Before there was a abbey in Mossflower, there was a fortress. Kotir castle, the home of a family of Wildcats and there army. They ruled over Mossflower as tyrants taxing the creature into poverty. They even imprisoned a warrior mouse wondering through Mossflower for refusing to give up his weapon. The free creatures of Mossflower have moved deeper and deeper into the woods, living in hiding. They have had enough of this tyranny by the wildcats. They rescued the prisoners, hoping that this new warrior mouse by the name of Martin could help them. War breaks out between the Army of castle Kotir and the creatures of the woods. Each side seeking a way to destroy the other. In a hope for help, the creatures of the woods send Martin the warrior and a small party off to find the Badger Lords of old.
I feel this is a great example of telling a back story with out having it be a back story. This book stands on its own as a good story. It gives us some of the history of Redwall abbey but you could read this book alone and still understand and enjoy the story; It enriches the world that the series take place in but it is also a great story all on its own.