Yakoub is a lord, slave, hero, beggar, lover, thief, survivor, ghost. Yakoub is an ageless rogue carousing through a galaxy of endless wonder and constant intrigue, where the Gypsies rule the roads between the stars... Yakoub is the Gypsy king. And his destiny is to find his people's legendary home, the Star of Gypsies.
This novel ties in with the scenario of Letters from Atlantis, taking it into the far future, when a human empire spans the galaxy and Rom (Gypsies) are the only ones who can pilot starships through hyperspace. It's full of inventive world-building, colorful characters, practical wisdom, and political intrigue. Yakoub is a big, blustery man who enjoys life to the fullest and tries to do the right thing, like a widely traveled uncle with tall tales you never know if you should believe. He presents himself warts and all for our entertainment, with reflections on government, relationships, slavery, and family. A truly wonderful book.
Brian Stableford, writing in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, notes that Yakoub,
waiting in self-imposed exile for his one-time followers to realize how badly they need him, might be reckoned an ironic self-portrait. I'm not convinced of that, but either way, it's a good read.
(None on file)