Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Number Of Pages: 400
Published : May 1st 2015 by HarperVoyage
Artist: Cover by Jaime Jones
The Vagrant, is Peter Newman’s debut novel. The first thing that will hit you, is the amazing fantasy art on the cover, and after you have stared transfixed on it for a moment or too, we open the book, and what lies within the pages of this novel?..
I found this book very difficult to define in regards to genre, it is set in a post apocalyptic land, but it’s not a ordinary apocalypse, in this instance the end of the world is being brought about by a demonic infestation, but the world was originally a highly technologically advanced one, but what is left of the humans, are lead by a group called the mysterious seven who reside in a mysterious floating cube (which I pictured similar to that of Star Treks, Borg), these individuals are also guarded by magical sword wielding, Seraph Knights like our protagonist in this tale. so it’s a Post-apocalyptic, Scifi, Fantasy novel.
Enough of these semantics, what of the plot I hear you cry!.
Well at its core The Vagrant, is a story about a magical sword-wielding mute on a mission to deliver his legendary sword, and a baby to the shining city across an post apocalyptic landscape. He must deliver this sword in order for there to be any hope of defeating the demonic plague, no pressure. This would probably be quite a long and arduous journey as it is. But then you also add the massive lovecraftion-esc demon horde heading there way, and this journey suddenly got a whole lot harder.
I was particularly impressed with the videogame like silent protagonist, I have never before read a book where the main protagonist is mute, instead of talking our “Vagrant” communicates solely via facial expressions, gestures and cues, as well as body language. However this didn’t hinder the story at all, instead it made the interactions with other characters far more interesting, and I was amused and in awe by the power of Newmans writing, as he was able to move the plot along by simply making the protagonist shrug or raise an eyebrow.
The World building was beyond stunning, weaving together many borrowed elements from many genres, Newman has patched together quite the jaw dropping, dark and very unforgiving world. The story itself is broken into segments with interludes going back 8 years to the beginning of the demon infestation, and following the past events of the protagonist up to the present. Grim and action packed, yet not without humour or hope, this novel will not be for everyone, however it is most certainly for me, like Rothfuss, Lynch, Hulick & Pratchett, I will return to this series, and love every minute of it.
Until next time, read more books!