The Vagrant by Peter Newman (A 200 Review)
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.
Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.
Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.
As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.
His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.
What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.
But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.
The Vagrant is Floaty-Dark-Fantasy with an edge of Lovecraft. The title character, and it is from his viewpoint that we follow most of the story, does not speak. He has no voice except that is used to draw the magic from his sword. The Vagrant’s goal in life is to safely transport a baby girl from the site of tragic loss to a city of safety in the far north.
What you have is a simply structured journey story. The Vagrant goes from A to B to C and at each place must face a threat to himself or the baby. He makes friends and companions from those that seek to harm him, seeming to have the ability, without words, to bring out the best in them. Those perceived as evil are the easiest to trust, as the “good” continually betray the Vagrant.
The world-building is done well and interesting. This is not medieval fantasy, more a future fantasy with edges of Sci-Fi. There are moments of utter tenderness that brought tears to my eyes and the language, the prose, is poetic. In the end, there is redemption, hope and hints for book 2.