Review – The Vagrant

The Vagrant (The Vagrant, #1)

The Vagrant by Peter Newman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Vagrant is a silent man, a wanderer with a magic sword, a baby, and a goat. This is the story of his journey through a post-Demonic apocalypse world and the family he starts to build in it.

I loved this book, in a way that kind of astounds me. I bought it on the recommendation of its similarities to Dark Souls, and that recommendation was spot on. The core idea, the feeling of a world and powerful entities within it caught in decay and decline, is evoked perfectly here, and at the same time the glimpse into how people adapt to, and sometimes even embrace, corruption feels so unspeakably real. At the same time, the bleak world is studded with both hope and humor, for a perfect balance of darkness and light. And more than anything, the Vagrant is a good man, a decent man, and it shows in his every action and reaction.

The characterization in The Vagrant is outstanding. I can only assume that Peter Newman is a truly gifted observer of the world, because the way that every character in the books feels true to the core could only come from heart-deep understanding. Even the goat, THE GOAT, is a fully fleshed character while still remaining truly and utterly goatlike. It’s amazing. And Vesper, the baby! She’s perfect. She’s a baby, and a person, and full of character it’s almost painful.

It’s almost shocking, really, how human this book is considering how inhuman the world it depicts is. The people and land are growing ever more tainted by the Demonic invasion, and even the “pure” humanity in the north is wrapped in eerie light of entities that are anything but human. Yet between these two poles, people get on with their lives as they have ever done, and it’s beautiful in a way. There is badness there, of course, but there is also the Vagrant and his simple decency, wrapped up in the power of a sentient, unstoppable sword.

It’s a heady mixture, and one I can recommend wholeheartedly to fans of adventure, action, and human drama alike.

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