4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is a science fiction and fantasy novel written by Matthew Tysz. In this story, the author showed us a world combined with the physical and magical world, which fantasy fans will surely love. The characters, some are mages, the plot and the description of every happenings and place will really pull the readers in and make them feel mixed emotions.
This story begins in the Land of Princes where Galen Bray, the protagonist, came from. There's a war happening in that land and that made him play a survival game. When he left that place to be with his uncle and work at the Onita Steel forge, he was introduced to a kingdom named Voulhire where he decided to have a new life. Then he met his uncle's executor, Rowan, who helped him settle and take over his uncle's forge. The land seems to have government problems as King Wilhelm, ruler of the kingdom, and Midius Maido, the first Knight of Voulhire, had some conflicts towards one another. Then, there is Eldus Alderman, a trusted judge by the king who sent him to Hillport to reconstruct the town and help the people recover from the scary memories brought by their former lords. Voulhire seems to be a great place, a kingdom where anyone would want to live. It's a tremendous kingdom but also as terrifying as it is.
The author did a great job of introducing us to the characters. Each character has their own different ways and unique behaviours and flaws which made them more realistic. There's also a map in the first few pages that helps us visualize the geographical locations of the rivers, mountains and the cities of Voulhire. And what I liked the most is the great place descriptions that make the book more fascinating. Every place is detailed: From the skies to the ground, from the ocean to the coast, and the exact colour of the views or things the characters are looking at. This gives us the chance to picture the wonderful place inside our minds while being attracted by that extraordinary world.
Suspense is also building up as the story continues. The unpredictable actions or happenings in the story often made me feel both pleasant excitement and anxiety. The original plot is very engaging and some parts of the novel, such as the corruption and fight for power, made me feel some kind of connection to the story as I remember what kind of problems our community is facing in the current period. The magical scenarios are well interpreted and even gave me the urge to act like them, imagining a flame coming out from my hand and stand while imagining a whirlpool of debris, people and trees circling around me. The author also seems to have a great sense of humour or wit to instill such comedy to some dialogues or scenes that made me laugh several times.
But there are also other aspects of the story I didn't like. Such as how the king seems to tolerate his son's behaviours and let him act like an unworthy prince for the throne, especially in front of his rival, Midius Maido. And also, Eldus is a judge and not a child psychologist himself. He's being very polite and kind which somewhat makes him less true to life. But I think that's something considerable, as I believe the characters still have their own distinctive individuality that is very well shown as the story unfolds.
I only spotted minor errors but didn't stop me from proceeding and be drawn to the story from the beginning to the end. For me, this novel would more appeal to those who love fantasy, adventures, and sci-fi genre, and if you really are, I will highly recommend this book. It is well written and easy to understand. That's why I'm giving this book 4 out of 4 stars.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon