The Vagrant by Peter Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A sword-wielding mute, a baby, and a goat cross a post-apocalyptic landscape, heading for the Shining City. But will they reach their destination before the demonic horde on their trail overtakes them?
After reading about this book on Chuck Wendig's blog, I couldn't wait to dig in. However, at the time, Harper Voyager wanted $20 for the e-book. Since everyone knows that's horseshit, I held off until I found a new hardcover and I'm quite pleased with my treeware purchase.
The story of the last of the Seraph Knights is quite good, though on the surface doesn't look all that original. At first glance, it reminded me of Jay Posey's Three and Peter Brett's The Warded Man, with heavy doses of The Gunslinger. However, The Vagrant kicked my ass.
The way the story unfolds is masterful. You don't notice how much of the text in a lot of novels is dialogue until you come across a book where the three lead characters don't speak. As a result, it seemed like I wasn't making any progress in the book a lot of the time. The reading experience was a rewarding one, though.
Peter Newman's writing was superb and having to infer the Vagrant's nature and motives from his actions elevated the reading experience quite a bit. I never thought I'd get this attached to a nameless baby and a goat. The worldbuilding was interesting, mostly through the dialogue of the characters around the Vagrant and his gang. There were some infodumps in the form of flashbacks but they were easily digestible.
I don't really have anything bad to say about this book. It's a more difficult read than most fantasy books out there but it's also more rewarding. Four out of five stars.
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