Title: The Gypsy King (The Gypsy King #1)
Author: Maureen Fergus
Publisher: RazOrbill Canada
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Source: eARC from Publisher
A runaway slave with a shadowy past, sixteen-year-old Persephone has spent four long years toiling beneath the leering gaze of her despise 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.
In the past I was never really one for a full on fantasy story. I had nothing against urban fantasy, but there was just something about regular old fantasy that just didn't really click with me. But for whatever reason I have been finding myself reading more and more fantasy lately, even surprising myself with how much I'm enjoying the stories. This was the case with Maureen Fergus' The Gypsy King. While it took a bit for me to get into the story, once I did I found myself greatly enjoying it.
Though she is not happy with it, the life of a slave is all Persephone has known. As far as she can remember, she has always been at the service of someone else. But that doesn't mean she does so without protestation or without escape attempts. Those attempts have got her chained up, something which makes defending herself against a mysteriously handsome chicken thief difficult. Things become even more mysterious when that same chicken thief shows up the next day, dressed like a nobleman and asking Persephone's owner if he could buy Persephone. Now free from her owner, Persephone is to sure what is going to happen. And much less what is going on with the mysterious Azriel.
I'm a little new to the whole fantasy bandwagon (kinda late I know), but I'm finding that I'm enjoying fantasy as a whole a lot more than I have in the past. Maybe it has to do with me maturing or something like that. But regardless, that has allowed me to really enjoy The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus. While it did take me a while to get into the story--which might be because at first I was only able to read sporadically--once I did, I found myself getting completely wrapped up in the story and the characters. There is a lot going on in this book and that means a lot of facts that need to be kept straight but that's what made the story so interesting. The fact that there was always something happening and that there were so many layers to the story is what kept me reading. There are also a lot of question that need answering throughout the book and all those questions have not been answered. I can only hope that they will be answered in future book.
Persephone was an interesting girl. She was the complete opposite of the image you typically have of a slave. But that's what made it so I wanted to read her story. While I liked her most of the time, the one thing that bothered me the most about her was how much time she spent lying. In some cases the lying made sense and it was a means to an end, especially when she needed protection. But whenever she would lie to Azriel I would kinda get annoyed with her. There was definitely a lot going on with Azriel and it took me a while to get a clear read on him. But that didn't stop me from liking him very early on in the story. What I especially liked was how his relationship with Persephone developed. There was always so much going on and it felt like their relationship, especially their potential romance, was put on the back burner because of it all. But that also made it so the romance progressed at a more normal pace--something that shouldn't always be taken for granted when reading YA.
Maureen Fergus' The Gypsy King made me realize that I should spend more time reading fantasy because I always end up enjoying those stories more than i expect. But beyond just making me love fantasy, The Gypsy King was written in a way that made it so I got all wrapped up the story and the characters, and that is always a clear sign of a good book.