3 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz takes you into the magical world of the kingdom ruled by King Wilhelm Arcolo. King Wilhelm is a kind hearted, giving king, caring of the people he rules over. The king is aware of the darker magic that has been used in and around the capital, and strives to contain it. But is he aware of the absolute strength that his prisoners possess? Should his focus rather be on the ungovernable, destructive Riva Rohavi, being too quiet for comfort? Will he be able to hand over his kingdom to his rebellious son?
Tysz creates a character, Galen, who is from the Land of the Princes, a war-struck country, who has only heard of the magical world and has never seen magic done. Galen acts as the carrier of information to the reader, introducing the setting and background of magic. Galen is brought across the oceans to Magnum Caelum, where he must follow in the footsteps of his great uncle as a blacksmith. The people written into Galen’s life gives a mysterious feeling of uncertainty to the reader. Will they help Galen on his journey or do they have a hidden agenda?
The book is very open ended, and will leave you disappointed yet excited to read the next book. It is a very easy read. The writing flows and the stories of each character is easy to follow. Tysz creates beautiful pictures and ideas with things the reader might not even be known to. Magic? You can make of it what you want, it is all up to the reader’s imagination, taking Tysz descriptions and filling in your own blanks to color in your picture. But with all the descriptions there isn’t much room for the story line. This book is an intro to the next. It leaves you wanting more, and wishing that the book was longer.
It is also difficult to discern in which era this book is set, as the story indicates medieval times with castles and kings, but the writing itself is a mix of old, modern and also American, English and even some German references. When there is mention of a female judge, a football field, ice hockey rinks and talk of modern medical terminology, you stand to wonder if the setting is in the future where magic has become part of our current world. But then you are brought back with the next sentence talking about lords and ladies, suggesting we are in the old world. So this is very confusing in the book.
The editing of this book is good, with only minor grammar mistakes. If you are a fanatic, then yes, the misspelled name of a character will get to you, but the rest does not influence the read. I rate it a 3 out of 4 . I would recommend it to young adults, as some of the descriptions can be very vicious and there is some use of vulgar language, which I would not recommend to young teenagers. And then also to any readers who loves the magical, medieval genres, using a lot of imagination, this book is for you.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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