In his SF Signal review Nick Sharps called Peter Newman’s The Vagrant “Dark Dystopian Fantasy at Its Very Best,” saying:
The premise of The Vagrant is simple enough. Accompanied by a baby and a goat, a nameless mute must cross demon-infested wastelands to deliver a magical sword to the Shining City, last bastion of hope. The mute is hunted by multiple factions and it is difficult to distinguish friend from foe in the ruins of a world tainted by evil… Beneath the grit and grime of The Vagrant there is no shortage of beauty. It’s part fantasy and part science fiction. There are demons and knights but the demons enhance their followers with necrotech and the knights ride floating castles and caterpillar tanks. All of the shiny technology of the past has fallen to rust and disuse in the wake of the demonic incursion. The taint of the demons brings mutation and famine. The Vagrant has a sort of The Road meets Mad Max meets The Children of Men vibe…
It wouldn’t feel appropriate to classify The Vagrant as grimdark fantasy. The elements of the subgenre are all present: the setting is dystopian, life is harsh and brief, the bad guys are bad and the good guys are few and far between. Newman’s demons and the change they affect on the world and its inhabitants remind me of the forces of Chaos from Warhammer 40,000 — the very property that inspired the term grimdark. The Vagrant is bleak, depressive, and violent and yet… The Vagrant surpassed all my expectations.
The sequel, The Malice, finally arrived in trade paperback from Harper Voyager this week, and the third and final book, The Seven, is scheduled to appear in October.
Here’s the brief description for The Malice:
In the south, the Breach stirs.
Gamma’s sword, the Malice, wakes, calling to be taken to battle once more.
But the Vagrant has found a home now, made a life and so he turns his back, ignoring its call.
The sword cries out, frustrated, until another answers.
Her name is Vesper.
And here’s the publishing details on all three:
The Vagrant (416 pages, $16.99 in trade paperback/$7.99 digital, May 10 2016)
The Malice (464 pages, $16.99 in trade paperback/$10.99 digital, March 7 2017)
The Seven (464 pages, $16.99 in trade paperback, October 3, 2017)
All three are published in the US by Harper Voyager; covers are by Jaime Jones.
See all our recent coverage of the best Series Fantasy here.