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This issue’s cover illustration by Fangorn is taken from Brian Jacques’ Lord Brocktree (Hutchinson, 0 09 176877 2, £12.99), the thirteenth title in the internationally best-selling Redwall series. Salamandastron, the ancestral home of the Badger Lords, is under threat from Ungatt Trunn, an enemy whose power would seem to be absolute and whose evil knows no bounds. The only hope for survival is the badger Lord Brocktree who is drawn to the fortress by an undeniable sense of destiny. Brian Jacques' masterful storytelling as always spins a web of high adventure that will enthral the reader from the first page to the last. Thanks to Hutchinson Children’s Books for their help in producing this September cover.
Fans of books such as those in the 'Horrible Histories' series will have little difficulty in accommodating themselves to this fairly breathless gallop through the world of ancient Irish stories. Presented in tabloid journalism style as a mixture of retellings and 'top facts', and illustrated in black and white cartoon and comic strip format, this is not, however, a volume likely to appeal to the purist, Irish or otherwise. It is, nevertheless, a tribute to the power and passion of the original stories that, even in versions such as these, some of their magic remains. It is all good harmless fun, though the relentlessly jocular tone is best dealt with in small doses.