This is a review of “The Vagrant” by Peter Newman.
The Vagrant is his name. Friendless, voiceless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.
This book has extremely good world-building. The magic of the world is subtle, and even the things from the Breach aren’t all-powerful. The eight years under the rule of the infernal forces from the Breach are visible everywhere and in everyone, but it hasn’t been so long that everything has fallen into true depravity. The occasional glimpse of goodness is what keeps this book from being a depressing mess, but it also touches on some darker aspects of humanity and that cannot be ignored. It is good to read a book about the first few years after what could be equated to the Apocalypse happens.
It is also incredibly fascinating to read a book where the main character doesn’t say a single thing throughout the book – except in one instant. In that instant the tiny two-letter word of ‘no’ resonates and practically echoes just because he doesn’t speak otherwise. I thought that this would annoy me while reading, but it didn’t. It just made me more curious. Harm was also a character one could sympathize with, and little Vesper is cute and not at all annoying despite being a baby. But I have to admit that my very favourite character other than the Vagrant, was the goat.
Not bogged down with long descriptions, it gives the reader just enough of a picture of what the world is like and what is going on while still giving lots of room for our own additions and interpretations. The sentences are short and concise, and together with the story they create an excellent mood for all the situations. The flashback chapters weren’t too long or even annoying, and it was fascinating to see how things had developed and how the Vagrant became who he is in the book.
The only thing I found bad about this book is the ending. Not the ambiguity or the openness of it, but the way Gamma’s sword reacted when it finally met up with the remaining six of the The Seven, and the Vagrant’s following the sword’s decisions. I can understand why a little bit, but it seems a bit too much considering how things were built up throughout the rest of the book. The sword, in essence, didn’t seem to matter in the end. This, however, is just my opinion and it isn’t a very strong one either.
All in all, I truly loved this book and I’ll be keeping an eye on Peter Newman from now on!
Go and read it! Right now people!