4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is the first instalment of a sensational epic series by Matthew Tysz. It is a captivating page-turner that doesn’t disappoint fans of its genre as it mesmerises them with its fantasy world of mages, magical realms and lords of distant kingdoms.
The story starts with Galen Bray, a naive young man who lives in the battle-scarred Lands of Princes where oppression is rife and the masses live in constant fear of death. His luck changes, however, when news arrives about a fortune willed to him by a long-lost uncle. He immediately sets off to Magnum Caelum, one of the cities of Voulhire, to begin a new life.
Meanwhile, in Voulhire, there are horrible secrets that King Wilhelm wants to keep buried. Lord Meldorath, the king’s former general and a terrible mage has almost destroyed the city of Hillport with his abominable acts. The King orders him to be executed and replaces him with Lord Alderman, a kind and just man, who tries to restore the city and the people’s trust.
However, the King’s troubles are far from over. There’s ominous news that the Riva Rohavi, a mutinous society whose sole aim is the destruction of Voulhire and its people, is preparing for an imminent attack. Can King Wilhelm save his people from the invasion? What happened to Galen in Magnum Caelum?
I love how the author has managed to create an intricate new world of distant kingdoms, powerful magicians and dark magical realms yet made it simple to relate to their world with the modern language used. The writing style is both narrative and descriptive so it is easy to grasp the discussions and vividly picture the scenes. There are a lot of characters and unfamiliar words but the author has an extensive reference guide at the beginning of the book for clear understanding.
I also love the slow character development in the book. The author introduces some characters without fully exploring their roles in this particular instalment. This only adds to the intrigue of the story for me because it is a series. Galen Bray’s character, for example, is told in the first person’s narrative and is different from the rest of the other characters. This might mean he’s the main character but his role isn’t clearly defined yet.
King Wilhelm’s character isn’t fully explored as well. The author has managed the art of slowly revealing the information about these two characters without giving too much away at once. I find all these slow reveals intriguing rather than confusing and it all adds to the thrill of the plot.
There’s nothing I didn’t like about this book. The ending is a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the next book of the series. It is professionally written and only has a couple of negligible errors. Overall, I’ll rate it a 4 out of 4. It contains references of a sexual nature and also some profanity, so I wouldn’t recommend it to children or readers who are sensitive or easily offended. It will appeal mostly to fans of fantasy and sci-fi. If you love Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, you would love this book.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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