4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies, is a fantasy book by Matthew Tysz.
It is about a young man called Galen who leaves his kingdom, the land of the princes, (which is in war) and goes to Voulhire, the kingdom where his great uncle lived, to start a new life. Simultaneously, in another part of Voulhire, Lord Eldus is commanded by the king to restore and improve life in Hillport. Eldus also tries to keep the secret of the whereabouts of the fearsome Meldorath in order to avoid the spreading of terror among the people.
The story develops in an imaginary world, set in the middle ages, in which the reader immerses himself/herself almost immediately. The book combines first and third person narration, which makes it different from other fantasy books that I have read. The speed of the narration of the events is very adequate, and that is an important thing in this type of novels, it is neither slow nor fast. The world created by the author in general is very creative; the names of the characters, the names of the cities, etc.
The character I liked most is Galen (he’s the main character), due to his great personality; he is humble, polite, kind and generous. Very loveable, indeed.
While reading the book, I was surprised about the king’s humbleness, for instance, when there was a banquet, the king was sitting at the same table in which lower class people sat. It surprised me too the fact that they didn’t address the king as “your majesty” or “your highness”, instead they just addressed him as “my liege”. Chancellor Maido makes jokes about him in front of all his people and even embarrasses the king by asking him questions he doesn’t want to answer, and the most striking thing is that the king doesn’t stop him.
One of the things I liked about the book is that magic appears at the beginning of the story, letting the reader wander what kind of magic the characters are going to use, which of the characters will be able to use it and what are its limits.
For an introductory book, it is good, but I think that the story could be longer, the final events that took place at the middle and final chapters of the book could be explained more. I understand that the author may have done it that way so that the reader would be intrigued to continue reading the following book, but there are some scenes that could be longer. In addition, the scenes concerning the description and explanation of the imaginary world could be a little bit longer so that the reader could immerse himself/herself better. The book has a funny touch that I really liked, because it was not frequent, it appeared just a few times in the book.
The only thing that I didn’t like about the story is that the penultimate chapter begins narrated in first person and ends narrated in third person. Although it was not confusing, but it could have been a better chapter if it didn’t mix different types of narration.
The novel is appropriate for any kind of reader who likes fantasy books, including children, because it has no sexual scenes and has very few swear words. I must say that the author did an excellent job revising the book because it is very well edited. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
In short, I enjoyed We Are Voulhire more than I expected and I strongly recommend its reading. But be aware because the book will let you intrigued enough to read the second one!
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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