"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."One word: Awesome. It’s like an Indiana Jones adventure right here in America. I love how chess and Durriken’s culture is woven seamlessly into the story, it just makes all the strategies so much more interesting. It does take a little bit for the action to start. It’s not ‘slow’ per say, it just starts handing you puzzle pieces, and you just have to wait for that moment that they all start clicking together. Negative: cussing. A few might also find it a turn off because it does incorporate Spanish (or at least that’s what I think it is…I suppose on the off chance it could be Italian because the languages are similar.) Living where I do, the bilingual moments didn't faze me. The sequel may just put this series on the shelf of fame.