Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gypsy Knights Review & Giveaway for a Kindle Book!

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Gypsy Knights
by Two Brothers Metz
Kindle Price: $2.99 purchase
Published by LoudCloud Publishing

About the book:
Fourteen year old Durriken Brishen has lost his grandfather, his parents and though he doesn't know it, his culture's dangerous gift. Taken in and raised on the rails by a freight train engineer, Durriken has one remaining connection to his Gypsy 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. Gypsy Knights is the saga of Durriken Brishen and his quest to rediscover his past.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. It's fast paced, full of history and it was fun to "travel" with Durriken (Duri) and his friend Dilia. The book opens with the story of how Duri receives the chess set and the death of his parents. At first it's hard to know who everyone is because it jumps around some between years and individuals. You jump from his story, to
Dilia's story, to his grandfather's story and so on - but once you know who everyone is it becomes much easier to follow along. I particularly enjoyed reading about Duri's family history with the chess set and also his adventure with Dilia traveling the rails.

The book takes place between 1960 and 1965 so you'll notice some differences. You'll see a clear cut view of prejudice in the 60's against the gypsies and other races although I personally don't think it's "in your face". There is mention of Zigeunernacht (when the Nazi's gassed 2900 Gypsies at Auschwitz) and other times when the Gypsies were discriminated against. There is quite a bit of language which I personally didn't care for and a "first kiss" between Duri & Dilia - which I thought it was very tastefully done and restraint was shown in not allowing the relationship to expand beyond the first kiss. There was an innocence in that kiss and the relationship between Dilia and Duri slowly building was really nice to see.

I would recommend this book for kids 13+. My only dislike was the amount of language (I don't use it and tend to skip over it) but otherwise the book is very good. You may have some questions about discrimination - but most kids of this age are familiar enough with the atrocities of the Nazi's and this might expand their knowledge to other people who were discriminated against.

You can purchase the Kindle version of Gypsy Knights here for $2.99 on Amazon. Your kid's will love it and even if they are a reluctant reader somewhat they should enjoy it.

A short interview:
I had a few questions to ask Two Brothers Metz about certain sections in the book - namely the chess "game" that is part of a clue.

A) I found it interesting when Duri and Dilia were trying to do the chess game on paper using the states & cities to figure out their next step and where they should go next - Do either of you play chess? Was it hard to actually write out the chess scene and does it actually work? (I am not a chess aficionado nor a mathematician so it was over my head - LOL)

The chess map, as we call it, really gave us fits.  We were determined that it would actually work and not just be a contrivance.  We first created a chess board in mid-game that worked for our plot purposes.  To verify that it actually worked as a chess game - which was above our pay grade - we consulted with Jerry Myers, a local Chess Master (that's an official title you earn by playing chess at an insanely high level - very cool).  Jerry was super generous with his time.  He checked out our board and said there was no conceivable chess game that could have led to the positioning of players we had concocted.  So he asked what we were trying to accomplish and then set up the board for us in a way that made sense for the plot and also represents a possible configuration of pieces in a real game.  So the chess game embedded in the chess map actually works, which was really important to us and we're pretty proud of how it worked out.  Jerry really hooked us up.

B) Where did you get the idea for your book? Is there something in your family history with chess or Gypsy's that gave you the idea? Or was it just something that popped into your head and you ran with it?

Our cousin Eliza Rose was adopted from Romania and everyone's best guess is that she's a Gypsy.  She was our muse.  Rhett and I both love chess and our parents have a great chess table so we try to get a match in whenever we can.

C) Is there a sequel in the future? It would be interesting to see if the chess pieces come full circle - or if Duri is able to find them again. Perhaps his descendants find them in the next book?

Rhett and I are hard at work on the sequel right now.  Expected release in 2012.  Thanks for asking!

You can purchase your own copy of Gypsy Knights for your Kindle - just click here!

It's a Giveaway! One of Family Literacy's readers will WIN their very own Kindle Copy of Gypsy Nights! (Not the Kindle - the book LOL!)

Its Hump Day! CymLowell 

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