Summary: After realising she is indeed the elder twin of King Finnius, Persephone’s precarious role in his kingdom is no longer in jeopardy because she is royalty. Reagent Mordecai is less than thrilled, knowing Persephone now has the power to usurp the throne he’s had his eye on for years. Frantically Mordecai plots to keep his role by sending Persephone away on a errand to find the legendary Pool of Genezing, which is rumoured to heal all ills. Persephone’s goal is to bring the waters back and cure her brother Finnius of his illness, but Mordecai hopes they will heal his physical deformities. While on her quest Persephone makes decisions that will interfere with Mordecai’s plans, and while he thinks he is holding all the cards with his army and threats of physical injury, little does Mordecai know he’s facing resistance on the home front as well.
Number of Pages: 512
Age Range: 15-17
Review: The second book in the Gypsy King series, A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus is not a stand alone book, but advances the plot for Tomorrow’s Kingdom, the last of the trilogy.
If you read my Memorable Quotes section, it is clearly no secret that my favourite character is King Finnius. He’s a little weak yet still very loveable in The Gypsy King but really comes into his own in A Fool’s Errand, despite the fact that Reagent Mordecai seems to be pulling all the strings. The scene with Finnius and Persephone near the end was the most touching, and I felt sorrow for Finnius that everyone he loved was taken away from him while he wasted away. And what was he dying from anyway? Doctors and medicine in general from past time periods are so inexact and unsatisfying. Every time I read about a person being bled I cringe.
What I like best about Fergus’ tale is her exploration of strength. Mordecai, as the villain, assumes he has strength because he has power on his side. It’s a bit of an overcompensation issue as he strives to surround himself with physical power to make up for the perceived weakness of his body, but he assumes the threat and action of physical violence toward others will always get him what he wants. As Fergus points out though with Moira and King Finnius, there are kinds of strength that transcend the reality of the physical body. This is a kind of strength that Mordecai does not understand, and as a result he is thwarted by it more than once.
Fergus has lined things up for a nail-biting ending to her trilogy as many characters are set to clash and there are wild cards in play Mordecai doesn’t know about. Will his arrogance be his ultimate downfall? I hope so.
“Mordecai stared down at the bowed head of the kneeling king, his cold heart crying out at the irony of the fact that a fool as sick and subjugated as the one before him could yet look as shining and golden as a strapping young god.” – Mordecai from A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus, page 243
“Mordecai stood heaving like a bellows. He’d hated many people in his life, but he’d never hated anybody more than he hated the sickly boy who stood before him at that moment. Because Finnius was not a boy anymore – he was a man.
And not just a man but a king.
And not just a king but a great king.” – Mordecai from A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus, page 411