4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire is the first book in a series by Matthew Tysz. It serves as an introduction to the rest of the series. It thus leaves many questions unanswered. Galen arrives in Voulhire from the Lands of the Princes. The two places are in stark contrast with each other. The Lands of the Princes is ravished by war and Voulhire is the land of dreams. A whole new world opens up to Galen. Voulhire is under the rule of King Wilhem, beloved by his people. He is successful, but troubled by enemies, one of whom used to be a close friend. A lot is brewing in this land. There is dark magic and a lot of political instability. What role will Galen play in his new home?
The author skillfully introduces us to all the characters. Each chapter opens with an introduction to the place or person of interest. Galen seems to hold a special place because whenever the author writes about him, he writes in first person. All others are described in the third person. Galen is quite a special character. I assume that something big will probably change him as the series proceeds. However, in this book he is introduced as a shy and kind young man. Although he is 28 years old, most of the time he comes across as a child. He is naive and lost in a big world, much different from where he came from. He seems to be overwhelmed by gratitude and lacking in wisdom.
Meanwhile, there is a lot more to Voulhire than what meets the eye. The people in the capital celebrate the feast of hands in solidarity with their king. This solidarity however seems to only exist on the surface as there is contention from Maido, the chancellor. There is a lot of politics at play. The mysterious old man, a biomage, brings awareness to the dark side of Voulhire, dark magic. This place where the king is unsettled because everything is going too well is not so good a place after all.
The stories are intriguing. Not one story is complete. In everything the author just puts the reader in suspense. Everything gives rise to questions. What does Rowan, a rather shady character, want from Galen? How long is Galen going to stay with his childlike innocence? Who exactly is the feared Meldorath? Who or what is Beth from the magic realm? What is the mysterious stone from the magic realm? This book deserves a 4 out of 4 stars rating. It is well written, clear and easy to follow. I did not notice any errors. Rowan is fond of profane language, though the instances are few.
I am sure fantasy readers would enjoy this book. The pace is perfect. Everything is set just right for the beginning of a fascinating story. It ends in complete suspense. I like Matthew Tysz’s writing style. I am looking forward to the other books in the series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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