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Westmark trilogy 02 - The Kestrel
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The Kestrel (1982) is a fantasy novel by Lloyd Alexander, the second of three books often called the Westmark trilogy. The novel won the Parent's Choice Award in fiction for Fall 1982.
It is set in Westmark, "an imaginary kingdom with a post-Napoleonic cast". Another reviewer has called the series "historical fantasy, set in a time much like our 18th century".
Theo is traveling through 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.
As set up in Westmark, Theo and Mickle are in love. A corrupt general is in a cabal with a rival country, and plans to surrender after a token resistance, allowing a country with a more aristocratic government to replace the more populist Mickle who is seen as too close to revolutionaries like Florian. However, although the general surrenders, his soldiers refuse to, and the nominal resistance becomes a full-blown war as the people fight to determine their own destiny...
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Westmark trilogy 02 - The Kestrel
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