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