Following the trend inherent in most of Farren's earlier writing, this is a tale of a loner on a journey through a damaged world. If you've read the DNA Cowboy Trilogy then the character of Phaid will quickly be recognised as an amalgam of Billy Oblivion and the Minstrel Boy, a triumph of style over ability, and ultimately at the mercy of the world he inhabits.
The story reads like a serial, with each episode carrying Phaid closer to a showdown with the society he both despises and craves. The direction of his travel, and thus the aforementioned denouement, becomes obvious early on, but in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the journey. Farren's descriptive powers are at their best; his world, though derivative in some respects, is well-realised. If some of the supporting characters are surplus to requirements, then that would be my only real criticism of the book.
Hopefully, now that the DNA Cowboys are being treated to a re-print, the Song of Phaid the Gambler will also be made more readily available.