Brian Jacques, author of the iconic Redwall series for young adults, passed away yesterday at 71. Whenever people like this die, I’m always surprised, even though I didn’t even know the man was still alive. However, I’m genuinely sad about this one. The Redwall books were some of my favorites between 5th grade and through junior high. His stories were entertaining, his characters always well drawn out (even if they were mice, rabbits and badgers) and his prose beautiful. I remember when I began reading Harry Potter in 7th grade, I told my dad that while they were good, the Redwall books were—by far—the superior series quality-wise.
I brought all my Redwall books with me to Michigan, and though I don’t have many of his later books, I still have the classics: Redwall, Mossflower, Marial of Redwall. I’ve been meaning to re-read them sometime soon; maybe this summer. If anything, it will be honor of Mr. Jacques, one of the greatest though under-appreciated storytellers of recent times.