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The Beggar Queen

The Beggar Queen

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The Beggar Queen is the last book of the Westmark
Westmark (novel)
Westmark is a fantasy novel by Lloyd Alexander that received an American Book Award. It is the first book of the Westmark trilogy, followed by The Kestrel and The Beggar Queen. Showing influences from the French existentialist writers whose works Alexander translated early in his career, the...

 trilogy by Lloyd Alexander
Lloyd Alexander
Lloyd Chudley Alexander was a widely influential American author of more than forty books, mostly fantasy novels for children and adolescents, as well as several adult books...

, published by E. P. Dutton
E. P. Dutton
E. P. Dutton was an American book publishing company founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton. In 1986, the company was acquired by Penguin Group and split into two imprints: Dutton Penguin and Dutton Children's Books.-History:Edward Payson Dutton founded...

 in 1984.

Plot introduction

Mickle, once a common street urchin, is now the queen of Westmark. The kingdom is thriving, yet at the same time, it is strangely restless. Ghosts of the past lurk everywhere. The evil minister, Cabbarus, once banished from Westmark, is now plotting to seize the throne. Theo remembers a time when he was the famed Kestrel, fighting battles that threatened to kill his soul. Now he once again must join in the struggle. Who will at last command the fate of Westmark?

One answer to that question is the people. The common people, mostly anonymous, rise up at the end, making the final overthrow of Cabbarus possible.

The book raises moral questions, especially about choices, the effects of having power, and the evil that seems necessary to prosecute a war. Theo tries to keep out of the battles in the book, but finds that he can not. He vows to kill Cabbarus. (Theo had once saved his life in Westmark
Westmark may refer to:* Westmark , a fantasy novel written by Lloyd Alexander* Reichsgau Westmark, a planned Reichsgau of Nazi Germany, that included the former Territory of the Saar Basin, the Bavarian Palatinate and after 1940 the French d├ępartement of Moselle in Lorraine * The Westmark School, a...

, the first of the trilogy.)

In the end, many of the characters are dead, including Cabbarus, but not by the hand of Theo. A government, led by a council of commoners, begins to rise. Mickle, in one of her last acts as queen, proclaims that she and Theo are married. She sees that the two of them cannot remain in the country where she was queen. As the book ends, the couple leaves to travel the world together with their old friends, Las Bombas and Musket.