Brian Jacques, the acclaimed author of the bestselling and beloved Redwall adventure series of books, passed away suddenly on Saturday, February 5, at the age of 71. Considered a pioneer of the children's fantasy genre, Jacques sold more than 20 million copies of his 21 Redwall novels, which chronicle the adventures of anthropomorphic animals throughout different periods in world history. The final novel in the series, The Rogue Crew, will be released posthumously this spring.
In an obituary in School Library Journal, Michael Green, the president and publisher of Philomel Books, said of Jacques, "The world has lost not only a talented author, but a truly gifted entertainer and champion of children. For almost 25 years, Brian Jacques lived up to the label of 'master storyteller.' His Redwall novels have touched multi-generations within families and given them something to share, a legacy at which one can only marvel and smile."