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Ashley Mar Reads

I'm a fifteen year old high school sophomore with a passion for writing, reading and talking about books!

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Margaret Stohl
Last Sacrifice
Richelle Mead
Veronica Roth

A Fool's Errand by Maureen Fergus

A Fool's Errand - Maureen Fergus

          The quest to find the legendary gypsy healing Pool of Genezing is on.  Persephone, Azriel, their gypsy friends Tiny and Fayla, and Persephone’s “doppelganger” Rachel, set out on their quest to save the king.

          I didn’t absolutely love A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus but I did like it as much as I was expecting.  So it did meet my expectations.  Like the last book, The Gypsy King, the book had slight pacing problems and irritating prospective changes.  All of the annoying aspects were a crucial part of the story telling, and they all make sense when it comes together at the end but I do think there could have been a more effective way that Fergus did this while still keeping the action rolling.

          The plot was a lot different than The Gypsy King’s, which is a good thing.  Often the second book in a trilogy is like the middle child and doesn’t get as much attention as it should.  In reality that book could have been the introduction for the third book— reduced to thirty or forty pages instead of being a three hundred to four hundred full length novel.  It’s essentially an appeal for more money.  That is not what this is!  This novel is required.

          We really get to know Azriel more and in my case, fall in love with him more.  The relationship between Azriel and Persephone is more settling than in the last book and Persephone is considerably less annoying.  I can even say that I really do like her in this novel.

          Rachel though…  She is another story.  I wanted to like her but she is just so nosey and to quick to involve herself in the affairs of others.  She is one of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy this story more.  Last novel I could somewhat ignore her because she wasn’t a reoccurring character, but in this book she was.

          I didn’t like the unknown perspective that we followed.  It wasn’t very interesting and I didn’t find it super extremely necessary.  Sometimes it was, but he didn’t require as many chapters as he got.

          It’s good to finally get to see the world because in the last book the story solely existed inside the castle (we did get to see a small portion of the gypsy camp and Persephone’s master’s home).  But you wonder if the kingdom is big, small, are they inland, by the ocean; it just doesn’t have enough world building.  With all the travelling in this book those questions are answered, not directly of course, but through the places that they travel to.

          The ending was slightly unsettling.  It wasn’t a “Bam!  It’s going to take a minute to let that all settle in!” ending.  It was more of a “That’s it?  Is a chapter ripped out or something because that can’t be the end…”  I do see where it is beneficial; it leaves open so many window of opportunity for the next book.  Which is what makes Fergus a clever and enjoyable author.  She is always one step ahead of you.  I can’t wait for the release of the third and final book in the Gypsy King trilogy, Tomorrow’s Kingdom, set to be released July 8th, 2014.

The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus

The Gypsy King - Maureen Fergus

        I realized from the beginning that The Gypsy King, by Maureen Fergus, is a quirky action packed novel, with pacing trouble.  The idea for the novel about sixteen year old Persephone’s attempts at escaping enslavement, were all there but often became lost in Fergus’s need to make the novel 434 pages long.  Causing it to be dull at times and when action arose, the chapter often ended and the perspective changed, making you wait even longer for the action.

            Fergus sets the medieval era scene by narrating in old English that is still understandable.  The novel’s young adult characters also fit the setting— and are refreshing— because of their lack of using the word “like” in unnecessary places, as many YA characters do.

            Persephone’s desire to escape is one of the driving forces of the story and is how Fergus displays Persephone’s independence and determination.  Though, her attempts at escaping get old the second time when she just makes more trouble for herself and the people trying to help her, which makes her infuriating to read about.  She becomes more likable when she discovers that her own freedom could mean the end of other’s.  Yet, she remains naïve in believing that everything will work out, making her seem more real in her refusal to change; which turns into an admirable quality of hers.

            Azriel; Persephone’s side kick; her polar opposite; the humour of the story.  He isn’t the typical tall, dark and everything-always-goes-my-way type, just a charming misfit that ends up with the unfortunate job of trying to protect Persephone.  He’s the nothing-ever-goes-my-way type, which makes him more desirable in an underdog sort of way.  He was the character you couldn’t wait to read about because of his wit and unpredictability.

            But my favorite character was the infamous Regent Mordecai.  Cold to the core; Mordecai is manipulative and conniving.  His body is crippled, in an Igor like manner, giving him the perfect villainous appearance.  The way that Fergus portrays him is phenomenal!  You want to hate him because he is so evil— killing the Gypsies and scalping people— but you read his perspective and the more you learn about him the more you begin to pity him and root for him subconsciously.

            Though it was slow at times and somewhat underdeveloped, The Gypsy King was enjoyable overall and thought provoking.  It would be A Fool’s Errand not to pick up the second book.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton This is honestly the best book I have ever read! The end made me cry so hard. All the emotions in the book are outstanding and genuine. The struggle to be accepted and fell loved. I think everybody, at one point in their life, would be able to relate to at least one of the characters. The message was so clear and strong. I feel I'm more attentive to not judge people based on stereotypes as I was before reading The Outsiders. I believe everybody should (or try at least!) the read the outsiders!