4 out of 4 stars
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I have rated We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz a 4 out of 4. This is the first book in the We are Voulhire series. The purpose of this book is to introduce the readers to the series and to the kingdom of Voulhire. In this first book, we get to know a number of main characters: their history, their quirks and their aspirations. We are taken on a journey across Voulhire where we also learn of the topography, architecture, technologies, wealth, culture and beliefs of the different towns. At this stage, there is little interaction between the main characters, so each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character.
I gave We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies a 4 because although fantasy isn’t usually my favourite genre, this book had me hooked. It was such a compelling read; I really didn’t want to put it down. Now that I have finished, I’m eager to start reading the second book in the series. The book itself is fairly short, so it is easy to get through. Ideally, I would have downloaded the whole series to my e-reader and binge-read it over a weeklong holiday. Nevertheless, the short and frequent chapters make this an easy book to read during daily commutes. I wouldn’t solely recommend this to lovers of the fantasy genre. I think the story and characters are relatable enough that most fiction readers would enjoy this novel. While I would recommend this book to most adults, I would be hesitant to recommend it to young adults. There is a sub-plot related to child abuse, so the story might be more suited to the higher age range of young adults (16+).
There is much I liked about this novel. At the very beginning of the book, the author provides us with a map of Voulhire. I find this incredibly helpful when you are trying to get oriented with a new world. The map is complemented throughout the book with incredibly detailed descriptions; not so many adjectives that it becomes overwhelming. What I like most is how well Matthew Tysz has set the scene. It’s so easy for me to vividly visualise the kingdom and its residents. The writing style builds a lot of suspense without creating confusion. Not all of the information is provided in chronological order, and vital information is shared without understanding it’s relevance until later, but instead of getting lost, it only encourages you to continue reading. There is a good range of characters and personalities, most of which are incredibly relatable. One of the main characters, Galen, is particularly vulnerable and it felt that he very quickly wins the sympathy of the reader.
There is very little I disliked about this novel. The only possible criticism is that this book isn’t completely satisfying as a stand-alone novel. Some series, such as those written by James Patterson or Kathy Reichs, is designed as a series because there is a continuous storyline, however, they can also be read as individual books, because each novel has its beginning, middle and end. We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is clearly part of a series and very much an introductory novel; it doesn’t come with much of a middle or end. Since I intend to continue reading the series, this was not problematic, but it is something for other readers to keep in mind when picking up this novel.
Overall, We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz was a very pleasant read. The novel has been well edited; there were barely any errors. I have every intention of continuing to read the We are Voulhire series and am excited to learn more about Galen, Meldorath and the citizens of Voulhire. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to others.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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