Reading The Gypsy King is like jumping wholeheartedly into an unknown world replete with characters and conflicts that refuse to relinquish their hold on your heart even long after you’ve turned the last page. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one who flipped through the four blank pages at the end of the book, desperately trying to find an epilogue or notes from the author or just something to make the journey last a little longer.)
Maureen’s story revolves around a 16-year-old slave named Persephone who, despite her many attempts to achieve freedom, finds herself entangled with Azriel, a thief who is as witty as he is handsome. Together they embark on a noble but ambitious rescue adventure that will find them dancing with danger and running for their lives. Persephone must choose between her freedom and her feelings for Azriel, but is she prepared for the repercussions of either choice? Maureen takes you on an edge-of-your-seat adventure that will have you re-reading some delicious parts and hastily gulping down others to find out what happens next.
Plot & Pacing: You’re in for a complex and satisfying ride! Problems abound for all of the characters (some encountered by chance, others self-inflicted), and boy, does the ending leave you gasping for air! Be prepared not to do anything but read for a few hours once you start this book. One chapter is never enough!
Characters: You’ll fall in love with Azriel … even more so when Persephone warms up to him as well. Finnius and Fleet are pretty awesome, too, but beware of Mordecai!
Setting & World-Building: Maureen’s world is interesting, unique, and nicely reminiscent of the Middle Ages. Trying to keep track of all the place names can be challenging though.
Style & Writing: Want to learn how to be a good writer? Start by reading this book. Anyone who wants an example of how to write well will find Maureen an excellent example to follow.
“Walk if you wish—for now, Persephone—and when you begin to falter, I’ll show myself to be a true and noble gentleman by giving you the choice between riding up here with me—or being dragged behind my horse.” (72)
“To be a true ruling king, His Majesty will need to settle upon a fertile wife and get down to the business of getting down to business.” (145)
“There is no humiliation in being fairly beaten … How are you ever to prove yourself a great ruler if you never have to fight for any victory you achieve?” (360)