4 out of 4 stars
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I honestly don't even know where to start with We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz. This complex, multi-plot, multi-world novel is extremely well thought out with incredible attention to detail. From the different types of people (mages vs soldiers vs commoners) to the different countries (Voulhire or the Land of the Princes) to a whole other world within a world, We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is like an onion with many different layers to peel back.
It all starts innocently enough with young Galen Bray escaping the Land of the Princes and the only home he’s ever known. The Land of the Princes is a war-ridden, horror story of a homeland where several brothers tear the country apart, fighting for the throne. We learn that Galen was lucky enough to be sponsored by his uncle who lives in the seemingly idyllic land of Voulhire. Galen makes the tough journey by boat only to find that his uncle has passed away and left everything (money plus his forge) to Galen. Thus begins Galen's new life navigating the complex land of Voulhire as he learns to be a blacksmith as his uncle requested.
Galen's story isn't the only plotline to follow. The King of Voulhire, King Wilhelm, has secretly locked away an evil mage named Meldorath for unspeakable acts against the people of a town called Hillport. The townsfolk believe Meldorath to be dead and are devasted by his reign of terror. In order to soothe the people of Hillport, King Wilhelm sends Judge Eldus to be their new Lord and to put everything right. When Lord Eldus arrives with his family, he begins unraveling a mystery far greater than he expected. Thus begins the Meldorath/Lord Eldus narrative. Without giving too much away, I will say that Meldorath is not so safely imprisoned as everyone would like. Separately from all of this, we learn of the Riva Rohavi who have been quietly gathering forces to rise up again and wreak havoc on the good people of Voulhire.
I really enjoyed the thoroughness and style of the author’s writing. Overall this book was a great set-up to a very intriguing series. Even though it was a lot of back story and explanations, I was thoroughly entertained throughout. This book is not for the faint of heart. Besides the violence and bloodshed this book covers a lot of ground and it takes concentration to follow along. I often had to go back a few chapters just to make sure I understood what was happening. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a complex, fantasy novel with a twisting and turning plotline. Readers should be ready for a complete introduction to a whole new world.
There were a few minor grammar mistakes but overall I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It tees up the rest of the series and leaves the reader wanting to learn more. The writing was great and extremely descriptive. You can picture every scene in your head with clarity.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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