4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: The Fires Of Virko is Matthew Tysz’s continuation of the We Are Voulhire series. It is based in the city of Virko, an industrial powerhouse founded by Lord Venden Hrelek. Lord Venden is spearheading drastic changes in the city which would put merchants in charge. Essentially he was doing away with feudalism in exchange for capitalism, a change which many noblemen, his son included, were not in favor of. Unfortunately, he is now on his deathbed and his son is now in charge of his estate and he has different plans for the city with the assistance of a demon he has bound to the estate. The Lord is desperate to stop his son’s evil plans. In the midst of all this, Galen, the protagonist of the first book along with his friends arrive at Virko in the search of iron and chaos ensues.
In my last review, I spoke about the series being geared towards young readers. With this second installment, I take that back. This is definitely an adult book with a lot of very dark themes. Demons abound in this book with scenes of rape, torture and mass killings. There is also a considerable amount of derogatory talk about homosexuality.
This book included a lot of science, religion, and magic with a touch of politics and dancing. There were some more scenes at Yamon Soul in this book which I enjoyed because I was able to see some similarities between The Eiodi and the Heius priests and the Roman Catholic pope and cardinals. The Diadem and the Vilendrians, to me, was reminiscent of the Vatican and the Swiss Guards. The main difference, of course, was the use of magic involved with their religion.
Another part of the book I enjoyed was the writer showing how far men would be willing to go to keep their power. They would literally sell their soul to continue enjoying what they think is their due. We know it was the demons who destroyed the town but it was these men who unleashed them all so that they would gain more power.
There was a touch of comedy in this book which I enjoyed. The verbal sparring between Demetrius and Rowan is humorous. My favorite comical scene, however, was when Demetrius was trying to talk some sense into the very drunk magus priests. His exasperation along with the priests’ oblivion to his anger was hilarious and I literally laughed out loud.
I did have an issue with the errors in the book which could have been avoided with one proofreading session. Luckily, the mistakes were small and not enough to take away from my enjoyment of this book. Another issue I had was how slow the book was in the beginning. As a result of this, it was a bit difficult to get involved in the book and its events at first.
I am enjoying this series as it clearly showcases the talents of Matthew Tysz. Anyone who loves fantasy with a lot of magic would find this series a welcome addition to their bookshelves. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko
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