A series of Talking Animal
children's books by Garry Kilworth, which has been compared favourably to Redwall
and is often read by the same target audience.
The series originally consisted of a trilogy, showcasing the adventures of the outlaw weasel Sylver and his band of followers as they battled against the unjust rule of the villainous stoat Prince Poynt and his corrupt sheriff Falshed, in a generically medieval milieu. Kilworth later wrote a second trilogy
, set in a Victorian-inspired era, about the descendants of four of the original band and some of their enemies.
The most obvious trope demonstrated in the books is the Shout-Out
. Many, many references to popular culture are made, including movies, books, poems and Real Life
This series provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Of many, many things.
- Anachronism Stew
- And I Must Scream: The fate of Rosencrass and Guildenswine.
- Ambiguously Gay: Foppington in Castle Storm. He not only speakth with a thlight lithp, but he also dresses flamboyantly. And though this is het, he also refers to a fellow grey squirrel (female) knight as "his little thauthage".
- Maudlin has the odd hint as well. On top of the way he interacts with Scruff, he spouts elaborate flowery poetry at the slightest provocation and is envious of the Wholesome Crossdresser. Also, while the original Dracula only attacked attractive young women, Flistagga is only seen to attack young males.
- Calvinball: Hollyhockers.
- Cheerful Child: Queen Varicose.
- Clock Punk/Steam Punk: William Jott, the steam-machine inventor, and Thomas Tempus Fugit, the clockwork inventor, are bitter rivals who constantly try to outdo each other, and their machines are all over the place.
- Clock Tower: Maudlin and Scruff crash a hot air balloon into the clock tower Ringing Roger and end up dangling from the hands.
- Day of the Week Name: Spindrick's anarchist group use weekdays as code names, as a Shout-Out to The Man Who Was Thursday.
- Dirty Coward: Mawk swings between this and Lovable Coward.
- Evil Albino: Prince Poynt is not an albino, but he keeps his ermine pelt all year round, so the visual effect is very similar.
- Evil Counterpart: Downplayed with Spindrick; he's more chaotic than actually evil.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Animated golem statues and sheep witches are the least of the oddball concepts incorporated into this series.
- Food Chains: Hunters' Hall.
- Furry Confusion: Mustelids and rats are sapient, mice and voles are not. Birds seem to vary.
- Gargle Blaster: Honey dew.
- Generation Xerox
- Hachimaki: Maudlin borrows one for the fight with the pirate junk.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
- Hall of Mirrors: The ghost-hunter's magic box.
- Hell Hotel: Invoked - Scruff convinces Maudlin they're staying in one as a prank.
- Hellish Horse: The dreaded manless horsehead of Sleepless Hallow.
- High-Class Glass: Lord Hannover Haukin's monocle.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Magellan, Count Flistagga.
- Inept Mage: Wodehed. Not that he doesn't actually have magical abilities, but he can't use them with any consistency. He does get a great moment in the third book by calling the Kraken.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Queen Varicose.
- Living Shadow: On Dorma Island.
- Logic Bomb: The defeat of Cyclops.
- Lovable Coward: Maudlin and occasionally Mawk.
- Magic Misfire: Wodehed keeps making these.
- Just Like Robin Hood: For the first trilogy.
- Master Swordsman Foppington
- Minion Shipping: Rosencrass and Guildenswine are married.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Torca Marda - a Shout-Out to Tomas de Torquemarda.
- Only Smart People May Pass: The clues the human children left behind.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier
- Our Vampires Are Different: But quite close to the standard movie depiction. As a bonus, there seem to be 'were' variations on all the mammals.
- Our Werewolves Are Different
- Our Zombies Are Different
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: Spinfer "smools" into a room. The narrator notes that "this is not a real word, but it describes the action perfectly."
- Pet the Dog: Mayor Poynt is responsible for the refurbishment and reorganisation of Bedlam House, after he's accidentally left to wake up there after an operation and sees what it's really like.
- Random Events Plot
- Recycled INSPACE: Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes WITH FURRIES, not made by Disney!
- Rule of Cool
- Sdrawkcab Name: Spindrick Sylver's pseudonym "Drickspin Revsly".
- Sidetracked by the Analogy: One of the anarchists ruins his threat to blow the city to Kingdom Come by pointing out that "Kingdom Go" would be more accurate, since "things aren't coming, they're going, right up in the air".
- Shout-Out: By the third book, they're coming at the rate of about two per page. Most obviously, the original Sylver is Robin Hood and his descendant is Sherlock Holmes.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Rosencrass and Guildenswine, and both generations of the Herk and Bare lines.
- Totem Pole Trench: in Thunder Oak an trick was used unsuccessfully by nine ferrets in a human-sized suit of armor.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: How many of the preteen target audience are going to get references to Hamlet, 1984 and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner? And said target audience is too old for it to be a Parental Bonus ..
- Wacky Wayside Tribe
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Averted - there's a psychotic cult of hedgehogs, a brigand gang of moles, an evil zombie badger, and a murderous lemming. And the heroes are weasels, and there's a friendly and very civilised society of sewer rats.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: "Lillie" Longtree.
- Who's on First?: The unfortunate result of Spindrick's Day of the Week Name code-naming.
- Wicked Weasel: Both played straight and averted; weasels are good, their close biological relatives stoats are bad.
- World of Pun: Puns nonstop.
- Your Vampires Suck: Directed at other vampires within the same world; it's noted that most of them can't cross running water, but Flistagga has trained himself out of that.