4 out of 4 stars
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When I took on We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies as a project and a book to review, I expected something completely different. I knew that it would be a fantasy, an epic tale, and a fascinating book only by its basic description. And that was correct, I wasn’t wrong. But it turned out to be so much more.
From the beginning till the end, this book held my interest and my mind occupied. The book begins as a narrative as if the author is just writing a fairy tale of sorts, a cruel one, as they usually are. This fairy tale turns out to be the beginning of many sufferings and countless victims, family wars and distrust, all that shows how humanity can be mindlessly cruel for just one more gold coin, one more victory, whether it be Pyrrhic or not. I was fascinated by this point of view because even though I had been aware of it since long ago, I had never seen it described as such. Pure violence, loathing, greed, scheming behind the scenes, manipulating others like puppets; it was so vividly portrayed.
‘"There's only one way to truly eradicate heresy..." Brartrus shrugged. "Ignore it."’- an excerpt from the book.
After that kind of a beginning, the story took on the 180-degree turn which I had not expected. But that was nice too. There are alternating chapters between two protagonists, one saved from hell and given an opportunity to start anew, while the other one is already middle-aged and weary from his life, yet continues to battle with everything he has just to accomplish something like a king that he is. The experiences are vastly different in these two, the point of observation too. One is from the first-person view, while the other shows a detached state by being a part of overall happenings in the country with the use of the third-person view. Later in the novel settings change and you get blown off your feet with every page that comes next.
In this book, Matthew Tysz brings to us a dark medieval age fantasy, with magic and a dimension of magic called Caromentis. The book is full of court intrigue, satiric humour, epic storytelling and theatrics in speech and writing which only serve to show us the world he has created with utmost effort. You can see the subtle influences from many cultures, and I am glad that the author included these elements. The characters are not flat, each one has a purpose, a goal. They are well-thought-out and realistic. You can see the contrast between a newcomer, someone who has survived the war, and those who have lived their whole life in a prosperous country where everything goes the right way.
I am glad to have chosen this book. I read it fast, then had to read it again to compose myself. What I liked the most about this book are its dynamics, unpredictable yet there is a stable path to tread on. There is not a single thing I disliked. I am proud to give this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is just the first book in the series, so I have high expectations for the next installations. I recommend it to a wide audience, from teenagers to elderly, as I am sure they will enjoy it if they love the fantasy genre.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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