impacted me. His stories were A and B the C of D, without reserve. As a writer, I hope to one day be at least half as decent of a storyteller that he was.

Do me a favor, for the late Brian Jaqcues, please. Comment and tell me what your favorite book of his was, and your favorite thing about the world of Redwall.

And then go back and re-read every single Brian Jacques book you can get your hands on. 

From me, be expecting posts on each of his books, as reviews and tributes to him. 

What a legendary writer he was, let me tell you. The world feels a little emptier without him in it anymore. 

But, fellow writers, let us take up the pen he has left behind. Write epics and tales that will impact the world, as he did. Write with an energy, a zeal, and a vigor, the cry of Eulaliaaaaa! bursting from your lungs. 

Give 'em blood 'n' vingar, chaps. Wot wot!

That said...
Without further ado,

Thank you, Brian Jacques. And farewell.


Jane said...

That is so sad... I almost started crying. I love his books so much and I have so much respect for him as a writer.

One of my favorite Redwall books was the Pearls of Lutra because I loved all the clues.

I get the rest of them mixed up in my mind a litle bit, but my favorite character was Briony from the Outcast of Redwall. I don't know why, I just liked her a lot.

Noah Arsenault said...

My favorite was Redwall, the first. I WILL READ EACH OF HIS BOOKS AGAIN!!

Aryana said...

I think my favorite would have to be either Mattimeo or Rakkety Tam. of course, they're all good books.

Everyone's Favorite Composer said...

Wow. That's unfortunate now, isn't it?

Well I only finished 2 and a half of them so I've gotta agree with Yana and go with Mattimeo. That was the only one that I literally couldn't put down no matter how hard I tried (and got in trouble at school many times). Maybe I'll read the rest of them.

Polka Dot said...

I nearly burst into tears when I heard this earlier today... for some reason it never occurred to me that this could happen. :( His books shaped my childhood--I would be a different person without them. My sister and our two best friends read every book and "played Redwall" countless times, always arguing over which one of us got to be which awesome squirrel, etc.

I haven't read his two most recent books, and now I'm just going to have to do that. And weep.

Anonymous said...

*siiiiigggghhh* Soooo sad that he died, I still can't even fully comprehend the hugeness of that sad fact...

My favorite book was always martin the warrior, in fact that was the book that got me totally hooked on reading, if not for it...who knows if I'd have learned to love books had I not read martin the warrior. Everything about Brian's writing was EPIC, I am still amazed at how real his characters were, how each time one died it made me wanna cry. What an awesome writer.

-The Bunny Slipper owner

Varon said...

Rakkety Tam was my favorite, followed by Martin the Warrior. It was quite a crushing blow when I heard the news from Bryan Davis.

whisper said...

Sadness, sadness! But this is a very well-written, saddening, and yet heartening tribute, Chayal. Your line "His epic tales of good and evil opened doors to other worlds-- worlds I was better for having visited" rings especially true to me. Very well-said.

I read his books once through and, years ago, started them a second time around but never finished. Sometime, someday, when I'm not so busy, I'll start them over again.

As for my favorite book, I can't choose a particular favorite one; each had wonderful quotes, beloved characters, and epic tales. A few favorites were Loamhedge, Marlfox, Mossflower, High Rhulain, The Long Patrol, Taggerung... ack, the memories of epicness are piling up inside me as I type these names, and it hurts! It hurts! I must read them again, I must!

Out of time,

Star-Dreamer said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe it! I don't want to believe it! He was such a legend... an actual living legend... and now he's just the legend without the living part.

I love his books so much. As for my favorites... well, it's hard to decide. I really enjoyed Rackety Tam and I think the Legend of Look is my ultimate favorite, but I love them all... I love them all so much. I don't have all of the books, but I'll have to read them all over again when I get the chance.

Sad, sad day... :(

Miss Pickwickian said...

These books were such a huge part of my childhood!!

Thanks for the sweet post.

Sarah said...

Alas for Brian Jacques . . . although it's been a while since his death, I still feel sad when I think about it . . . I've been reading a lot of Redwall lately, and I started the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman recently.

It's weird . . . I never really think of any of my favorite authors being able to die. I always imagine them as a sort of Ben/Ned type person, only they do get old.

My favorite Redwall books are these: High Rhulain, Marlfox, and Rakketty Tam. No way can I choose a favorite character.

Alas and alack for Mr. Jacques!
-Lady Sarah, Dreadnaught of Berinfell, Swordmaiden of Alleble, or Elven Princess of Rivendell, depending on who you ask.

Ley Firewalker said...

Wait... WHAT??? How did I not hear about this????? I LOVE his Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series... I saw the link on your sidebar to this post and flipped! :( His Castaways series had such a special touch...

The Director said...

@ Ley.... yes, yes they did. I love those books more than any of his Redwall ones. All three make me cry, and I love Ben and Ned :) Around the time I found this out, I was going to write him a letter asking for another Castaways story, too.......