It is the summer of the late rose in Mossflower Woods. As the animals gather at Redwall Abbey to feast in celebration of Abbot Mortimer's Golden Jubilee, the dark clouds of war gather on the horizon. The evil, one-eyed rat, Cluny the Scourge, and his band of marauders have arrived in Mossflower country. Securing the church of St. Ninian's as his base of operations, Cluny seeks to conquer Redwall Abbey and take it as his own. Preparing the residents of Redwall to face this cruel rodent of legendary fame and his henchrats are Abbot Mortimer, the religious leader of the abbey; Constance, a fierce and battle-wise badger; and Matthias, an eager but clumsy and unsure mouse, as yet untried in battle.
Rising to a position of leadership, Matthias finds inspiration and encouragement in the tale of Martin the Warrior, in the wise counsel of Abbot Mortimer, in the battle skill of Constance the badger, and in the admiration of Cornflower, a young female mouse. The survival of Redwall Abbey will touch not only the inhabitants within its stronghold, but also the fate of hundreds of citizens living far beyond its walls. Author Brian Jacques captures all the evil of the villains and heroism of the noble defenders in this epic animal fantasy.