The second book of Lloyd Alexander's Westmark Trilogy explores the darker side of humanity and will leave you questioning everything.
Theo is traveling Westmark, learning about the country of which he will soon be Prince Consort. He is not surprised to find great poverty-Mickle (now known as Princess Augusta) could have told him that from her years on the street. His friend Florian could have told him about the aristocracy's graft and corruption. But neither could have foreseen a loaded pistol in the practiced hand of the assassin Skeit. The echoes of that shot ring from the muskets and cannons of a Westmark suddenly at war—a war that turns simple, honest men into cold-blooded killers, Mickle into a military commander, and Theo himself into a stranger . . .
"The plot is magnificent, the characterizations are excellent, and the issues are compelling."—Children's Literature
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Series:||Westmark Trilogy Series , #2|
|Product dimensions:||4.30(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Literally. I think I had my first crush on Mickle and Florian was nothing short of my hero. I do disagree that the book should not be recommended to younger children. If the child is old enough to read this book, he¿s old enough to understand. We don¿t give our children enough credit. They are more worldly than we were at that age. That being said, it is dark for a book and I certainly don¿t limit that statement to children¿s books. I would also disagree that this is a children¿s book. I¿m quite sure Mr. Alexander wrote for children, but like the Harry Potter series, the Westmark Trilogy can be read and enjoyed by adults as well. In fact, I think it may help children come to understand what is going on in the world now. We may not be facing a revolution, but certainly this book is a beginning for helping children and young adults understand political machinations. Anyway, I loved the book. The plot, the characters, everything, resonated with me. I¿m almost 40 years old and I could read it over and over and over again!
Apparently everybody but me overlooked this but...this series is a great one not just in terms of a fantastic story, incredibly well-drawn characters, and engaging action, but its political merits...This would be a wonderful book to introduce kids to the whole concept of seperation of powers, etc. etc...It also includes a really sad and touching look at the way people can make bad decisions and still be a good person (torrens)...anyway, that's me, blathering on...this is a GREAT book, in a GREAT series...read all of them!
Alexander wrote an amazing story in Westmark and topped it with the Kestrel. These books bring out the budding revolutionary in everyone who reads them. They tell the reader that it is okay to question what is going on around you. The stories also exemplify the nobility of men and women as well as teaching us that there are consequences to our actions. The Kestrel is a much more 'adult' novel than Westmark and the scenes and images it creates are more disturbing, but they are no less disturbing to the characters in the book and how they deal with war provides an example, I think, to young adults everywhere of how we can deal with adversity. This is not Harry Potter, this book is more down to earth. Alexander's descriptions of his characters are beautifully written. I think my idea of the perfect wife was in large part modelled on Mickle. It reminded me of the stories I read about the American Revolution. I was simply amazed by it. It had a great influence on me as a young man and as a reader and thinker.
The Westmark triliogy is a great series, but little known. In the second book of Llyod Alexander's amazing Westmark books, a war is raging in Westmark. Theo takes up the code name 'Kestrel'. With the help of Mickle and friends old and new, this wonderful book filled with page-turning exitement - a must read!