Review: The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus

The Gypsy King - Maureen FergusPublisher: RazOrbill Canada (January 22nd, 2013)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Series: Gypsy King #1
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

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


What to say? This book definitely surprised me. I think I was expecting a bit of a fluffy, historical romance/action but it was definitely much more. It has its dark moments (much darker and cruel than I would have suspected from a YA novel) and it has its (very) witty moments. Set in a world where gypsies are hunted by the evil Regent Mordecai, there is a lot death and dark turns in book and not just for the gypsies. Mordecai is quite the twisted man with an ugly heart to match his ailments and deformities (a main reason for his cruelty), and he’s determined to become king. We do get to see the story from his point of view, so it’s kind of interesting to see how his twisted mind works.

Persephone was an okay heroine for me. She’s brave, doesn’t take bullshit and pretty intelligent, though is a bit passive (ie. she’s spurred into action by a force rather than initiating it). I do love Persephone’s interaction with her animals (a dog, horse, and falcon); the animals are a riot and half. Admittedly, my slight dislike for her is due to her lies/actions to Azriel (who some how has managed to steal my heart). Oh Azriel. He’s handsome and brave and trusting and almost too perfect. But what has me is the fact that Persephone’s animals like to mess with him. Hilarious and embarrassing things happen to him, but he takes all with a smile, which only makes him more charming. Definitely a keeper even if Persephone doesn’t always see it that way.

The plot is intriguing and quite detailed (at 400 pages, I would hope there would be some substances), with secret rebellions and court intrigue. At the same time, at 400 pages, it just scratches the surface of what’s going to happen. It’s a nice fast paced book and I could barely put it down, so what’s keeping it from that lustrous 5 star (note: slightly spolierish ahead)? The cliff of all hanging cliff hangers. We’re not talking, “oh! well things have sorta settled down but what is this shocking news that will be introduced in the next book!?”, we’re talking “”OH GLOB! IS HE GOING TO SHOOT HIM!” /cut away to commercial except the commercial is a year long and we literally have to wait to see the climax of the story (oh wait. That’s BBC’s Sherlock)”. Yes, that kind of cliff hanger. Literally in the middle of the story!! arrrg.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There’s a nice mix of humour that keeps the book from become too depressing, but enough action that’ll suck you right in. So if you’re in need of a good historical action intrigue with a fluff of romance, give it a go.

{*Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Find Maureen Fergus:

Website | Goodreads

Purchase the book:

Indigo | McNally Robinson |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus”

  1. ok, you totally had me with comments like dark and Sherlock. Not thrilled about the crazy, pull out your hair cliffhanger, but i so am going to read this! Sweet review!

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