Title: The Vagrant | Series: The Vagrant #1 | Author: Peter Newman | Publisher: Harper Voyager | Publication date: April 23rd 2016 | Num. Pages: 417 | Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopia | How I owned it: Purchased from Amazon UK
5 stars – A fantastic debut with great characters
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.
Friendless 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.
My initial thoughts on The Vagrant were “for a book with little dialogue it’s sure telling one hell of a story,” this was about 4% into the book where we meet The Vagrant himself and his journey to The Shining City begins.
Our main characters oddly enough are a mute, a baby and a goat; and of the three my favourite is probably the goat – she steals the show in every scene that she’s in. Every. Single. One.
There’s a couple of secondary characters who become integral to the story, one of these being Harm – a young man caught hanging with rebels against The Usurper and the Uncivil in one of the cities that the Vagrant passes through – Verdigris.
There’s split timelines in this book – present day set in a post apocalyptic wasteland with creatures you can only imagine – and eight years ago where The Usurper first comes into being and where our story of how the world became this wasteland with weird necromantic creatures with twisted physiques begins in truth.
The Vagrant’s journey is to get the sword he carries to the Shining City, to The Seven, and his journey is fraught with danger, intrigue and The Hammer that Walks. The sword is special in ways you can only dream of and it once belonged to Gamma of The Seven – now deceased to an extent.
Frankly, for a debut novel this was a stunning piece of work with such a story to tell regardless of the distinct lack of dialogue – normally I find this difficult to handle but Peter Newman’s writing is so on point you don’t need the dialogue to know what The Vagrant is thinking. You don’t need to see it to imagine the despair on his face when certain things happen.
I think, if The Vagrant spoke in this book, it would detract from the overall descriptive nature of Newman’s story and the relationships built between The Vagrant and Vesper (the baby), The Vagrant and Harm and The Vagrant and the goat.
Overall, a highly recommended novel and I’m off to read The Malice. The Seven the stunning conclusion to The Vagrant trilogy was released on April 20th.