The Malice by Peter Newman
If you haven’t read The Vagrant, this review may contain spoilers. Also, if you haven’t read The Vagrant…go and read it!
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.
I caught Fantasy-Faction saying they weren’t sure who to compare Peter Newman to. Well, for me, it’s China Mieville. It’s a weird, alien world with intriguing characters, twisted plots and gripping storylines. Nothing’s conventional, nothing’s cliché, and I love it.
The Malice isn’t quite as good as The Vagrant…but only in the sense that The Vagrant was a 5*, and this is 4.5*. It just doesn’t have that linear plotline, that gripping tension, that made me read The Vagrant from end to end in one sitting. But it’s as good for characters and for world-building, and I read it in two halves, so…it only loses a little! It’s as enthralling and as entertaining as the first.
It’s wonderful to see more of Vesper, and more of the same world we saw in The Vagrant. Vesper travels through the same territories, the same landscapes, as she heads towards the Breach – but her reactions are different, and I think that’s what I love most about this book. Vesper is a very different character to The Vagrant, and even with the Malice on her back, she carves her own path through the politics and problems that she encounters.
We also get more of the history behind the Shining City and the world; I’m really hoping this will all tie into the next book in the series, The Seven, released in April.
There’s also a short story to read after The Malice – The Vagrant And The City. It definitely needs to be read after, and looks like it bridges the gap between The Malice and The Seven…with the additions of some extra characters and plot points which are quite exciting!
If you loved The Vagrant, you’ll love The Malice – and if you haven’t read either and want unique, character-filled, heart-tugging fantasy in a truly unique world…read these.