Published: January 15th, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Copy: Publisher via Netgalley
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.
The Gypsy King is one of those books, for me at least, that I fell right into from the very first page. It happens every now and again and it always takes me by surprise, although I'm not sure why exactly.
The Gypsy King is an adventurous, mysterious fantasy that reads more like a historical novel than fantasy in some places. The world building was was superb and the characters just seemed to slide into place. One of the things I really enjoyed about Persephone's character was her absolute single-mindedness in wanting to escape from the palace. She is willing to do, or say, almost anything in order to achieve her ends. She does lie rather a lot, and I'm not always sure it was necessary, but I could not fault her determination. Persephone and Azriel are the perfect foils for each other. No insta-love, just a slow realisation that there is an attraction - ohhh, I loved it. I would especially love to meet Azriel, he seemed to have such a wonderfully cheerful outlook on life, with a marvellous sense of humour.
Mordecai, the bad guy of the story, was suitably nasty and twisted, both in mind and body. He really was an unpleasant piece of work. I couldn't find one redeeming quality about him - uugghh! Some of the things he does are quite revolting, so if you are faint of heart, you might not enjoy that part. There are a group of servants - Meeka, Meera, Meeta and Martha that I absolutely adored and who added some wonderful humour to the story.
The Gypsy King is mysterious, exciting, romantic and just plain fun.It was a story that I just didn't want to end. The characters had become my friends and the thought of having to say goodbye to them was upsetting. Of course, I don't have to say goodbye - just au revoir, see you soon. I personally can't wait to find out what is awaiting Persephone and Azriel