4 out of 4 stars
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When a distant uncle reaches out with an invitation, Galen Bray is all too ready to abandon his war-torn homeland and embark on a voyage to a better life. Compared to the Land of the Princes, Voulhire promises an almost unbelievable relief from all the chaos and hardship Galen has had to endure for all his life. But just as he begins to fall in love with his new home, a plot of destruction begins to unravel. The powerful and power-hungry would see Voulhire trampled for their ambitions, and Galen’s so-believed promised land is about to become just another war zone.
The first in the We are Voulhire series, A New Arrival under Great Skies does an impeccable job of introducing the reader to the characters, the worlds, and what promises to be a truly exciting storyline ahead.
The author’s decision to write Galen’s point of view in first person, while the other characters’ remained in third person, kept the focus on the main character even though his storyline would only barely interact with the main plot. It gave the novel a sense of movement, its different parts progressing individually towards that epic point of climatic convergence.
In total, Matthew Tysz seemed to have a handle on his craft, except at those points when he appeared to write the story in a time that was a mesh of past and present.
I feel the author tried to create a unique era that was old enough for a fantasy novel, but modern enough to feature “gyms” and “workout clothes,” and that ended up not working out most of the time. Going forward, the author certainly needs to work on creating a more coherent timeline because so far, these distinctions are bit jarring and difficult not to notice.
Regardless, I still completely enjoyed this book. My experience with introductory first novels like this is that they usually rely too heavily on either the plot or the characters, but what Matthew Tysz offers is a whole novel in itself, readable in a few sittings.
Some things to note before reading, however; profanity, and other crass language, though used in moderation, are present. There are also some sexual references, including instances about child sexual abuse that might set some readers off. These are only transient mentions, but worth noting in any case. Therefore, I only recommend this book to readers sixteen and above, and even then, personal discretion is key.
I did not find enough errors to warrant a penalty, so my rating of We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies remains a 4 out of 4.
If you enjoy fantasy, myths and legends, some mystery, and classic warfare, then this series might be just for you.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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