4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is an incredibly well-written novel with fantasy and science-fiction elements intermixed, producing fantastic results. The story begins with the introduction of the protagonist, a young adult by the name of Galen. We find him on his way to Voulhire, in order to claim a small inheritance that was left to him by his uncle. Upon his arrival in the town of Magnum Caelum, he realizes that he is drastically out of his element. When he meets the executor of his uncle’s will, a kind man called Rowan, the two become fast friends, and Rowan supports Galen throughout his journey in an unfamiliar land with a strange type of monarchy. Tensions rise between two prominent political figures, a Mianoran Knight and the King of Voulhire, and a fight for power ensues.
King Wilhelm is a much-respected ruler, with a fondness for his people. Maido, a chancellor in the king’s court and also the first Mianoran Knight, seems to be a fierce and legendary leader, but with a ruthless, dangerous, and suspicious streak. This conflict between the two valiant and secretive leaders is the main conflict within the novel, and many plot twists and advances center around this point. Later on in the story, an intriguing change occurs that includes dark magic, exposing the secret, darker side of Voulhire. Politics and a scuffle for power are drawn into a magical world, with unexpected and unintended results.
The interesting thing about Matthew Tysz’s writing style is the fact that he writes in an unpredictable fashion, which will keep you guessing at every turn. He introduces several new, important, and intriguing characters throughout the fast-paced plot, which took the story in different and exciting directions, many times in ways readers might never expect. Included in the first few pages of the book itself are comprehensive, beautiful, and well-thought-out maps that allow readers to become more familiar with Voulhire and the lands that surround it. It is very easy to become lost in and engrossed by the beauty of an imagined world, and this shows the true strength of Tysz’s world-building talent. It’s rare that you can find a series as easy to read, and with such an incredible ability to overwhelm you with imagination and creativity.
I would recommend this book to readers of any age, and more specifically, fans of the science-fiction and fantasy genres. Even though this first book in the We Are Voulhire series is used by the author for the purpose of exposition and world-building, the explanations and descriptions of locations were very easy to comprehend. This would be a very highly engaging story to read for teenagers, young adults, and even older adults too. A thrilling read from cover to cover, this novel is slightly reminiscent of many other fantasy/science-fiction stories, which can appeal to many Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. types of fans. In fact, this book feels like an epic adventure, with anticipation amounting to that of the famed Lord of the Rings series.
All in all, I would rate this book a strong 4 out of 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed becoming invested in this series, and look forward to reading the next several books that Tysz plans to write. A few instances of profanity occur throughout the book, but none of these detract from the incredible storytelling success that is We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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