4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a fantasy combined with science fiction and is the first one of the nine book series. The book takes us on a ride with its characters and settings and keeps the suspense alive throughout.
The book starts by introducing us to the Kingdom of Princes and the conditions over there. Next we are taken to the scene where people are escaping the sad and gloomy environment and moving onto the country Voulhire, which is believed to be prosperous. A man called Galen Bray is one such person bound to escape his country to Magnum Caelum, Voulhire, in search of the estate that his rich uncle left for him. In the other part of the kingdom, former judge Lord Alderman is appointed as the Chief of Hillport. As the king of Voulhire looks to revive the economy in Hillport, special interest is taken in its former rulers, Lord Orlin and Lord Meldorath and their deeds, which lead to startling discoveries about Meldorath. How does Caromentis, the magical world fits in this? Who are Riva Rohavi? How's the unsuspecting Galen dragged into this? The answers to this make up the remaining story.
True to the author's introduction note, the story's pace remains a bit lull at the start. But as it proceeds, you have the nail-biting, edge-gripping kind of scenes which do not let you put down the book. Apart from the obvious fantasy story, you would be amazed reading about the characters' emotions and feelings and that's what gripped me to the story. Time and again, it is proved that no one can be trusted, and the author weaves a beautiful story around that point.
The book is very small, around 140 pages, but it packs the punch in such compact space, and Matthew Tysz needs to be credited for his mastery. From keeping the suspense alive to building the story and characters enough to bring back readers, this book has it all. The only quibble I have is about the open ended questions that we have as we keep reading and that's probably needed because the book has later installments. But this is very minor considering the story we get to read. There are absolutely no spelling errors or otherwise, and it shows the rigorous editing this book has undergone multiple times. But there are a few profanities, but given their commonness with today's language, they are not a hurdle for most of the readers, leave for a few.
"...you are the author of your own story," an old man says at the start of the story. How true those words are and they beautifully capture the essence of this book. For all the points mentioned above, the rate this book a 4 out of 4. I'd recommend this book to all the science fiction and fantasy lovers out there. You'd definitely enjoy.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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