The Rogue Crew is the twenty-second book in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. It was published in 2011 by Philomel, and I believe it was done so posthumously. The Redwall wiki (spoilers!) can be found here, and info about Brian Jacques can be found here.
“Redwall Abbey has never seen a creature more evil or more hideous than Razzid Wearat. Captain of the Greenshroud, a ship with wheels that can sail through water as well as the forest, this beast is a terror of both land and sea, traveling Mossflower Country, killing nearly everything—and everyone—in his path. And his goal? To conquer Redwall Abbey.
From Salamandastron to the High North Coast, the brave hares of the Long Patrol team up with the fearless sea otters of the Rogue Crew to form a pack so tough, so rough, only they can defend the Abbey and defeat Razzid Wearat once and for all.”
Unfortunately, the last Redwall book is also a forgettable one. Characters remain the same and are indistinguishable from each other, the villain is flat and boring, the plot is exactly the same as numerous other Redwall plots (and not even as good as others that deal with invasions, such as The Long Patrol) and the first three-quarters of the book are set-up for the last quarter, which makes for an anticlimactic invasion and end. It was sad to end the series on this note, especially since The Sable Quean was such a nice departure from the monotonous regularity of Redwall.
However, how Razzid is defeated is pretty unique for the series. It reminded me a little bit of the demise of Zwilt the Shade in The Sable Quean. It’s definitely not how the reader expects Razzid to be killed. Also, speaking of uniqueness, Lady Violet is not the typical Badger Lord, which is refreshing. Sadly, she only appears twice, at the beginning and at the end.
Poor Swiffo! I mean, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen to you, but still. Jacques seems to like making the genuinely likable characters die so that everyone is sad, including the reader.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Warnings: Violence/fighting, death.
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Skor rose, hefting his massive battleaxe. “So, what think ye, Nightfur? We number three an’ a half score—that’s mine an’ Ruggan’s crew with yore Long Patrol warriors. Are ye game t’go up agin’ a shipload o’ vermin?”
Rake needed no second invitation. “Ye have mah paw, mah blades an’ mah heart on it, Skor. Taegether we’ll find ‘em. ‘Tis guid tae be with a Rogue Crew again. Sergeant, form up the column tae march!”
The Rogue Crew, despite being the last book, is not a good finish for the series. Granted, all the books have separate arcs, but I would much rather have the last book in Redwall be The Sable Quean then The Rogue Crew. The Rogue Crew is too formulaic, too predictable, too indistinguishable from other Redwall books to be a good Redwall book.
You can buy this here: The Rogue Crew (Redwall)