1 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first book of the We are Voulhire series. This book could not earn more than 1 out of 4 stars from me, as I found the writing to be lazy and the plot slow.
Voulhire is a prosperous land that beckons Galen Bray from the war struck Land of Princes, to take over his great uncle’s forge and start his new life as a blacksmith. But Voulhire is not all that it seems. Evil magic lies hidden within the memories of the locals, and even King Wilhelm fears what may become of his land if that evil returns.
Telling the tale of Galen, King Wilhelm and the Lord Eldus Alderman, this novel switches between first and third person, a style that was not easy to adjust to. By halfway through the novel, I had still not been hooked by the storyline as there was no clear purpose or goal to the story.
Along with this came a myriad of other problems. There seemed to be a general lack of world building – something that is essential to any secondary fantasy world novel. The setting was confusing, with no proper indication of the time period. At first, it seems to be in a medieval setting, but as the story went on, multiple modern references and objects were included which confused me further.
Besides this, there was a general lack of style when it came to writing. Overuse of adjectives made descriptions boring and scenes flat. Dialogue exchanges often sounded awkward, and a large amount of exposition often had me skimming over paragraphs.
The characters seemed one dimensional, as their motivations were not entirely clear. Galen’s entire storyline was questionable as it seemed he had little purpose in this novel.
One of the more positive features of this book included the opening, which read like a short story and was a unique and creative attribute to the story. The editing of this book was also of a high standard as I could find little fault with it or any editorial mistakes.
Towards the end of the novel things begin to improve with a battle scene, which also creates incitement to read the next instalment. At this point, there were more moments which were exciting and had me eager to get to the next page, but to get through almost the whole novel before arriving at this point was a bit disappointing and with the rest of the book not delivering on its potential, I would personally not recommend this novel.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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