4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Lands of the Princes is an empire that is experiencing an upheaval following a civil war caused by the four sons of the Emperor of Lullabies. Due to this, there is widespread fear because regardless of whether you were deprived or wealthy, you couldn't feel secure. After all, being wealthy made you a target for the princes because you were suspected of aiding the enemies’ troops. On the other hand, being poor meant you were likely to starve to death while living among the diseased.
This turbulent life is all that Galen has known. It’s no wonder that when a chance to leave his homeland presents itself, he does so assertively, despite the uncertainties that the long trip to Voulhire presents.
Voulhire is a state that is ahead of its time in terms of structural developments and economic progress. At about this time, Voulhire is ushering in a new era, the golden era, which will see Voulhire progress further towards its Utopian vision.
Beneath Voulhire’s extravagant exterior, Voulhire is a struggling nation, much like any other. You can’t call Hillport a grand city by any standard. Poor leadership offered by its two previous Lords has caused it to languish economically. Its people are uneducated, but they work harder than anyone else in the country. The Riva Rohavi, an infamous insurgent group, loves dishing out trouble to Voulhirian cities at unexpected times. Is this all the progressive nation of Voulhire has to worry about? or are evil machinations scheming a calamitous end for Voulhire?
We Are Voulhire: The New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the introductory novel into the "We Are Voulhire" series. I was impressed by the presentation of the world of Voulhire. In particular, the cities, which have a vast cultural heritage that intrigued me. To illustrate, the city of Soulhire (Voulhire’s capital) is where you would find the gentry and the King’s castle. Yamon Soul is a religious city, which imposes stringent rules regarding visits. The people of Hillport are hard-working people, yet they live a simple life. This set me on an expedition of discovery where I felt like a tourist exploring the enchanted world of Voulhire.
Owing to the work that went into bringing the world of Voulhire into life, the book can feel a bit of a slow read, but the presence of fascinating characters brought the much-needed lightness into the story. For instance, Rowan is a creative character, who knows a great deal about Voulhire as a nation. He also has amazing intuition about a person’s motivations depending on which part of Voulhire they hail from. Rowan sometimes comes off as crude, but he is loyal. Marshus, Lord Eldus’s son, comes off as confident and a bit of a joker, but cloaked beneath this demeanor is a quiet intelligence that captivated me.
I mentioned enchanted while describing Voulhire earlier on. Yes, at its heart this story is a fantasy one, which includes magical elements. As this is an introductory book, there wasn’t much of magic, but the little that was there set the tone for what to expect in the other books, which I’m incredibly excited for. The ending was suspenseful, which left me with the desire to pick up where I left, but unfortunately, I couldn’t. I have no complaints about the book, including the quality of the editing. With that, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Lovers of the fantasy genre will be glad they read this book as I did. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for children due to occasional profanities and mature content. Also, there isn’t any offensive content that I flagged to make it an uncomfortable read based on individual beliefs.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon