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[WARNING: Here there be spoilers.]

The Kestrel
by Lloyd Alexander
244 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Fiction/YA/Fantasy

The second in Alexander's Westmark trilogy; still distinctly YA and "adventurous." I often find this type of book tiresome unless there is Martin-style realism, which would be entirely inappropriate here for both the target audience and Alexander's style. Still--teenaged monarches running off in disguise? Really?

On the other hand, I was glad for the lack of political marriage alliances, since the plot otherwise satisfies several other cliches (case in point: Cabbarus, who should have been killed in Westmark to begin with--yes, I know his forgiveness is crucial to Theo's moral development, but plot should not serve the author so blatantly). More politics in this book than the previous, which is yum. I enjoyed seeing civil war from a sociological perspective, and Theo's transformation into the Kestrel was chilling. I loved Connie and I hope he gets a starring role in The Beggar Queen.

Random questions/annoyances: When did Theo propose? I loathe off-screen turning points, which an engagement between the protagonist and his love interest definitely qualifies. What happened to Monkey--was he a traitor? Is he dead? If his ambiguous end is a next-book lead-in... Like I said, I haven't much patience for this type of book.

Westmark was nonetheless a compelling read and a slim volume. Many of my friends (*cough* [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, [livejournal.com profile] yhlee) are in love with it, so I would recommend giving Alexander a try despite my own tepid feelings. I promise you won't lose too many hours of your life. I'm still not a fan of Alexander or this series, but unlike after Westmark, I am persuaded to at least read further.
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keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Keix

January 2011

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