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The Vagrant (The Vagrant Trilogy) Paperback – May 10, 2016
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★★★★★ 'For fans of classic science-fiction literature, this is a must-read.' – SciFi Now
★★★★ 'Come visit this brilliantly imaginative land of winged swords and broken solar cells.' – SFX
‘The Vagrant is a joy to read: an original and engrossing world, a strong story and a protagonist who is intensely charismatic despite – or because of – his silence. Newman’s debut is written with confidence, flair and imagination, bringing his dark world to marvellously macabre life’
Adrian Tchaikovsky, Author of Shadows of the Apt series
‘A stunning and ambitious debut novel set in a unique and imaginative world where the only hope rests on the capacity of human beings to love’ Melinda M. Snodgrass
About the Author
PETER NEWMAN is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Vagrant trilogy: The Vagrant, The Malice, The Seven. He sometimes pretends to be a butler for the Tea and Jeopardy podcast, which he co-writes and for which he won a Hugo Award in 2017. His first book, The Vagrant, won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award in 2016 for best Fantasy Debut of the Year. Peter writes for George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series and will first appear in Knaves Over Queens. He has also written for the computer game Albion Online. He lives in Somerset with his wife and son.
Top customer reviews
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I have to say that while this was an interesting read, it was definitely unusual. To give you an idea – the main characters are a mute, a baby, and a goat. Aye mateys. Ye read that right. And if that weren’t enough, there also be a magical sword with an eyeball. Cool, huh?
The story involves a world where there has been a breach and the demons are getting in and trying to take over. Wherever the demons go, corruption ensues. I loved the weird half-breeds and other unsavories that demon taint makes. In fact most of the demon related details were awesome.
The chapters alternate between the present where we follow the mute, i.e. the Vagrant, on his quest to take the magic sword to the Shining City and then chapters that go back eight years in the past to how the present came to be. And of course converge nicely.
I actually loved both the Vagrant and the goat. I mean, the goat was actually one of the highlights of the novel. Baby was different but not to me taste overall. I liked the idea of the baby more as a prop then as a character.
Having a character that was mute was actually fascinating. I thought the author did an excellent job making the Vagrant communicate. Of course, the Vagrant does run into lots of talking folk along the way and picks up some for a time along his travels. Also this is not the type of book where ye get to see into the main characters thoughts. So everything ye learn is basically through dialogue and action. Works astonishingly well.
So why didn’t I love it? Well, I think overall it was the very last leg of the journey into the Shining City that seemed lackluster as well as the City itself. It fit the story and the characters. It just didn’t thrill me. I think that overall I would have preferred this to be a standalone and not a trilogy. While I will not be reading any more of the series, this was a good read and I am glad I read it. Especially because of the goat.
For the right person this is probably a masterpiece. I'm not the right person and I suspect most people won't be either.
For the full review find us at ReadingOverTheShoulder.com
The atmosphere is bleak and the main character, the Vagrant, matches it. He has a singular purpose -- journeying with a baby to a city that has not fallen to the rot and corruption known in the rest of the world. He allows people to join him on his journey, but they don't always make it very far. When they betray him, become dangerous to him and/or the baby, are not strong enough to go on, or cannot be saved without sacrificing himself, he kills them or allows them to be killed. He is absolutely not trusting when it comes to the baby's welfare.
At the first instance of a relatively innocent person dying, I was taken aback. But just because the Vagrant allowed this to happen, doesn't mean it is easy for him. And, as the book goes on, we learn some of what led him to be this way (through a series of flashbacks). Further, there is a kind of honor in at least some of his actions that you come to appreciate as you approach the end of the book.
One thing that I have not mentioned yet is that the Vagrant is mute. You might think that this would make for an uninteresting book, but quite the opposite is true. When he is traveling with the baby, there is no need for speech. However, the Vagrant's actions speak loudly both in his interactions with the baby and with others. And he does acquire a mouthpiece of sorts as the book goes on. The book still moves along, even without much dialogue, or with one-sided dialogue from other characters.
I was not as happy with the ending -- it seemed anticlimactic after the journey leading up to it. I hesitate to say more because to do so would be to drop some pretty major spoilers. There was also one aspect of the main character I am still puzzled by, but seeing as the world outside of the Vagrant's destination is still pretty messed up, there is definitely room for sequels where perhaps the reason for that aspect will be revealed.
I won't say this type of book hasn't been done before. I can think of a half dozen parallels off the top of my head. But the particular combination of details here kept my interest, I thought the pacing was appropriate, and I liked the terse prose. (I also loved the goat...) I will definitely read more from Peter Newman.
Most recent customer reviews
Translated means Thank You I guess because that was what I typed and "KharToum" came to be.
Enjoyed every single chapter, can't wait to continue.Read more