January 22, 2013
Hey all! Thanks for stopping by for our tour stop for
The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus
presented by Razorbill Canada!
A runaway slave with a shadowy past, sixteen-year-old Persephone has spent four long years toiling beneath the leering gaze of her despised owner and dreaming of a life where she is free to shape her own destiny. Then, one night, a chance encounter with a handsome chicken thief named Azriel changes her life forever.
Sold to him for a small bag of gold coins, Persephone soon discovers what she already suspected: namely, that Azriel is not what he seems. And when she realizes that he believes Persephone has a special destiny—she is determined to escape him and his impossibly broad shoulders.
But things are no longer as simple as they once were. Torn between her longing for freedom and her undeniable feelings for the handsome thief with the fast hands and the slow smile, Persephone faces the hardest choice she will ever have to make. And no one least of all her—could have imagined the shocking truth her decision will reveal.
I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **
I’ve been more interested in fantasy as of late, so The Gypsy King by author Maureen Fergus was exactly what I have been looking for. A fantasy about a slave girl falling in love with a handsome thief and having to discover her destiny that is bound to leave readers with their jaws dropped? Doesn’t that just spell out the epitome of awesome? Right from the opening chapter that literally left me at a loss for words, I enjoyed every single moment that I spent reading The Gypsy King and I’ll just say right now that after the cliff-hanger ending, I’d do anything to start reading what happens to Persephone next.
The Gypsy King takes place in a fantasy land where our main character Persephone has lived her entire life as a slave. When she finds herself face to face with a thief attempting to steal her owner’s chickens and allows him to get away, Persephone thinks that that’s the last she’ll ever see of the chicken thief. It isn’t until the very next day that he arrives and buys her for nothing more than a bag of coins, that Persephone finds herself swept up into a world full of danger. While Persephone believes that things can’t get any worse and that she will eventually manage to escape the gypsy thief and gain her freedom—a darker plot is taking place amongst the nobles.
The Regent Mordecai murdered the king years ago and the queen had died shortly after, that left their young heir as King. But the Regent, a malformed and wicked man, has plans to rule the entire kingdom. A man who finds death entertaining and is unable to find a woman who would actually love him, the Regent is a seriously evil antagonist in the story. When Persephone finds herself involved in a gypsy quest to save a little gypsy boy from death, she is introduced to the idea of having to assist the Gypsy King (whoever that may be) in basically creating peace throughout the land. It’s by chance that Persephone finds herself under the guise of a distant noblewoman and three things happen: The Regent and the King both begin to lust over Persephone and Persephone slowly begins to fall for the gypsy thief, Azriel.
I’ll admit that I’m a bit surprised by just how much I liked The Gypsy King. Tthe premise sounded interesting, but what really got me was Azriel’s dialogue. Right from the first chapter we have with Persephone, we are introduced to how often he quips and makes snarky remarks. Since Azriel is in most of the chapters, I found myself laughing constantly by the funny things he would say and after dark chapters, the funny things that he says always took my mind off of the more dark subjects. Out of the cast of characters, I’ll admit that I enjoyed Azriel and Persephone, but only as a pair because together they not only caused comedic scenes, but also had me shouting at the novel to have them fall in love already.
Most of the novel surprisingly takes place while Persephone usurps as a noblewoman within the Palace and acts a bit like a tease considering how quickly men were falling in love with her and how she’d string them along, however Persephone doesn’t really notice it for the most part. The novel does change POVs (point of views) and when we do get chapters in the Regent Mordecai’s POV we see just how obsessed he grows with who Persephone is pretending to be. His thought process consists of him constantly mistaking Persephone’s actions for signs of interest, instead of her just not wanting to be caught as an imposter.
Throughout The Gypsy King I was dying to find out just who the Gypsy King would actually be. I had a few guesses who and by the end of the novel, I was happy to figure out that not only was my main guess correct (score!) but I hadn’t expected Persephone to be who she is revealed to be at the very end of the novel. The Gypsy King is a novel that’s highly detailed and so the reader should be able to create the world Fergus made, while reading. With it having a high amount of details, there is also the fact that you literally cannot miss a sentence, or parts of the plot will stop making sense. (Just a forewarning for any readers who tend to skim over highly detailed portions of a novel and assume that there is nothing to gather from those parts.) The only thing that I think should be mentioned is that the novel does mention and hint at a lot of sex and sexual assault, I didn’t put much thought into it, but to readers who do get a bit irked by those things, might want to mind it.
I’d recommend The Gypsy King to readers who are fans of YA fantasy as well as the YA romance scene. Readers who also want a story that they can easily get lost in, will adore The Gypsy King.
About the Author:
I was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When I was sixteen my family moved east; while there, I received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University. Upon gradutating, I moved back to Winnipeg to embark upon my business career. I have worked in the aerospace, biopharmaceutical and financial services industries. I have also taught at the college level.
When I was growing up, the idea of becoming a fiction writer never even crossed my mind. Then, six weeks after our first daughter was born, my husband Nick suggested that I give it a try. Thinking that it might be a good way to keep my brain stimulated in between diaper changes, I decided to do so. And you know what? That first time I reached my fingers toward the keyboard to write a story it felt as though I was slipping my hands into a pair of gloves that had been waiting for me my whole life. It was the first step on the long, challenging path that led to my becoming a published author.
These days, life is busy. I went back to work in the business world as the part-time Managing Director of a Financial Services company five years ago when my youngest child started grade one, so two days a week I live in the fast-paced corporate world, three days a week (plus whatever other time I can manage!) I work on my writing. In between, I shop for groceries, make lunches, do laundry, clean the house, coach soccer, run twelve miles a week, study karate and hang out with my husband, our three kids and the family dog!