Title: The Malice
Author: Peter Newman
Series: The Vagrant (Book #2)
Publication Date: April 14, 2016
Format: Hardcover, 464 Pages
ISBN-10: 0007593163 (Harper Voyager)
ISBN-13: 978-0007593163 (Harper Voyager)
Reviewed by: Roxanne
Following Peter Newman’s brilliant debut, THE VAGRANT. This is the much-anticipated sequel, 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.
Quick & Dirty: The sword awakens, but the Vagrant is afraid so another answers the call, his daughter.
Opening Sentence: In the south, the Breach stirs.
Many years after the Vagrant welds the Malice to save the world, he finds that it is calling to him again. He is afraid and so he resists its’ calls, but his daughter Vesper decides that she must take the sword to the knights so that they can use it in the coming war. Once she gets to the ship, they proclaim that the sword has chosen her, but Vesper knows she is a liar, and she still goes with them. Duet is given the job of protecting Vesper.
When they are attacked by the First, Vesper convinces them to surrender so that she and Duet can get away and get to the Breach. But Duet loses part of herself in that fight with the First, and is not the same afterwards. As they continue the journey south, Vesper begins to understand the sword, and begins to understand the new way in which she can wield it even though she is frightened of it.
Soon they are joined by Sameal, a dogspawn, and Jem to finish the journey to the breach. Vesper will need all of her courage to do what she must to heal the Breach. Will she be able to wield the sword? Will they make it to the Breach before the infernals get them?
It took a bit to get back into the book and remember what happened in the first one. It is written very much the same way and every bit as good. At first, I was a little frustrated that the Vagrant wasn’t in this one very much, but once I figured out who Vesper was, and her relation to the Vagrant, I started being intrigued by the story, and by how different the two different wielders of The Malice were/are. When the Vagrant wielded it, he caused so much death, but Vesper was all about healing and fixing things.
She took the story and the sword in a whole new direction, and I hope she will be the focus of Book 3. This is a rich, vibrant and dying world in desperate need of fixing and Vesper is just what the world needs, and seeing her grow from a frightened child to a competent pre-teen was amazing to see. I could not stop reading this, and was on the edge of my seat every step of the way. If you are looking for a vibrant fantasy series, start with The Vagrant and then read The Malice.
Tirelessly, the sword drags them up, until light brushes red and gold around them and biting cold becomes only cool. Vesper’s head breaks the surface. She looks round and sees grey sand close by. An eye also sees it. Humming subsides, wings stop their work, folding once more about the sword. An eye closes.
The Vagrant Series:
1. The Vagrant
2. The Malice
3. The Seven (October 3, 2017)
FTC Advisory: Harper Voyager provided me with a copy of The Malice. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.