Reading Mossflower by Brian Jacques (the prequel to Redwall) to my children in the evenings before bed has been sheer delight. In addition to the adventure themes that stir the imaginations of my kids, I’m continually struck by the virtue and wisdom of the characters woven into Jacques’s writing. Of course, he also weaves the vices of avarice and power seeking into the antagonists.
Without giving away too much of the plot, I want to comment on a particular point in the book that highlights such virtue and charity. The Woodlanders of Mossflower are a free, peaceful folk, who have found themselves displaced and oppressed by the aggressive tyranny of Kotir. Throughout the story, there have been many skirmishes between the two sides, and casualties on both sides have been sustained. Late in the story, some of the Woodlanders were able to access the palace of Kotir and found the remnant of a former lake underneath it. This discovery caused them to wonder whether there indeed was a lake where the current palace of their enemies stood. They searched and indeed found the place where the river that once flowed into the lake had been redirected. Immediately, they began to search for how to cause the river to flow where it once did in order to flood the palace of Kotir. This tactic would result in a weapon of mass destruction that would bring a decisive end to the war. Continue reading “Virtue in Mossflower”