|Marlfox (1998) [Novel]|
by Brian Jacques
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While on a long journey through Mossflower woods, Janglur Swifteye, the warrior squirrel, and his family have made camp to rest for the night. Songbreeze, Janglur's daughter, is speaking quietly with her father. Suddenly, Janglur pauses, unmoving, and cautions Song to be silent...
Thinking Janglur unaware of their presence, two Marlfoxes named Vannan and Ascrod ready their battle axes and stealthily approach the family of squirrels. Although Janglur is a seasoned warrior, he and his family are in extreme danger. Marlfoxes have the ability to disappear from sight. After all, Marlfoxes are magic!
At the same time elsewhere in the woods, the Wandering Noonvale Companions Troupe is practicing one of its many entertaining acts. Dwopple, a mischevious mousebabe, nephew of Deesum, one of the performers, is firing slingstones at Florian Dugglewoof Wilffachop, the hare leader of the Troupe. As alway, Deesum, defends Dwopple resolutely, unaware of his scampish ways.
Later, as Dwopple toddles off toward the woods with his bowl of a meagre broth consisting of shriveled apples, stale rye bread, and dandelion stalks, two Marlfoxes emerge from the woods. They pretend to befriend the Troupe, but their poor manners soon shows them for what they are. Conflict breaks out -- but as soon as the entertainers take their eyes off the devious duo, they have disappeared into thin air. And where is Dwopple?
At the abbey creatures are toiling under the hot sun to bring buckets of water from the abbey pond, to save the orchards from the long-lasting drought. They are unaware that the peace will soon be shattered. They are unaware of the trouble fast coming their way. And, Redwall Abbey is without Abbot or Abbess, or even an Abbey Champion...