In the northern lands of Redwall Abbey, long before the Redwall was built, on the eastern coast was the fortress Marshank. It was the home of a stoat pirate turned tyrant, Badrang. It was built as a home to both his army and his many slaves. The slaves worked daily on improving the fortress. Being treated poorly. One of these slaves was a young mouse named Martin. Badrang army had taken him captive and taken his sword for his own. Martin being strong both in arm and in will, did not take to being a slave. After being tortured to near death, Martin found his freedom with help from both out and inside the fortress. The small group is divided by chance but both groups have one goal in mind, to free the creatures of Marshank and but a end to the tyrant Badrang.
If you wish to know who Martin the Hero is, this is the book to read. This story is why Martin is who he is. The author did a great job of developing the back story of Redwalls greatest hero. It is a great change in scenery for people that have read many of the Redwall books but can also be enjoyed as a standalone story. It answers questions about who and why Martin is the way he is. It has one of the sadder ending so far in the series but it brings a sense of reality to the stories.