4 out of 4 stars
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Matthew Tysz’s epic fantasy novel We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is the first installment of the series and follows the story of a young immigrant's journey in the magical kingdom of Voulhire.
Upon opening the book, we are introduced to the emperor of Lullabies who has four sons, each with a strong desire to take over the throne. To avert an upcoming disaster, he grants each son some land, but nonetheless, a civil war breaks out. Galen, one of the king's sons, decides to venture to the prosperous land of Voulhire. However, we soon learn that a threat is looming over this new Kingdom in the form of a dark magician. The king must go against these dark forces to save his people from evil and chaos.
Although the novel is listed under Young Adult, I found myself impressed by the quality of writing Tysz has to offer, The novel has a unique and original storyline and successfully avoids common tropes and cliches within the genre. As such, it is a great addition to my collection of YA novels. The impressive writing style also gives it a better chance of appealing to older audiences who often do not enjoy this particular genre.
The inclusion of a map was quite useful in helping me understand the geographical location of different lands but also demonstrates immersive world building from the author. The story reads very quickly, not because of its brief length, but because of its immersive nature that holds the reader’s attention. Tysz has an outstanding ability to create suspense that keeps the reader guessing and thirsting for more. It’s appropriate to mention that the humor, though at times is childish, has made my miserable self chuckle many times! The main issue I had at first was the jarring shifts between perspectives but it was nothing major and was fully resolved when I reached the middle of the book.
I rate this book an easy 4 out of 4 stars. It had no major issues, and it met my criteria of what makes a good book. The characters are interesting and complex, the world building is well-thought-out and it was exceptionally edited. It even introduced some philosophical ideas that not only made the novel emotionally engaging but intellectually engaging as well. I recommend this book to anyone who has a hard time getting in Young Adult fantasy or just wants a pleasant read.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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