4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is the first book in Matthew Tysz’s highly promising series We are Voulhire. When the king appoints Lord Eldus as the new leader of Hillport, a quiet town in the kingdom of Voulhire, he finds that guaranteeing its prosperity is the least of his problems. During their short reign, the town’s previous leaders, Lord Orlin and General Meldorath left the townspeople afraid and on edge. They even doubt whether General Meldorath has genuinely died. Lord Eldus takes it upon himself to visit every child in Hillport upon whom Lord Orlin conducted some disturbing experiments, offering his unconditional support to both victims and families. As Lord Eldus’s sincerity gradually wins the trust of the people, they begin to relax and welcome him as their leader.
At the same time, young Galen Bray departs his homeland, the Land of the Princes, on a ship bound for Magnum Caelum, also in the kingdom of Voulhire. He is on his way to collect his inheritance from an unknown and recently deceased uncle. The executor of the will, Rowan, turns out to become not only a great help but also a friend who helps him to pick up the basics of his uncle’s blacksmith business.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I found it easy to familiarize myself with each of the characters, and I took a great liking to Galen Bray’s kind and easygoing personality. I liked how well developed their world was, and, I didn’t find it at all difficult to understand how this society operated. The author portrays both the Land of the Princes and the Kingdom of Voulhire in great detail, generating atmosphere and adding depth to the plot.
For me, the only thing that I found lacking was the presence of well developed female characters. We do get to meet Lord Eldus’s wife and daughter, but they barely had any lines and didn’t add to the story. I feel that more complex female role models in future instalments would make the series appeal to a wider audience.
That said, I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it impossible to put down until the very end. As such, I am very excited to see how the story continues in the sequel. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I didn’t come across any grammatical errors or typos, and along with the excellent quality of the dialogue, this book gives the impression of being professionally edited. I think this would be a suitable read for lovers of fantasy and fiction, but I’m sure that everyone would enjoy it.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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