4 out of 4 stars
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After an exhausting sea voyage, Galen finally sets his feet on dry land again. He is a young refugee coming from the most seriously war-torn place on earth, The Land of Princes. He has been lucky enough to get a ticket out of this hellhole by inheriting his uncle’s property in the rich and beautiful land of Voulhire. Galen is thankful for the chance given to him and determined to make a good life with his fresh beginning. At the time being, he’s only able to see the beautiful surface of Voulhire. Hidden from his eyes but not located too far away, Meldorath, considerably the most powerful wizard of human history, is captured on an island and guarded by an armada of battleships. The wicked wizard is patiently waiting for the day of his new arrival. On the other end of the empire, the fierce dancing rebels of Riva Rohavi are waiting for their chance to slaughter the citizens of Voulhire they have learned to hate. Gullible, peace-loving, and good-natured, Galen knows nothing of this. He is on a journey to become worthy of his uncle’s inheritance.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first book of the series called We are Voulhire. This book’s main purpose lies in introducing the imaginary world of Voulhire and its inhabitants to its readers. To be honest, before opening the first page, I was feeling somewhat skeptical. It is a well-known truth that the creation of an outstanding fantasy novel can be tricky. Writing a good story just isn’t enough! On the contrary, the author still has to create the whole fantasy world to match the story. However, in this case, I discovered my worries to be unnecessary. The author proved to be equipped with a noticeable amount of imagination, and the characters he had created were loveable, horrifying, and invidious, just to mention a few examples.
This book did not have traditional chapters as we are used to seeing in most of the books. Instead, it was divided into sections resembling the names of the characters. The structure of the book was clear and well-thought, and the story development skillfully organized. I felt that the rather unusual framing of the chapters was also working for the advantage of the storyline.
I felt slightly disturbed about some magic-related details throughout the story. There was naturally a reasonable amount of magic included, but at times it seemed to me, the author was simply replacing modern technology or science as we know it, with ancient magic. As an example, instead of picking up the phone and making a phone call, the characters would use mages who could whisper messages to each other’s heads over a long distance. I felt this kind of invention to be a little too obvious and unimaginative from an author who otherwise proved to have such an extraordinary talent of imagination.
I believe every major consumer of fantasy books is most likely to find We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies an enjoyable read. However, since the book contains a moderate amount of violence, I do not feel comfortable recommending it to the younger audience.
In my opinion, the author managed to accomplish his goal of introducing the surroundings and characters of his new series rather well. I am pleased to rate We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies with 4 out of 4 stars. I didn't encounter more than a few minor mistakes, which lead me to believe the book was professionally edited. I am convinced about Matthew Tysz’s skills as a writer and expect the next parts of We are Voulhire series to be even more satisfying. I look forward to opening the next book. I believe this to be the greatest compliment a sophisticated reader can deliver to any author.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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