Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: The Kestrel by Lloyd Alexander

Title:  The Kestrel
Author:  Lloyd Alexander
Series:  Westmark trilogy #2
Genre:  Fantasy
Pages:  256

Rating:  B

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):  In the second volume of the Westmark trilogy, Theo is about to be Prince of Westmark, a province marked by great poverty and corruption. But an assassin's pistol shot makes things even more dangerous for the new monarchy.

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It took over ten years to finally read this book.  I started the Westmark trilogy in junior high/high school (not really sure anymore), and I bought the second book, The Kestrel, right after reading Westmark.  But for some reason, I never read it.  Now that I have, I'm not really surprised.

The story starts out interesting, with Theo and Mickle each having their own separate adventure.  Queen Mickle rides off to be general of her army, and Theo gets shot by an assassin and then joins the renegade army that's led by his friend Florian.  Things are really exciting and tense, and then... they just drag on and on and on.  I know the whole point was to show Theo's growth and how war changes him and those around him, but about halfway through, I just started skimming the pages, waiting for the conclusion to finally come.

I think the biggest problem with The Kestrel is that it's the second book of a trilogy.  It's pretty much just a stepping stone from point A to point B.  Obviously there was some adventure (battles, deaths, escapades), and a few minor characters from the first book got a lot of interesting character development (I think Sparrow's my new favorite character).  But overall, the book felt like it was just there to lay the groundwork for the final book.  B

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