kay, so the hero is a kickass silent man, with a cloak and a magic sword with an angry blinking eye in its hilt.
And under that cloak, he’s toting a baby.
And to feed the baby, he’s hauling a goat, an angry bitch that kicks and bites with attitude, the perfect sidekick for laughs. The only thing it hasn’t got is Eddie Murphy doing its voice.
But that’s the trick Peter Newman set up – a party in which nobody speaks. Oh, eventually they pick up someone who can actually talk but until then, it’s all nuanced gestures and informative expressions. And to get the guy who brings talkies to the party, a lot of secondary characters fail the quest test and die trying.
So The Vagrant is about the aforementioned hero taking the aforementioned sword to the north, to get it away from a crack in reality that released evil and blackness into the world. Everything is corrupted now, life is cheap and death does have a price. The world is an ugly, abet interesting, place.
I did have some problems with the story – there are a lot of bad guys, four (as I counted them) different factions all vying for ultimate evil control. So it can be a bit confusing. And there is the language – not since China Mielville has the English language been bent and twisted as completely. A couple of times I had to think “What?” and back up to pick apart the words. But I like Mielville and I really got to like this author, too. It was a totally twisted story.
So if you are ready for a story of good and evil and corruption and hopeless quests, this one might be right up your alley.
And the goat, she’s just so funny!