Read Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques Online

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A shadow has fallen on the shore of the Eastern sea, a shadow called Marshank. In this cold stone fortress a stoat named Badrang holds dozens of innocent creatures as slaves, part of his scheme to build an empire where he will rule as unquestioned tyrant. Among those slaves is a mouse named Martin who has a warrior's heart, and a burning desire for freedom--freedom not onlA shadow has fallen on the shore of the Eastern sea, a shadow called Marshank. In this cold stone fortress a stoat named Badrang holds dozens of innocent creatures as slaves, part of his scheme to build an empire where he will rule as unquestioned tyrant. Among those slaves is a mouse named Martin who has a warrior's heart, and a burning desire for freedom--freedom not only for himself, but for all of Badrang's victims. There is no risk he will not take, no battle he will not fight, to end the stoat's evil reign, and in the process regain the sword of his father, Luke the Warrior--the sword that Badrang stole from him when he was but a lad. Once again master storyteller Brian Jazques has crafted an epic adventure and filled it to the bursting point with unforgettable characters, including villains so hilariously evil you'll barely be able to keep from hissing them, and loveable woodland creatures so brave you'll want to stand and cheer as they fight for their freedom....

Title : Martin the Warrior
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780739356142
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Martin the Warrior Reviews

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2018-11-25 01:10

    If you like medieval-type fantasy adventure stories, I cannot recommend the Redwall series enough. I know it's about talking animals, but it's seriously something adults would love as well! The whole world is so wonderfully detailed and complex. The stories get pretty emotional - I definitely teared up at a lot of battle scenes/deaths in middle school. They're pretty epic. The books were published in a different order than the stories take place, so you can read most of them in any order! Like there's a clear history to the world, but it doesn't matter too much. The stories take place in lots of different areas, too.

  • Kogiopsis
    2018-11-27 19:35

    One of the things I came across when I was young and completely obsessed with Redwall was a quote from Brian Jacques, in the introduction to 'Redwall Friend and Foe' where he stated, emphatically, "Goodies are good!" I can't help thinking about that when I think about this book, because here's the thing: while on its surface Redwall can look like a series with black and white morality, where certain people are good and others are bad, the stories themselves often overturn those expectations, and none do it quite as powerfully as Martin the Warrior, story of the Abbey's legendary champion before he arrived in Mossflower Wood.Martin isn't a bad person, but what he is isn't precisely 'good' either. His story is fundamentally about being consumed by revenge to the point that he loses sight of the people around him, and it causes horrible destruction and suffering. What he fights for, nominally, is freedom; but it is clear as the book nears its climax that he is also motivated by pride and pain, and both of those cloud his vision. He does not make it out unscathed.The end of this book was pretty much the saddest thing I remember reading as a child - the song that played over the TV show's final scenes still makes me tear up. There is a brutality to it which is uncommon for the series (though not unique) and it is that coupled with the long-term effects on Martin - which most readers probably already know - that make this so painful. And yet it's... also a big part of what makes this book powerful, because it is a book about pain and responding to it, and Martin's choices at the beginning and at the end are completely opposed, as are the choices he makes in much of the rest of his life.

  • Annie Hawthorne
    2018-11-22 23:10

    I think I will just find a blankie, and a corner to cry my heart out in.

  • Stephan Sevenyoln
    2018-12-04 19:33

    Martin the Warrior is probably one of the best Redwall books. While the writing is decidedly clunky at best, you never notice once you get into the book. Martin the Warrior has everything; it has the drama, the sadness, the love and hate of The Lord of the Rings. It also has the revenge and hate of Felldoh, and off course the sadness of the death's of some central characters. I felt the difference between Martin and Felldoh strongly; Felldoh was imprisoned all his life, and was forever changed by it. He nourished a great hate, which he could only satisfy with revenge. Martin, on the other hand, fought for the freedom of those living within the area of Marshank. I was first introduced to the animated series, and impressed by the line they added, which, surprisingly, was not in the book;We fight for freedom, not revenge. We fight in the name of Felldoh!A line they left out of the cartoon, was Brome, speaking of Felldoh. In the cartoon, he still says "That was an oath of vengeance, not a goodbye," and "Felldoh used to be my hero, but I don't know him anymore," but the left out the powerful part of the conversation that followed:"Felldoh is a warrior. This Martin your always talking about is a Warrior like him."And Brome responded by saying "If Martin is a warrior like Felldoh, then Seasons help my sister Rose if she is still with him!"Then later, Brome is to say "Give me a javelin, I want to be a warrior like Felldoh!" and yet lets one of the enemy go free. A powerful and emotional book.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-30 21:24

    I hadn’t thought of rereading these seriously until I realised that reading a childhood book was on the list for a reading challenge, and then my sister returned all my copies to make room on her shelves for her own books. Then I thought, well, why not? I remember that I found the books getting a bit repetitive as the series went on (and on, and on) but Martin the Warrior was the first I read, and it’s obvious why it hooked me as a kid. It’s a little bit deterministic — rats are evil, mice are good, shrews are quarrelsome, etc — but I know that’s tackled a little in later books with characters like Veil. I’m not sure it’s ever really dealt with, though.One of the awesome things is the way it talks about food; all kinds of food that animals would actually eat, yet cooked in human ways. It’s a weird combination, or sounds it, until you read the book and then it just sounds tasty. I’m sure I’d like Grumm or Polleekin’s cooking…Martin the Warrior ends on a sour, sad note. I think ultimately the sympathies lie with the peace of Noonvale, even while there’s understanding of the need for revenge that drives Felldoh and, to a lesser extent, Martin. It doesn’t bring any good to the characters, even though they’ve removed a threat from the world.Definitely a good nostalgia read, despite the sadness, and perhaps a bit more nuanced than I remembered.Originally posted here.

  • Kevin Xu
    2018-12-03 22:30

    This was the book that got me into fantasy, and fill in love with reading. My teacher in grade school loved the story, and all my friends read the series. So I gave it a try on audio, and felt in love with audio and this series. This is my favorite book of the Redwall series. I just love the character of Martin the Warrior. This origin story really shows how he came from nothing into the one of the greatest leaders and warrior in the land. The ending of the book is the cause and origins of Redwall. Without it, Redwall would have never existed. So this is the foundation book in the series.P.S. I have read this book more times than I can count.

  • Joseph Leskey
    2018-12-12 21:28

    This was extremely well written and entertaining. I enjoyed it vastly.

  • Josiah
    2018-11-18 01:35

    "It's a long hard road ahead for you, little warrior. Enjoy a happy day while you can." —Boldred, "Martin the Warrior", P. 267 "Don't think about what you could have done, concentrate on what you plan to do; it is more useful." —Boldred, P. 335 The ability of Brian Jacques to create an entirely new world that is bursting at the seams with deep, suspensefully plotted adventures, characters overflowing with originality and life, and epic, imaginative quests that could appeal to even the most hard-nosed literary cynic has almost no equal. For nearly four hundred pages in "Martin the Warrior" we the readers follow on an action-packed, tightly written adventure novel, leading onward through surprising twists and turns that left me, personally, breathless and with a pounding heart. The world of Redwall is as perfect as the creation of a literary world can get, and when one thinks that the author could not possibly jam in any more exciting adventure, one will look at the page and see that he is less than halfway through reading the book! The feeling and perspective of "Martin the Warrior" will resound loudly with the reader long after the final page has been completed. It is a unique literary experience that simply should not be missed, and I heartily recommend it for anyone who would ask me. A magnificent achievement."Throughout his life the memory of that happy day stayed locked secretly in (his) heart." —Martin the Warrior, P. 296

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-05 00:33

    So, this is possibly the best Redwall book that Jacques ever wrote. It’s focused (no random sideplots that have nothing to do with the main one), it has a lot of characters but doesn’t jump between them too much a la Salamandastron, it has unique features that depart from the formulas of previous books, and the ending is simply fantastic (but also sad).And the number one reason why this book is so great is:(view spoiler)[ROSE!! (hide spoiler)] WHHHHHYYYYYYYY?(view spoiler)[Main warriors never die in Redwall (well, rarely)! (hide spoiler)] Only slightly less important characters do, like Felldoh! I mean, in hindsight having read Mossflower, it makes sense that (view spoiler)[she dies because Martin is alone in Mossflower (hide spoiler)] and Jacques had to avoid retconning (although he’s never been reticent about that…), but still! It also explains everything about Martin in Mossflower. But (view spoiler)[Rose’s death (hide spoiler)] really just makes this book stand out.It’s also one of the best books in terms of plot. As I mentioned above, there’s no irrelevant sideplots, all the creatures have the same quest, there’s not too many viewpoints, and there are a lot of original (to the series) features introduced. Brome has great development, and Martin has heartbreaking development. All of these add up to the Redwall series’ best book, in my opinion.Also, Clogg is a hilarious villain. Jacques said that Clogg was his favorite villain to write. He’s also the only villain to (view spoiler)[not die at the end of a book. (hide spoiler)]Nitpicky: Why is Saxtus characterized as an old mouse when he’s the same age as Dandin?As much as I liked this book, I hated Felldoh. Every single time someone called him a warrior like Martin, I wanted to scream. Felldoh is not a warrior like Martin, in fact he’s more of a foil to Martin because he shows all the reasons why Martin is a better warrior than him, and a better character. Felldoh let his revenge overtake him and in the end acted more like a villain than a hero. I couldn’t stand him, but that’s just me.Overall, Martin the Warrior is the best book in the Redwall series. The ending is possibly the saddest in the series, but that’s why it’s so great. Jacques does new things with this book, departing from the formulas of previous books to deliver a tightly focused, heart-wrenching story with characters that actually develop and whom I actually care about. The Martin books are the best books.

  • Rick Davis
    2018-11-13 19:14

    Martin the Warrior by Brian JacquesI had been pretty burnt out on the Redwall books after Mossflower, Mattimeo, and Salamandastron. Redwall was a creative and fun book, but it seemed that all its successors were progressively formulaic and uncreative. Martin the Warrior, however, is a return to the same creative spirit of the original book, and, in my opinion, improves upon it.The book explores the early life of Martin the Warrior after he has been made a slave by Badrang, the cruel tyrant of Marshank. Escaping with a small group of captives, and washing up on an unknown shore, Martin attempts to return a mousemaid named Rose to her family at Noonvale and build an army to return and challenge Badrang.Jacques still uses his familiar formula from the previous books, but by not feeling the need to set the book near Redwall Abbey it becomes more of a novel adventure and a great fantasy yarn. If someone wanted to read just one of the Redwall books, I think that I would recommend Martin the Warrior above the original.5/5 stars.

  • Cindi
    2018-12-11 21:36

    Excellent stuff! We will be reading more of the Redwall books. The cast for the audio version was excellent with the bulk of it being read by the author himself (always a treat), plus a whole crew of talented actors.Martin is brave, strong and everything a hero should be. The bad guys are really bad. The clash between them is almost on par with "The Lord of the Rings," except the story has forest animals as the main characters.How I love summer road trips. We accomplish so much "reading" this way!P.S. One comment from one of the kids, "Listening to this book always makes me hungry!"Note: Listened to this one again in 2012. Brian Jacques reads this and the cast is amazing. Wish all of them had been read this way!

  • Alice T.
    2018-12-07 22:15

    By far the BEST book in the Redwall seiries. Martin is amazing. I listened to the tape when i first heard it but if i had read it i would not have been able to put it down! really great story. i loved it. Rose is really cool also. It is all about how they save a bunch of slaves from searats and other pleasent animals. Really amazing book. Sad at the end but then cheers up. Martin is really cool. You really have to have a certain taste for Brian Jaques style, but most people would like it. The tapes are very good. Brian jaques narrates it. His brother plays Martin. i don't know who Plays rose. Next one in the series is Mossflower.

  • Angela Mondragon
    2018-11-12 19:25

    The previously untold story of Martin the Warrior's travels before coming to the forest of Mossflower to found Redwall Abbey. He vows revenge on the vermin warlord of a fortress, and also to free the miserable slaves who have dwelt there for uncounted years. Formulaic, in the tradition of all the Redwall books, but enjoyable nonetheless. It's always fun to read about your mouse heroes facing an army and defeating them, using the skills of moles, squirrels, birds, badgers, otters, and all the good creatures of the forest.

  • Andrew
    2018-12-03 19:13

    The story is pretty thin and the there are a lot of boring parts. I hate that every meal needed to be described in excruciating detail - although it did add to the immersion of the world. Martin the Warrior was cooler when he was just a legend shrouded in mystery.

  • Joshua Tooth
    2018-12-10 18:19

    Also a great read! Really Good Book!

  • Gus
    2018-12-06 19:07

    This book is a very exciting story of both loss and victory. After having his father killed by the searat Badrang, Martin must watch as everything he knows is taken from him at a young age. When Badrang and his crew arrive to the coast Martin and his village reside on death and destruction soon follow. Badrang kills all that oppose him and the ones that don't are soon sold into slavery. The slaves then suffer as the turn their once beautiful land into a vicious territory controlled by their cruel enslaver. Badrang uses the slaves he captures to build the symbol of his power, a huge fort that is the symbol of his cruel and tyrannical control over the land surrounding it. As Badrang's empire grows the hatred inside of Martin grows with it. As Marting gets older he becomes more rebellious and is soon punished for his actions. He is bound by his hands and feet to poles fastened into the walls of the fort and is open to the attacks of deadly birds.Outside of the fort Rose the mousemaid sees him and realizes she must help. With the help of her friend Grumm they are able to get Marting off the wall. His captors place him a pit inside the walls safe from the birds. While inside the pit he makes friends in Felldoh and Rose's brother. Grumm is able to dig a tunnel to the pit and free them without Badrang knowing. While they escape they are separated while at sea and drift away from each other on different journeys. Felldoh and Rose's brother meet an acting troupe called The Rosehip Players. Together they are able to sneak into Badrang's fort in disguise and free half of the slaves. They then train the slaves so they soon will be able to recapture their land from Badrang and his forces.Rose, Martin, and Grumm find themselves on a beach far south of their friends.They soon reattempt their journey to Rose's village in order to enlist the help of the surrounding creatures to free all the slaves. With the help of the GUOSIM shrews and other creatures they are able to form an army capable of retaking the land controlled by Badrang. Led by Martin they mount an assault on the fort. After many attempts Badrang and his troops can no longer defend their fort from the determined attackers and are brutally killed by the angry forces of Martin and his friends. After the dust settles Martin finds out his friend Rose was killed in the fight and he falls into a state of depression. After many seasons he tells his friends he must leave them and go on a solo journey to ease the demons inside of him. Martin's character changes are very apparent throughout the book. It seems that throughout each chapter his character becomes more bold and unpredictable. He grows in both courage and bravery which helps aid him in the retaking of the land he loves so much. At the end of the book his character is sad with the loss of his love Rose and in order to change that he must go on a journey by himself and do some soul searching to find out what he really wants to be.This book gained a very deserving five out of five stars. It was full of adventure and suspense. While reading the book you can't help but root for the heroes that fight for the land that is rightfully theirs. This book has a very dramatic story line that leaves the reader wanting more. This book is perfect for anyone grades eight to twelve that want to read a book built on suspense and adventure. This is a book fit for both genders.

  • Oz Barton
    2018-11-19 18:10

    Like many, I grew up adoring the Redwall series, so it pains me to give this two stars now.This past summer I found my collection of Redwall books — I have the first dozen — and chose to reread this one because it was, in my opinion at the time, the best of them.And frankly, it isn't all that great.The writing itself is depressingly mediocre, the plot (like all of them) meandering and predictable. The colloquial quirks of the different animal species (molespeech, the shrews, etc.) and the painstakingly detailed descriptions of Redwall feasts, which seemed so fun and colorful to my 11-year-old self, are now irritating and slow to muddle through. But the worst of it is the contrast between villains and good guys.The heroes and their friends throughout the whole series are fond of making jokes, hurling insults, and pulling pranks at the expense of the current Big Bad and his or her minions. As a kid, this made the good guys seem clever and fun-loving, but as an adult all I can think is that the villains are so incredibly dim-witted (to the point of possibly diagnosable cognitive impairment) that the insults and pranks come off as cruel and bullying, an interminable barrage of low-risk cheap shots. Yes, this is even in light of the villains' participation in slavery/siege/acts of war.Frankly, Martin is a temperamental little turd. I simply could not bring myself to root for him and his crew.I'd still recommend these books to kids, if for no other reason than the positive, lasting impact it seems to have had on myself and others who were fortunate enough to read these at a young age. But if you're an adult who grew up traveling to Salamandastron and Mossflower and hold those memories dear, I'd suggest you do what I did not: let the memories sit unspoiled, and do not reread the books.

  • Chaitea43
    2018-12-08 21:14

    This book was a little bit too childish for me, to be honest. I had started Jacques' series years ago as a 12 or 10-year-old, and liked it then, but even then it was a little too easy for the characters, a little too simple-minded for me.Now it is even moreso since I'm an adult, however...this book does what it sets out to do. It is a heartwarming tale, written in simple yet pretty prose. Jacques' descriptions of landscapes are captivating; he knows how to set a scene. His eating and food scenes are so well-described, they either make you hungry or bored. The characters are the best part of this book, and I believe the entirety of the Redwall series. While the plot may be juvenile and things are a little too deus-ex-machina for an adult reader, the characters are engaging. From Ballaw the magical hare to Rose the sweet mouse maiden to Martin, the vengeful, noble, and brave, fierce warrior of the book's title...this book will keep you reading, at least for its characters.I gave it 4 stars because it is a very well-done book for children ages 8-10. The reason it's missing a 5th star is because I believe even a children's book should have its characters undergo hardships. In this book, much is lost and the characters DO develop, but...there are a few too many convenient friends dropping in to save them, and the villains are pretty much idiots. All in all, by the end of the book, I had to begrudgingly admit, these books are damn good middleschool-grade books. By the end of the book, I had shed a tear or two for well-loved characters; let's just say, in a battle story this big, not everyone gets a happy ending.

  • Brigitte
    2018-12-04 20:21

    This book is about a mouse named Martin. He lives in a world were all "unworthy" animals are slaved to an animal overlord. Martin, like all of the other slaves hated this overlord and all of his followers. It is Martin's quest to escape his slavery with as many other animals as he can, and defeat the evil overlord. It is all up to Martin to save the slaves.There are many external conflicts in this book. Many of them are Martin vs. the overlord or one of his followers. One of the more frequent ones is Martin vs. the fox slave keeper. The fox slave keeper is the one who is constantly challenging Martin. The fox usually whips one of Martin's friends. Or one of the many animals who, unlike Martin, are far too weak to fight back when challenged. Another one of the popular external conflicts is Martin vs. the overlord. They have conflicts for obvious reasons. One example is when the overlord must punish Martin for trying to free himself. The overlord gave Martin a huge punishment, one worse then the actual crime.I would rate this book two stars because it was very boring to read. There was way too much description for the stupidest things. I do not want to read a page all about a leaf. I also rate it with two stars because it was hard to understand the dialog. The writer made the people speak in accents. It would take me forever to figure out what one of the animals with a Scottish accent was saying . I would not recommend this book to anyone because I did not enjoy it and I don't think anyone else will.

  • Ally
    2018-12-13 01:07

    Martin the Warrior is by Brian Jacques. It is fantasy because animals are talking.The main characters are Redwall, Martin, Grumm, Captin Tramun, and Rose. Redwall started out as a small mouse but now he is a hero and is adventurious. Martin is grey mouse with heroic skills. Grumm is a wise mouse and can try to act funny and heroic.Rose is Martin's sister and she is heroic too. Captin Tramun is the bad guy they run into him and he has a bunch of scars. They go to a bunch of places during the story like Marshank, Northwest coast, Inlet, Noonvale, Boldred's Tunnel. They travle any time of the day. On their way to Boldred's Tunnel they got attack with Abbot, someone does die but I am not going to say. I liked that Jess and Grumm were making werid food combinations. I didn't like that someone got killed on Redwall's side. I liked that the author made me shocked at sometimes and made me really sad. At sometimes it made me cry of laughter or sadness. He didn't do anything that bad. I recommend this book because it is about adventure and you can fell what the characters are felling.

  • Odhran
    2018-11-16 20:31

    Ah, Redwall. A source of much enjoyment to me as a young leveret. Oh the feasts! Oh the adventure! Oh the villains!Obviously, it doesn't hold up well. I mean, I'm rarely one to be overly focused on poor writing if there are some redeeming features (a good plot will allow me to excuse bad style), but Brian Jacques isn't a very good writer. I know children's books are very often clunky as all hell, but that's not good enough. I can understand wanting to tone down themes a bit for youngsters, but that doesn't mean they have to be offloaded with crap. (Admittedly, this is more a rant directed at my hatred of the decision that nothing good is allowed be a "children's" thing, whether it's WALL-E or The Amber Spyglass.)So, yeah. Clunky writing, formulaic plot. (seriously, do any Redwall books barring The Long Patrol have a different plot arc? Even then, it's the same story but from a different point...) Stereotypical villains with less in the brain tank than... something very not-smart. And OH GODS WHY IS AT LEAST TEN PERCENT OF THE BOOK SONGS AND DESCRIPTIONS OF FOOD?For all those faults, it's still pretty good.

  • Kelsey Hanson
    2018-11-29 01:17

    Spoilers ahead!This one was always my least favorite Redwall novel growing up largely because of its bittersweet ending (But it was still a Redwall book so I still really liked it). Now I have a better appreciation for this novel. Martin is an awesome character and the mythos surrounding him is a driving force throughout the series. I really enjoy the novels that focus on him and his past. Plus I've always enjoyed books that feature the little guy fighting back against an impossible foe. A big reason why I didn't like this book that much was because of the fate of Rose. It was considerably less devastating this time around and I found her to be a bit bland. She's like a Disney princess in mouse form, singing and all. I tend to admire the other more warior-like female characters like Roanoke. Also normally, I don't promote different formats, but I listened to the audiobook and it was AMAZING! It featured a full cast and had the late Brian Jacques as the narrator. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

  • Dan Martin
    2018-11-27 01:18

    I'm giving all these books a 4, because they basically GOT me hooked on fantasy I think. I read all of these in elementary school, and still have fond memories floating around. The rad legendary weapons, (with the channels etched in for blood flow, which i found super hardcore). The foods, the booze, honey mead and apple wine or whatever. Come to think of it, these books might also be a little responsible for my alcoholism, too.i remember this one being one of the best though. Martin is a badass for sure.

  • Kristy G. Stewart
    2018-11-14 23:15

    This Redwall books was especially wonderful, for me, because it was so atypical. It just wasn't like the rest of them. In fact, I must say that, as the series grew larger, I found that I liked the books that occured in distant lands better than the ones near Redwall, because the ones by the abbey were sometimes slightly redundant.Anyway, this particular book was awesome. And I punched a guy over it. I think it was the first time I punched someone outside of my family too, so it is extra awesome.

  • Nathan Major
    2018-11-29 18:12

    While it is easy to argue that the Redwall books quickly fell into a formula, Martin the Warrior is a black sheep in so many ways. There is no Redwall to save. The heroes are not constantly on the defense. There is a genuine love interest you care about. Not to mention easily the most heartbreaking ending of any of the books in the entire series. Martin the Warrior is the best Redwall book, easily. It's compelling, unique, and beautiful.

  • Janet
    2018-11-18 20:16

    I’m always a little depressed when I finish one of Jacques’ books. Even though these are purportedly for children, he doesn’t shy away from violence, or death. At least one of my favorite characters usually manages to get killed off. And even though I’m an adult, I always finish a book and wish I could live at Redwall Abbey.

  • Ben The
    2018-12-11 01:31

    I really liked this, but it had the same thing, well what happens about in all of them, is that a rescue party always comes at the last minute when it seems all is lost. but it was still one of the best because of all the previous stuff, i mean this was the first book i read, so of course it was amazing. but like this one,other books have a last minute rescue. still WAY worth reading,ben

  • joanna
    2018-11-22 20:21

    Marvelous! Read by the author and a full cast of colorful characters, whose voices brought their already vivid personalities to life. I love how Brian Jacques told real stories of heroic valor and war and strife and suffering, but made them accessible to children as well as adults by using animals instead of humans. Loved it.

  • Wealhtheow
    2018-11-19 00:22

    InRedwall, everyone knows of the famed Martin the Warrior, the founder and most valiant defender of Redwall Abbey. This is the story of how he came to be a legend. Martin is a fantastic character, and his adventures are enthralling.

  • Evan Leach
    2018-12-02 00:28

    My pick for the best of the Redwall series. Martin the Warrior is the legendary hero of the Redwall universe, and this book does him full justice. Very entertaining story with a strong final act, this was one of my favorite books as a youngster. 4.5 stars, highly recommended!