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A trilogy by Creator/LloydAlexander, named after its setting - a fictional nation in a world of roughly 17th-century technology, somewhere vaguely Central European. It centers around the ComingOfAge of a printer's apprentice named Theo, and the odd companions he takes up with during a time of political turmoil.
In the first book, ''Westmark,'' King Augustine has fallen into despair after the [[NeverFoundTheBody presumed death]] of his only child, Augusta. He has turned administration of his kingdom over to [[EvilChancellor Minister Cabbarus]] while he focuses on spiritualism and other means of trying to commune with his daughter's spirit. Cabbarus has slowly instituted a police state, and suppresses all attempts to print 'sedition' against him. When Theo attempts to resist the soldiers attempting to shut down his press, he kills one of Cabbarus' soldiers and ends up on the run. His new life brings in contact with the swindler 'Count Las Bombas', his assistant Musket, the street urchin Mickle, the pamphleteer-in-hiding Keller, and a group of revolutionaries led by a man named Florian, who dreams of overthrowing Cabbarus and putting a republic in place of the kingship. His adventures inadvertently lead to the discovery that Princess Augusta is still alive, and she is restored to the throne.
In the second book, ''The Kestrel,'' Theo has withdrawn from Augusta's new administration, trying to determine his purpose in life. Abruptly, the kingdom to the East launches an invasion to overthrow 'the false Queen' and re-install Cabbarus as their viceroy. The surprise attack forces Queen Augusta from the capital. While she leads her forces in the field, Theo rejoins Florian's revolutionaries and becomes the bloodthirsty partisan known as the Kestrel.
The culmination of the trilogy is ''The Beggar Queen,'' in which Queen Augusta and Theo must not only overcome the Regian occupation, but deal with the fact that Florian's revolutionaries, [[EnemyMine though fighting ferociously against the Regians,]] have no intention of allowing the monarchy to return to power.
!!This series includes examples of:
* AbdicateTheThrone: The last book examines the potential consquences of an abdication. [[spoiler: In the end, Queen Augusta steps down.]]
* ActionGirl: Mickle acts as one early in the first book, [[spoiler: before her traumatic past starts to overcome her amnesia.]] Zara and Rina, of Florian's revolutionary band, engage in open combat when they're not acting as [[BeneathNotice spies-slash-washerwomen.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: Many of the sympathetic characters introduced in the first book do not live long enough to see peace come back to Westmark.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: [[spoiler:Zara foresaw interrogation if captured. She chose to die rather than betray Florian's Children.]]
* BittersweetEnding: The trilogy ends with [[spoiler:the country retaken, the people finally given a democracy, and Theo and Mickle married after years and two books of waiting; but with half the supporting cast dead including all of Florian's "children" besides Theo and the companions going into semi-voluntary exile]].
* BrokenBird: Justin starts out as a handsome, confident youth. After the disfiguring face wound he takes in ''Westmark,'' he descends into a fanaticism that isn't entirely sane.
%%* BrotherSisterTeam: Sparrow and Weasel
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Constantine and Mickle/Queen Augusta are both competent monarchs, but Mickle is a TomboyPrincess and Constantine tends to act like an UpperClassTwit.
%%* ErmineCapeEffect: Inverted with Constantine
** Cabbarus manipulates the king's grief over his dead daughter... but it all gets blown sky high when [[spoiler:the daughter turns out to be NotQuiteDead]].
** In ''The Kestrel'', the king of the next country over has an EvilUncle doubling as an Evil Chancellor, too.
* FantasyWorldMap: ''Westmark'' has a map of the three countries, ''The Kestrel'' has a map of Westmark, and ''The Beggar Queen'' has a map of capital city Marianstat.
%%* FieryRedhead: Zara
* FriendOrFoe: In ''The Kestrel'', a battle-mad Theo shoots a Regian soldier before he realizes it's actually his queen (and, to make it worse, his betrothed) DressingAsTheEnemy.
* FriendlyEnemy: Florian is a republican, but he and Mickle are pretty good friends.
* HeroicBSOD: Theo in ''The Kestrel'' after [[spoiler: Stock dies]].
* KillEmAll: Any character with a name had a fifty-fifty chance of making it out of book 3 alive. There were more deaths than in the previous two books combined--and the second book took place during a war.
* LaResistance: Florian's children are a subversion. They're a republican military force and VoiceOfTheResistance in an absolute monarchy, but they work alongside the monarchy rather than fight it directly, especially once Mickle takes over.
* LovableRogue: Las Bombas is a scoundrel and a fraud, but he's a good friend.
* NobleFugitive: Florian, as it turns out, was the child of an aristocrat.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Constantine is particularly great example of this.
* PurpleEyes: Justin has them: they're about all that's left of his original beauty after he's badly wounded.
%%* RagsToRoyalty: Mickle.
* RebelLeader: Florian is an examination of the trope. He's absolutely convinced that monarchy is stifling Westmark, and believes a peaceful transfer of power to be impossible. Even when ReasonableAuthorityFigure Augusta takes the throne, he sees conflict as inevitable.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Queen Augusta is determined to improve Westmark's living conditions. Once war begins, she takes the field (much to the horror of her advisers) as 'the Beggar Queen'.
* SignificantAnagram: All of Las Bombas's aliases are anagrams.
* StreetUrchin: Mickle, Sparrow, and Weasel are all examples. Cabbarus' administration has left Westmark with ''plenty'' of dispossessed children scavenging to survive.
%%* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:Zara]]
%%* TomboyPrincess: Mickle
* UpperClassTwit: Constantine is a subversion. He ''acts'' like one, but is actually anything but a twit.
* VoiceOfTheResistance: Keller's newspaper, one of the few that dares to criticize Cabbarus.
%%* WarriorPoet: Stock
* WarIsHell: ''The Kestrel'' is all about the effects of war upon those who fight it, most especially Theo himself.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Justin's unhappy with the compromises Florian is willing to make with the monarchy.