4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies, by Matthew Tysz, is the first installment in the ongoing nine-book series, We are Voulhire. It is listed under the medieval fantasy genre and follows the life of its protagonist, Galen Bray. The story takes place in the fictional land of Voulhire, and the book includes a map of Voulhire. There is also an online Reference Guide that aids readers in understanding new terms and concepts. The book is divided into multiple sections; each section's title introduces the focal character of that chapter.
When opportunity knocks through the door, Galen Bray did not think twice to grab it. Galen is from the Lands of the Princes, a place pestered with war and famine. It doesn't matter where he is headed to; everything will be fine as long as he leaves the Lands of the Princes. Luckily, he is destined to go to Voulhire. The kingdom of Voulhire has entered its Golden Age. There are no imminent threats of war and violence from insurgents, and their economy is thriving. Galen must learn the customs of this new place and adapt if he wants to survive.
Meanwhile, King Wilhelm Marcolo ordered Meldorath to be executed; Meldorath was caught carrying out despicable experiments on people while he was the lord of Hillport. Suddenly, rumors stating that Meldorath is alive started circulating the kingdom. At the same time, King Wilhelm appointed Lord Eldus as the new Lord of Hillport. Lord Eldus made it his mission to help Hillport heal from the wickedness that once enveloped the town. Is there any truth to the rumor? Will Lord Eldus succeed in reforming the town? You will have to read the book to find out.
The book successfully captured my interest during the first few pages and maintained this throughout the book. This is what I liked the most about the title. The first chapter opened by introducing Galen Bray. I find reading about Galen and his storyline enjoyable as I feel hopeful that he can finally leave the depressing place where he grew up and excited about what his destination could offer. When Galen arrived at Voulhire, my enjoyment is retained. Everything in this wondrous place is new to Galen, and reading about it through his perspective makes exploring Voulhire more exciting. I can truly feel the curiosity he has for the marvelous kingdom of Voulhire. Overall, I wholly enjoyed reading the novel.
The only issue I had with the book is the disconnect between Galen’s storyline and the book’s major conflict. Galen is the protagonist of the book, yet the principal conflict is centered around Lord Eldus and his plan to reform Hillport and not on him. There are only subtle connections, which have no to little contribution to the plot, between Galen and Lord Eldus such as that Magnum Caelum, where Galen resides, is an unsung town in Voulhire similar to Hillport. However, this did not tremendously affect my enjoyment of the book. This actually made me want to read We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko, the sequel of this book, so I’ll know how Galen’s role will grow and how his influence will affect Voulhire.
I found a fair number of profane words in the text. Obscene language is also present. I didn’t catch any errors; the book is professionally edited. I give We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies 4 out of 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel, and I had only one minor issue. Because of the presence of profanity and obscenity, young readers should steer away from this book. I recommend this to frequent readers of the medieval fantasy genre.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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