4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a sci-fi magic novel, the first in the We are Voulhire series. We explore the kingdom of Voulhire through the complex lives of its residents, especially Galen Bray (a refugee from the Lands of the Princes), Eldus Alderman (a new lord of the Hillport), and the king Willhelm. Galen Bray managed to escape from the war-torn homeland and traveled by ship to one of the Voulhire's cities, Magnum Caelum. His motive for moving out was the fact that he inherited a blacksmith and a house from his deceased uncle. In Magnum Caelum, he meets his uncle's executor Rowan, who helps him to take over Onita Steel forge. Alongside him, we get to know the Voulhire, it's politics, magic, and people. On the other hand, Eldus has just arrived with his family to a new home as a lord of Hillport. He is new to his position since he formerly worked as a judge in Soulhire. However, there is a great burden of the bad reputation he has to carry because the infamous former lord, Orlin. He is giving his best to show the people of the Hillport that he is different, and to heal wounds left by Orlin.
The book is written in first- and third-person interchangeably, which keeps the storyline fresh and our attention occupied. There are many descriptions of magic which is a significant part of Voulhire's society. However, I wish there were more explanations of the way magic works and how one can learn it. The character of the higher mage Meldorath, of whom are most of the people afraid of, creates an incredibly mysterious and scary atmosphere. Not knowing if he is alive or dead and how much power does he exactly has, keep us reading on. There is a substantial contrast between naive and lovable Galen and dark characters of the Voulhire like Orlin.
I like the way the author tells a few different stories simultaneously. We get to know many characters with different backgrounds and personalities and become attached to them. The book kept me in considerable suspense and I couldn't stop reading. What I disliked the most is that we weren't given many descriptions of Voulhire's environment and streets. I would also like more descriptions of the characters' looks because I experienced problems with forgetting names. There was no page numbering which I think should be added.
There were some profanities which I don't mind, but some people might get offended by them. There were a few appearances of sexual language, but no sex nor erotic scenes.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars . It is exceptionally well edited and I found no mistakes. The book has little religious mentions and is suitable for people of any belief. The story is incredibly engaging and well written. I wouldn't recommend this book to the younger audience because of profanities, but it is perfect for every adult that loves sci-fi and long series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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