4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a fantasy novel set in a medieval mood. This book shared the story of Galen Bray, who left his war stricken home country for a great one called Voulhire. Beauty, peace, prosperity, and friendship presented themselves to him unexpectedly in a chain of wonderful events. Because of the hardships that he had back from the Lands of the Princes, he appreciated everything in the simple village that he had migrated to. From the gas lamp, the clean bed, clean clothes, the people, to the magnificent painting he’d only known from a legend that he had finally seen for himself in all its glory. All of them he regarded with awe. While he assimilated to his new home, political issues arise from the core of Voulhire. Deaths, betrayals, mysteries, and power play masked by the rich facade of the city of Soulhire loomed around the naive protagonist like shadows waiting to be revealed. Who should Galen trust and who should he be wary of? What greater purpose is Galen Bray headed to? The prominent question is, is he there for a reason, a specific destiny that only he can fulfill for Voulhire and its people?
Upon coming across this novel, I felt reluctant at first since I am not a fan of this genre. Now that I’ve read it I do not regret that I even chose it. With careful details, it depicted a precise story set in a specific place and time. Everything is animated into life with each of the characters’ unique temperaments, personalities, and obvious presence in their scenes. The transition of events is fast phased and smooth without breaking the consistent flow of the story. The dialogues aren’t unnecessarily long and irrelevant they were just right and straightforward. Their underlying meanings were also communicated very well by Tysz’s use of cues for certain characters in chosen situations.
I can almost relate to Galen Bray for being innocent and kind in the face of a world I do not know yet. All throughout the pages I saw how he learned little by little and I fear that his kindness and good natured disposition will be tarnished as he tread Voulhire. This only proves the connection that Tysz had successfully established between the character he made and his reader. Somehow, the real world I live in is creatively and imaginatively mirrored in the tale which kept me hooked. It is quite philosophical and it encouraged me to think from different perspectives, from the side of the protagonist, to the point of view of the supporting characters, and to the minds of the villains.
As far as I know, there were no grammatical errors found in the book. The absence of chapter numbers got me confused and this is what I disliked the most because it could’ve been easier to navigate along the pages if there were chapter numbers along with the chapter titles. There were a few profanities used in the dialogues.
In conclusion, I give this book four out of four stars for being philosophical, well written, relatable, engaging, very interesting, and for making me excited to read the next book of the series as soon as possible. I recommend this to young adults, to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as fans of the Skyrim and The Witcher enterprises. Although this book is different, it holds a charm close to the aforementioned titles. What I liked most about it and also its greatest strength is its light and unique style that you won’t know when it will take you by surprise.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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