This book is like Ender's Game in that it's very good and I enjoyed reading it a lot but if I ever recommend it to anyone I'll feel really bad.
I wasn't excited about reading Redwall. Animal fantasies aren't my thing really, especially this type of historical-ish fantasy. But once I started reading, it was good, the characters and the story drew me in. There are some pretty good female characters too which I wasn't expecting.
However, there is some British racism throughout the book, hence why I don't recommend anyone else read it. Jacques uses the term g***y a few times and the term raghead once. The way that the Sparrows speak is reminiscent of stereotypical "Indians" from Hollywood (not a good look) [link to come when I'm not at work]. The animals living outside the abbey are generally portrayed as simple and/or savage. There's just lots of casual stereotypes and racial slurs sprinkled throughout the book that made parts difficult to read (literally in the case of the Sparrows' speech).
This is the first in the series, so Jacques might get better as the books go along. I'm not planning on reading any more, so I guess I'll never know. I really hope they do though since parts of the series are really great.
ETA: This was from NPR's Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf list. I'm reading The Birchbark House next to make myself feel better