by Erik Berg
COMMUNITY IS ONE of the few things that make life worth living. Lord Brocktree by Brian Jacques is about community and how friendship gave the characters in this novel a reason to vigorously rebel against evil. The people of Salamandastron let nothing come between them. Their community is a collaboration of loyalty, courage, and fellowship.
In the centre of an island is a huge mountain named Salamandastron. The Badger Lord of the mountain is dying. The mighty but evil conqueror Ungatt Trunn is now attempting to take over the mountain. The only chance for the mountain community is another Badger Lord, Lord Brocktree, who has the calling to go to the mountain. On his way he meets a haremaid who helps him get to the mountain.
This book marvelously describes loyalty to one another. The characters care for each other. When one goes down a few others are always there to help. They never abandon each other. There is always another way rather than leaving one person to die. Out of their many virtues, loyalty is going to help stop Trunn.
The courage that every character has and gains astounded me again and again as I read. To stand up against the thousands under Trunn's command even with a huge army of their own would be brave, but with just a few hundred they fight back. They stop at nothing not even death to get their mountain back.
The story reminds us that fellowship breeds strength and true joy. Whatever the Salamandastrons do, their souls are bonded. Even though they are fierce warriors they are also comedic playmates. They tease, play, and feast, mirroring Watershed at its best.
When Trunn first arrives it seems that he gets rid of the community on the mountain easily, but it turns out they are much stronger than they seem and are driven by fierce determination. Like in the kid’s game the community appears on the surface to be as weak as paper but when tested it proves rock strong.
Our community at Watershed could learn from these humble mountain people. The loyalty, courage, and fellowship among the characters is outstanding.
Jacques, Brian. Lord Brocktree. Great Britain: Random House Group, 2000. 370 pages.