4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is the first installment of the We are Voulhire series by Matthew Tsyz. The 151 paged book takes us to the kingdom of Voulhire which is, in its golden age, the perfect place for our main character Galen Bray hailing from the war torn Land of the Princes, to start afresh. Here he learns about his new position as heir of his dead uncle's wealth and about the Kingdom with the help of Rowan his friend. However he remains oblivious to the problem posed by magic and the kingdom's enemies, whom to everyone else are a thing of the past, but to King Wilhem and his close friend Lord Eldus, they remain an underlying threat.
'Once there lived...' so the tale starts, in a manner that begs the reader to sit back and get lost in the pages of a new adventure. The novel is truly absorbing with simple, vivid and detailed description, and a clear narration from different points of view. The characters, much like the plot, are uncomplicated easy to follow everyday individuals who have normal thoughts and conversations which is what, according to me, makes the novel a gem. Despite their diversity and probably because of it, the characters are very catchy and Tsyz makes me care about their dates from page one.
Halen's gullible nature and Rowan's mischievous one blend perfectly making them a duo to look out for at every turn of a page. In fact, because of Halen's naivety and newness to Voulhire, we who are as naive if not more, get to observe as he does and learn with him. This may be the reason why the author narrates Galen in first person and the other characters like Lord Eldus in third person. The story incorporates humour through jokes and friendly jest, stories within the story and suspense that keeps one hooked.
As the first book in a series, We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies sets a neither fast nor slow pace which I hope the rest of the books can maintain. It serves its introductory purpose without seeming pointless or being too independent that it stands by itself, which I congratulate the author for. Voulhire's political, social, economic and geographic structures are clearly mapped out for us. Much to my pleasure, there is even a map of Voulhire provided at the beginning so that the reader knows where exactly they are, in a story where characters and scenes tend to shift a lot. I feel that a character index would have helped as well, though I found it hard to confuse characters.
'The city would dance until dawn. But the king would have a bath, finish his book, and go to bed.' I suggest this captivating tale of the fantasy genre as a great getaway from reality and recommend it heartily to addicts of magical lands and vulnerable but gallant heroes. It's suited for the young and the old alike. The vulgarity is kept to a minimum and the errors are few. I rate We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies 4 out of 4 . The adventure continues in The Fires of Virko , book two of the series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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