4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
With almost every good piece of prose, there has always been a sort of introduction to familiarize the reader with the events which take place as the story unfolds. In the We Are Voulhire series of books, this important task is ascribed to the first instalment; We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies. Set in the fantasy world of Voulhire, where religion is artfully blended with magic, science and governance by the author, the reader is immediately drawn into the tales of the various characters of differing social classes in a land which is deemed as very prosperous.
Any reader accustomed to works of fantasy would probably expect such a story to revolve around one single main character whose journey is the center of focus. However, the author, Matthew Tysz, rather tells the story of a once divided land now unified and prospering under one central power whilst touching briefly on four wars-ridden islands, both through the animation of several individual characters. Though we are not expressly introduced to one character as the protagonist, villains on the other hand, exceedingly abound in many forms in this instalment and their separate acts make the reader wonder what their ultimate aim is.
The multi-faceted nature of this introductory book thrives on the several motivating factors which affect its characters. Whilst some characters like Lord Aldus Elderman and King Wilhelm seek the advancement of a people, others like Midius on the other hand, are more interested in the manipulation of persons and groups for political power. And just as sinister as the latter is, but perhaps on more justifiable grounds, an underground group known as the Riva Rohari which has a bad history with the Voulhirian empire is aimed at ravaging these lands to settle centuries-old scores.
Other characters like Galen initially seem to lack any direct and influential effect on the plot, yet they invoke a sense of great curiosity in the reader. He is a young man from the Islands of the Four Princes who inherits an estate from his estranged uncle and prepares to learn the art of smithing. His journey of assimilation into the Voulhirian society, perhaps may lead to something more.
I would give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The reason for this rating is because the book essentially does a good job, as the first instalment in a series, of introducing the setting, characters and giving some background information which is enough to spark curiosity in a reader to continue to follow ad enjoy the series. The book was also exceptionally well edited with no grammatical or typographical errors. Although, in describing himself the author does not show his affinity for singing or dancing, the introduction of those two into the ways of the Riva Rohari is quite entertaining and is one of the things I liked most about the book. It also reminds me of how the same elements were employed in one of his other books; The King of May. I think this book, and potentially the whole series will appeal to book lovers who are particularly interested in the fantasy genre.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon