4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies brought many harrowing events that set the story in motion. Discord and sorrow have reached many parts of the kingdom, striking fear in the hearts of Voulhire's inhabitants. We witnessed Lord Meldorath cause strife once he escaped his imprisonment and the savage slaying of Lord Eldus' family at the hands of the Riva Rohavi.
In We Are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko, young Galen Bray, together with Demetrius and Rowan, leave Magnum Caelum for the industrial city of Virko to search for a supplier that can provide enough iron for Galen’s forgery. During their visit, Galen and his friends meet the sickly Lord Venden Hrelek. Soon enough, they discovered that the lord's son Folcro has been getting too involved in the dark arts. The sickly lord feared for his son's fate and the consequence he'll face if he continues with his despicable pursuit. In an attempt to prevent the impending horror, the lord asked the trio for help in repelling the root cause of this evil, and in return, he will give them what they came for. With everything that's happening, Lord Meldorath sets his sights on one of the kingdom's holiest places, Yamon Soul. Amidst these troubling times, what will become of the innocent people living in Virko?
Matthew Tysz’s words perfectly describe the world he created. In his writings, he painted a clear picture of the lovely Voulhire. The kingdom's sceneries and structures were described in great detail, giving readers a glimpse of the settings in their minds. As someone who read the first installment, I am glad to see Mr. Tysz become more creative in visualizing his work. On top of his visual storytelling capability, he used sentences that were simple but engrossing. The dialogue and the story's narration were seamlessly and effortlessly written, making the book enjoyable to read. Mr. Tysz artfully wrote each line in the text.
The pacing was not rushed and wonderfully epitomized the theme of the book. Each page perfectly conveyed the scenes and storylines. The author put a lot of effort into developing the plotline and characters. Every chapter has a surprise twist that adds more layer and excitement to the plot. Not to mention, the style of writing will get readers emotionally invested in the story. Each character got their well-deserved backstories which explained the motives behind their actions and thoughts. As the plot thickens, even antagonists like Folcro and Lord Meldorath have other sides to their personalities, as shown in other parts of the story. They are not just typical or one-dimensional villains. Regardless of what their role is, each character played a crucial part in the book. By adding some realistic traits to them, the readers feel connected to their plight. The ridiculous and funny dialogues uttered by Demetrius and Rowan added hilarity to the book's solemn scenes.
The only part I dislike about this book is the portrayal of its female characters. Compared to the first book, women here weren’t even given significant positions. I was hoping to read about a female character who has a challenging job or a complex personality. Even though Voulhirian society is pretty conservative, it would be nice to see how a woman can play a prominent part in the plot. Nonetheless, this is the only issue I have with the book. Hopefully, more capable heroines will appear in future installments.
The novel is well-edited since there are only minor errors. The intricate plot is enough to detract readers from the book's slipups. Therefore, I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend this for its meaningful and impactful story set in a fantasy world. If you are a passionate sci-fi and fantasy fan, give it a try to experience a whole other universe! Even readers who usually skip over this kind of genre will be amazed at the first few chapters. With that said, the book contains mature subject matters. Many chapters have contents that are sexual and violent, as well as mentions of rape which are inappropriate for much younger readers. While magic and action-packed scenes are integral to the plot, it also contains beautiful moments and an air of suspense that will leave a lasting impression.
We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko
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