4 out of 4 stars
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Mages, fantasy and politics.
Toss them together into a cauldron and out emerges We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies, the first of Matthew Tysz’s series. Tysz’s concoction offers a delightful taste of Voulhire, the seemingly perfect city in his fantastical world.
However, Galen Bray, an immigrant from the warring Land of Princes, has yet to learn this. Having just inherited a blacksmith forge in Magnum Caelum from his wealthy great-uncle, Galen has every reason to be grateful for his fortune. However in his naivety, Galen is oblivious to the troubles brewing under the surface of this intriguing Voulhire.
For instance, just in the nearby town of Hillport, the new lord Eldus Alderan is assigned the difficult task of reinventing the little fishing town. However this small town is still haunted by a recent attack. And the person behind the attack is no less than Meldorath, a supremely powerful sorcerer who everyone prays is dead. In reality, he sits imprisoned on an island, biding his time …
Meanwhile, King Wilhelm of Voulhire is genuinely concerned in keeping the peace in his kingdom, be it from the Riva Rohari, a band of rebels or Meldorath, himself. Unfortunately, Midius Maido, the High Chancellor of the Mianoran Council, does not share this sentiment and is more interested in personal political gain.
Together, these characters’ stories will shape Voulhire in ways unknown.
Speaking of characters, I really liked how Tysz built up each character in his or her own unique way. Tysz only subtly hints at the mages’ motives, shrouding them in mystery befitting of their nature. In contrast, Tysz more explicitly tells the reader about other characters’ backgrounds, like that of Galen or Eldus Alderan. This juxtaposition further highlights the mysterious nature of the mages, making me want to find out what would they do next.
However in all honesty, I would have liked to see more of the subtle approach in building up the characters, rather than the explicit one. Other than that, there are no other aspects that I dislike about this novel.
Another thing I really appreciated is that Tysz does not forcefully use complicated words just to feign sophistication, unlike some other writers. Personally, I feel this engages me more as a reader. As a result, Tysz is able to breathe life into this mythical world of Voulhire. In addition, what I loved most is Tysz’s awareness of having paragraphs with varying lengths. Seems insignificant?
First off, having varying paragraph sizes prevents readers from being put off by the amount they need to read. Tysz avoids this by breaking the content into different segments, making it visually less daunting for a reader. Moreover, having longer paragraphs juxtaposed with shorter ones allows for meaningful impact, whether for humour or for intrigue.
Overall, I really liked this novel’s storyline and will be rating it 4 out of 4 stars. I am also pleased with how well edited this novel is; I barely found any errors while reading. In addition, I loved how the ending sets up the events in the next book. Also, I liked how Tysz has his own unique explanation as to how magic exists in his universe. Hence, I would say that this novel is near perfect. I am definitely looking forward to see what happens in the second book of this series (We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko).
If you like novels about fantasy, along with some mystery, I think you would like this one. If you do choose to read We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies , I would love to hear your opinion on it afterwards. That said, happy reading and do feel free to comment below!
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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