Of his youth is a mere memory a boy he thought he was It was one of the first times I came was It was one of the first times I came against a character confronting himself and not being sure which facet of his personality was the genuine one I have not forgotten the experience and only learned to appreciate it for its brutal honesty in the years since Fortunately Mr Alexander is brilliant at wry humor and love as well So you re never left entirely without recourse when the emons come calling Mickle is pure gold in this book and she will always be one of my very favorite fictional thieves Her ability to know who she is and meld the two aspects of her broken life provide inspiration and lifeline to Theo and the reader "As The Tale Wends " the tale wends way to its excellent close I always recommend this for those in the mood for some mature character Looking for the Toffees driven YA fantasy with an emphasis on the political rather than the fantastical The second in Lloyd Alexander s Westmark Trilogy is an absolute emotional trainwreck of a story It flawlessly takes the lovable characters of the first story and embroils them in the most intense and traumatic conflict pushing character and reader alike to their breaking point Where Westmarkealt with the uestions of how Raising Gods Girl do men live virtuously in the face of injustice and in particular warfare The Kestrel throws you into the thick of it and shows what types of moralilemmas man will face in a state of complete chaos and hatred Despite being a children s and a fantasy story The Kestrel was one of the most powerful and realistic war stories I have ever readIn The Kestrel Westmark finds itself suddenly embroiled in war as wicked and greedy aristocrats betray their country to the neighbouring Kingdom of Regia where the exiled Cabbarus takes up residence hoping to ruin those who took him out of power and reclaim a seat of authority Mickle as new Princess Augusta throws herself into the thick of the battle proving herself to be a capable military commander Florian and his revolutionaries agree to provide aid to the ueen of Westmark but only under the conditions that Theo swear his allegiance first to their cause and that the ueen will also consider their conditions for a constitutionalized government Theo joins Justin as a The Gulag Handbook detachment of raiders weakening the Regia supply lines In the face of violenteath and the loss of friends Theo must learn whether or not it is possible to retain a sense of morality and humanity and if he cannot he must The Beckoning Lady (Albert Campion determine whether he can ever go back to being the person he thought he was The Kestrel realistically shows what happens to men in battle Lloyd Alexander simply and accuratelyepicts noble men Will in the World descend to bloodthirsty killers At the same time heoes it in such a way that you June Fourth Elegies do not hate the character but rather mourn and ache for the loss he writes such a compelling narrative that you understand why they become the way theyo but the change from noble and masculine men to violent animals is nothing but heartbreaking Knowing that Lloyd Alexander himself took part in World War II helps to understand how it is that he creates the war Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes dynamic so well Every part of the story feels so real The characters are real with great ualities and skills and shocking flaws Watching characters like Theo and Stock who have such high moral compasses slowly give in to less noble temptations in the face of hungerespair and murder all around them is believable and personal Lloyd Alexander makes the reader feel the shame but also the The Confabulist desperation in their actions If heidn t give an answer to whether war is worth waging for a just cause in Westmark he presents the reality of war plainly enough to shock you into finding an answer for yourself No character is safe you will move through grief with the characters in this story as friend and foe fall all around you And at the end of the Der Illusionist day what you have left is a charred kingdom and traumatized menOne of the subtle but beautiful aspects of The Kestrel however is how Lloyd Alexander has Theo find consolation and a way back to reality through art It is only when Theo is able toraw his experiences to put them Enticing (PI Men to the Rescue down on paper that he can bring himself to face his friends again Heraws places and people even those that he only saw once in passing that no one but his memory remembers Art is Theo s way of coming to terms with the things he s seen and the things he s Spring Comes to Sanctuary (Welcome to Sanctuary, done It not only makes them real but also helps him to be than the sum of that experience Theo s skill atrawing seems throughout both books as a simple hobby and character uirk but the way Lloyd Alexander brings it back as Theo s way back into reality was stunningly beautiful It made me wonder if there was some glimpsing into the author perhaps The Westmark Trilogy was Lloyd Alexander s way back home after his own war experiences Overall the book is an absolutely breathtaking and incredible war story that is both realistic and compelling 55. Hat turns simple honest men into cold blooded killers Mickle into a military commander and Theo himself into a strangerWith war in Westmark and the assumption of the throne by Mickle all Theo's talents are needed as well as those of his former companion.
characters The KestrelThe first time I read it I initially had TROUBLE INTO THE
KESTREL SINCE IT STARTEDSINCE IT STARTED getting into Kestrel since it started out a lot of talking about war and politics But now that I ve finished my second re read I have found so much to appreciate in this story so much that I changed my rating from four stars to five There is a real sense of growth in the characters and the story since the first book we see a Ask the Past drasticallyifferent side of both Theo and Mickle as they are placed in new and Riding Class (Saddle Club, dangerous situations and there is a new intensity in the writing The scene where view spoilerTheoiscovers Stock s body hide spoiler It was another good book by Lloyd Alexander the second chapter in the Westmark trilogy chronicling the war between Westmark and its neighbour Regia Maybe Silver Stirrups (Saddle Club, due to this it was mucharker in tone than any of his other books I have read There was indeed marked character Different Class development however much of it was negative Theoid come back to his senses towards the end of act three but it wasn t easy to see how he reacted to the war or how he became the Kestrel There were other good characters introduced such as King Constantine again he was likable mostly towards the end and some of the other characters fleshed out such as Florian but the character who I most wanted to read about and who I liked the most Mickle Short Stories by Roald Dahl did not show up much at allHowever Lloyd Alexander gets full marks for creating two of the most lovable lively and interesting secondary characters well tertiary characters in fiction Sparrow and Weasel These water rats with their unswervingevotion to Keller their innocence and their oblivious practicality were a welcome relief from the tension of the war and Theo s path to the Goldilocks the Three Bears dark sideThe writing as usual was goodOver all it was a hard book to read Its main focus was the war and Theo becoming the Kestrel both of which were ratherepressing topics and necessary to set up the third book the Beggar ueen And it needed Mickle This is a peculiar book As I long time fan of the chronicles of Prydain I ecided this year to take a look at some of Alexander s other writing The Westmark trilogy made sense as a place to begin and so I utifully read Westmark I found that book to be Socialist Realism decidedly mediocre It wasn t terrible but it wasisjointed silly even rather superficial a series of anecdotal experiences strung together haphazardly with too many characters too little I Look Up To... Michelle Obama development and a tidy ending that strained credulity That left me reluctant to continue on with this second book in the series it took me several months to return to itImagine my surprise then at this novel Picking up with the characters from Westmark all employed to rather concerted effect here but utterly abandoning the tone and structure of that book here is a novel about war This is not an adventure story not a frolicsome romp through misadventures but a full fledged war story that sometimes seemsirectly inspired by the sueamish uestions of morality in guerrilla combat raised by Vietnam There are of course some sillier sections some light fare back and forths with some of the characters from Westmark and the conclusion is typically tidy and even a touch frivolous Nevertheless Alexander achieves a level of seriousness and Doctor Extraño depth through the heart of this novel that I think he has only elsewhere achieved in The Black Cauldron which I still contend is a far superior novel to The High KingWhereoes that leave this book then Well it s a fairly personal story about soul searching and struggling with morality against the backdrop of a brutal war The themes are thought provoking and the characters o not isappoint There is still a Never Tell disjointed uality as not all of the characters and concepts from the first novel mesh with the material in this one and the ending is certainly weaker than the middle and early sections If this book stood on its own and itoesn t you really have to read the first one first I would heartily recommend it to young people and perhaps even to older people Since you have to slog through Westmark to appreciate this novel though I m not sure It s a pity really as the two novels have very little to Feminism is for Everybody do with each other in theme and scope For its own sake though I greatly enjoyed this novel and I think it s up there with Lloyd Alexander s finest work I love this book It makes so much sense reading it in order This time I wasn t completely lost unlike the first time I read it which was my first introduction to The Westmark Trilogy I really like the mature aspects it handles about war and politics The first book of the trilogy struggled a little in my mind in finding itself theme and identity The second one manages much better iteals with horrors of war lines even good people are willing to cross when pushed and a good Deterring Democracy deal of moral greys It s not nearly as funny as Prydain s early books could be but it s rather harrowing to compensate without needing to go into grislyet. 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. .
Ails to really shove it in our faces It S SUBTLE AND "LETS US FILL THE "US FILL THE MANY subtle and lets us fill the blanks Many authors reveling in blood and rape and swear words take noteIt ends a little bleaker than Westmark Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, did for that matter I m not sure anything was truly fixed and it s all justelaying the inevitable as the second acts often tend to Hunters Heart do It turns out that Theo sparing a life in the first book only brought them all harm butid this one Menneskefluene (K2 do him any better when he tried taking lives for a change Itoesn t look like he s any happier for it I m thoroughly enjoying this trilogy by Lloyd Alexander one that I ve actually owned for many years but which I had not managed to read until now Really Nazi Gold didn t know what to expect and it is ratherifferent than any of his other books Yet it exhibits the same masterful writing craft that he has employed in his many other works and he puts them to good effect her It s not historical fiction leastwise not in the usual sense nor is it alternative his Harrowing in parts Alexander is good at writing adventure without shying away from the reality of war The ending blew me away The whole series was my introduction to political science I love this book It is a Mr Majeika and the School Inspector deep passionate love Originally reviewed hereA couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a Shakespeare Festival in a small townown south DH and I have gone three times in the last few years as children and time off work permitted and each time it s been an utter Selected Poems delight This year we went with some good friends so it was twice as fun One afternoon we were in between plays and I wasetermined to get back to this little used bookstore we visited the last time we made it own For many years now I have been involved in a prolonged and illustrious love affair with used bookstores This one is my latest crush I walked in the Doctor Strange, Vol. 2 door wandered over to the YA section and lo and behold the exact edition of Lloyd Alexander s The Black Cauldron that I have been searching for for what feels like forever the one missing from my collection was sitting there on the shelf in gorgeous condition with a price tag of twoollars Needless to say I snatched it up immediately and the smile it put on my face has lasted It also put me in mind of another Alexander book I wanted to review I love all his books as you know and the Chronicles of Prydain will always hold a place of honor in my heart as they were the first of his I read and I m finishing up the last one with my son right now But the Westmark series is something special I reviewed book one awhile back it s actually the only Alexander book I ve reviewed here which fills me with shock and ismay so today you get book two And you may be getting in the near future Warning It s always a bit hard avoiding spoilers when reviewing seuels So please proceed with caution if you have not yet read Westmark Instead ask yourself Whyever have I not read Westmark And then go remedy the situation immediately Theo is lost Geographically he knows exactly where he is He s crisscrossing the country getting to know every nook and cranny of the land he is to rule over with Mickle Mickle the girl who was nothing than a guttersnipe thief The girl he fell in love with who turned out to be a princess and heir to the throne of the beleaguered kingdom of Westmark Now he is set to become prince consort and Theo is as far from knowing where he is or being sure that s who he should be as is humanly possible Mickle or rather the Princess Augusta is stuck in the capital city regaining the life she lost as a small girl while Theo is forced to see his nation and his people for what they really are toppling over the brink of revolution Tasked with reporting the findings of his wanderings to the royal family Theo soon realizes he will be fortunate to survive at all And before long he isn t at all sure he wants to as his life is changed irrevocably by a single gunshot Little oes he know back at the capital Mickle s life has been eually as altered Determined to find Theo she sets off on a angerous adventure of her
Own By The Time SheBy the time she him however Theo is changed far beyond recognition Whether they will be able to return to some sort of common ground is only one of a thousand uestions raging along with the warFirst published in 1982 THE KESTREL is the best kind of historical fantasy It is also everything the middle novel in a trilogy should be And by that I mean it is arker ambiguous painstakingly layered political just altogether I remember the first time I read it being so afraid for Theo He was one thing in the first book and here he was being violently forced into being another thing I was so afraid he wouldn t survive Lloyd Alexander is a master of character evolution and at asking the hard uestions Theo begins to believe he is the Kestrel that the feared soldier the learned and later craved violence is the real him That the printer s apprentice. 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 .