UK 1st Edition Cover
Author(s) Brian Jacques
Illustrator Gary Chalk
Cover artist Pete Lyon
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Redwall
Genre(s) Fantasy novel
Publisher Hutchinson (UK) & Philomel (US)
Publication date 1988
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 420 (UK Hardback) & 431 (US Hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-09-172160-1 (UK Hardback) & ISBN 0-399-21549-2 (US Hardback)
OCLC Number 17983913
Preceded by Redwall
Followed by Mattimeo

Mossflower is a fantasy novel by Brian Jacques, published in 1988. It is the second book published in the Redwall series, though the third chronologically.


Plot introduction

Mossflower tells the story of Martin the Warrior, who finds himself trespassing on the land of Verdauga Greeneyes as Verdauga lies sick and near death. With his last strength, Verdauga struggles to make a decision on who should replace him as ruler of Mossflower Woods. His daughter, Tsarmina, has a fox healer named Fortunata give her brother Gingivere herbs to unwittingly poison Verdauga; when Verdauga dies, her brother is framed. As Martin, Gonff, and Dinny the mole join together in a quest to Salamandastron, a fiery mountain ruled by the wise and noble badgers, a resistance against Tsarmina's rule starts to rebel and defy her rules. Join Martin and his fellow prisoner Gonff as they are embroiled in the battle against Verdauga's ruthless daughter, Tsarmina, where a bloody battle between good and evil ensues, resulting in the end of one side. The battle culminates to a final point in which one side's ruler dies.

Plot summary

US cover of Mossflower

The story begins in the Mossflower Wood, where a community of animals suffers under the tyranny of a ruling wildcat named Verdauga. When a mouse from the north, Martin the Warrior, comes to Mossflower Woods, he is captured and brought to the castle Kotir, where Martin's sword is broken by Verdauga's daughter, Tsarmina. Martin is imprisoned within the Kotir dungeons. As he is taken away to the dungeons, he says, "You should have killed me when you had the chance, cat, because I vow that I will slay you one day!" Tsarmina poisons Verdauga with the help of the vixen Fortunata and blames it on her brother Gingevere. She places her brother in prison, and takes the throne for herself, while Martin realizes that with this, he will be staying there for the whole winter.

However, the end of winter is when Martin meets Gonff the Mousethief in the dungeons for his habit of stealing food from the Kotir storages. Meanwhile, Abbess Germaine and the surviving members of Loamhedge, an abbey stricken with the Great Sickness, arrive and join the woodlanders. Martin and Gonff escape with help from the Corim (Council Of Resistance In Mossflower) and join with Dinny the mole and Log-a-Log Bigclub of the Guosim, on a quest to find Boar the Fighter, Badger Lord of Salamandastron. Bella, Boar's daughter, believed only her father could defeat Tsarmina and put an end to her cruel reign.

After a journey through Bat Mountpit and the Toadlands, the companions reach Salamandastron and meet with Boar the Fighter. Boar then reforges Martin's broken sword with metal from a meteorite, but is killed while fighting his mortal enemy Ripfang the searat who had attacked Salamandastron times before. Ripfang's former oarslaves (including Martin's childhood friend Timballisto, and several members of Log a Log's former tribe) take over the searat ship, Bloodwake, with the help from Martin and his allies and return to Mossflower Woods, where Martin kills Tsarmina and destroys Kotir by flooding it and launching boulders from Timballisto's ballista at it. In the final battle with her, Martin is left near death. However, with the help of the woodlanders, he eventually recovers, but his memory is never the same thereafter, as shown in The Legend of Luke. From the ruins of Kotir would eventually rise what would later become Redwall Abbey. The flooded Kotir is now the Abbey Pond of Redwall Abbey.

The book ends with Bella's son, Sunflash, finding Salamandastron and becoming its ruler.

Characters in Mossflower

  • Martin the Warrior
  • Gonff the Prince of Mousethieves
  • Tsarmina Greeneyes
  • Bella of Brockhall
  • Young Dinny
  • Brogg
  • Old Dinny
  • Abbess Germaine

Continuity errors

Scragg, one of the officers in Kotir, alternates throughout the story between a weasel, a stoat, and a ferret, although his rank stays the same.

Book divisions (English)

  • Book 1: Kotir
  • Book 2: Salamandastron
  • Book 3: Of Water and Warriors


  • (Dutch) Het Moswoud
    • Het Moswoud: De Koningin van Duizend Ogen
    • Het Moswoud: De Weg Naar de Vuurberg
    • Het Moswoud: De Afrekening
  • (Finnish) Sammalkukkametsän Sota
  • (French) Rougemuraille : Martin le guerrier
    • La Reine aux yeux multiples
    • La Montagne de feu
    • Le Retour triomphal.
  • (German)
    • In den Fängen der Wildkatze
    • Mossflower
    • Kotir: die Burg des Schreckens
  • (Italian) Fior Muschiato
  • (Norwegian) Moslblom
  • (Swedish) Mossblomma
  • (Russian) Котир: Война с Дикой Кошкой

Publication history


  • A voluntary DeviantArt Artist group wants to extend the Redwall animated series to an unofficial, fan-based 4th installment; a 90-120 min. animated feature film based on Mossflower. The chances of Mossflower - The Movie being produced any further by this group is unlikely as the rights weren't approved.

External links


Preceded by
Martin the Warrior
Redwall Series
(chronological order)
Succeeded by
The Legend of Luke
Preceded by
Redwall Series
(publication order)
Succeeded by

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