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Review: The Vagrant by Peter Newman

By / April 12, 2015 / no comments

Never had I known so little about an author and their book, but be so enraptured at the same time. I received an ARC copy a couple of weeks back and only just got to it after reading The Autumn Republic. I didn’t read the blurb at the back, so I had no prior knowledge at all.

The VagrantVagrant is a man on a mission. He is walking towards the Shining City, which is the last bastion of the human race. He has only his pack, a sword and a new born baby. Several years before, an invasion by demon’s rocked the world. The Knight Radiants came forth to protect mankind and Gamma, one of the Seven, was there to lead the charge. Yet because of the rest of The Seven’s apathy, Gamma and her Knight Radiants lose. All hell breaks loose and the demons pour forth, inhabiting the bodies of humans, and if they could not, they would leave pieces of themselves in them, to “taint” them.

Without reading the blurb, you don’t know what The Vagrant’s mission is and I think that is a good thing, so I won’t tell you here. Is it what’s in his pack, himself or the baby?

The setting while at first seems like a typical fantasy book, it isn’t. We get introduced to guns and transporters, but we don’t get many high rise buildings or cars. We have boats with motors and medical devices that run on batteries but it isn’t prevalent. This leads me to believe that it could be a story set in the future, an apocalypse after an apocalypse. Interesting indeed.

While I was reading, I was made comparisons with The Gunslinger by Stephen King. How it is about one man, alone, gruff and deadly. The difference is, The Vagrant has more mystery and the story moves more quickly. The mystery surrounding him and how Newman writes makes it all the more interesting. The Vagrant is deadly, but very compassionate. Alone with no help, he has to rely on “help” from people who can as easily betray him.

As I kept reading, I was reminded about how much the story sounds like campaigns from the game Starcraft (a game with three distinct races). In some scenarios, you started with one hero. That hero had to go slowly, killing some enemies, but also collecting things to fulfil the mission. Sometimes you rescued civilians and sometimes other beings. Those beings in turn might return the favour and help you. Because there were different types of demons (some with minds), I was able to make comparisons to them with Zergs (alien race), and The Seven and their bastion city to Protoss (more human like with advanced technology).

If you never played the game, you don’t lose out on anything, it was a funny I even made the connection. What you’ll get from The Vagrant by Peter Newman is a fast paced story, magical beings, a setting that intrigues, flawed protagonist and characters that develop over time (including the enemies). The only thing that Newman can improve on, is how he describes action/battle scenes.

I know it is only mid April, but I would say that The Vagrant might be the best debut fantasy novel in 2015.

About the author

Jon Snow

Believe it or not, Jon Snow really got into reading only after reading A Game of Thrones back in 2002. Previously the only fantasy he had read were Lord of the Rings and many Magic: The Gathering books.While juggling teaching life, he tries to keep up with recently published books.


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