Fourteen-year-old Durriken Brishen has lost his parents, his grandfather, and though he doesn’t know it, his Gypsy culture’s dangerous gift.
Taken in and raised on the rails by the first woman to pilot a freight train, Durriken has one remaining connection to his Romani roots: a small wooden box that hangs from the hammer loop of his overalls.
The last gift he received from his grandfather, the box contains the world’s first chess set. But a piece is missing: the Red Queen. According to Durriken’s family lore, the complete set awakens the power of Tărie, a mercurial gift that confers unique abilities on each new Master.
When a suspicious fire erupts in the Chicago rail yard, Durriken’s escape produces an uneasy alliance, though not without its silver lining. Dilia is a few inches taller, several degrees cleverer, and oh yes – very pretty. While Durriken is uneasy allying with a girl whose parents were convicted of sedition, there’s no doubt she is a powerful partner. And while it’s not immediately clear to either, her own Guatemalan culture and family history are deeply entwined with the ancient Romani mystery.
Jumping box cars, escaping riverboats, deciphering clues, crossing swords with the brilliant madman Radu Pinch – with great American cities as its backdrop – Gypsy Knights is the page-turning saga of Durriken Brishen and his quest to rediscover his past
Gypsy Knights is a very suspenseful read. This was a like as well as a dislike for me. I liked that the books kept switching back and forth between different people and each time, you got another little piece of the puzzle. But, I disliked that the pieces you got were so small at any given point. I was kind of confused at multiple points in the book. Everything came together for me, and I really enjoyed the result, but at times I didn’t exactly know what was going on. I found this a little frustrating.
Still, the story is a really interesting one. I found the plotline to be original and engaging. There was certainly never a dull moment. From the moment Duri and Dilla run away and embark on their adventure, it was just that- a whirlwind adventure. There was no filler, and I loved that about Gypsy Knights. Everything was relevant and critical to the puzzle they were trying to solve. I also loved the way chess was so important in the story. Chess is such a complex game, and it was incorporated in such cool ways! The book is worth reading just for this!
Duri and Dilla made such a good team and I loved reading about their interactions. They are both pretty young, but they didn’t seem that way to me. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the next book. I look forward to finding out more about what that gypsy chess set can really do, and more about its’ history.