4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a fictional fantasy novel set in a world based on late nineteenth-century Europe. The story is set primarily in the peninsula of Voulhire, and it is somewhat of an introduction to the We are Voulhire series. Galen, a young man from the neighboring warring islands, boards a ship to Voulhire to inherit his great uncle's property. The story is about his journey of becoming a blacksmith so that he can follow his great uncle's footsteps.
The author introduces his characters very well. Most of them feel important, and there is a certain depth to them. These characters make a mark in the story, no matter how insignificant it is. Another thing I like about this book is how the author feeds information to the readers. The author depicts the country's political tension when the king interacts with his top officials, not by a monologue. Each interaction gives us clues to the bigger picture. Character interactions play a crucial role in the story. Each lays essential groundwork for the whole story and delivers us information about the politics, culture, trade, history, and mindset of the people on the peninsula.
The author narrates the story from the perspective of its characters. These include the king, his chancellor, the new lord of a city called Heliport, the leader of a terrorist group called Riva, and Galen. While Galen's point of view is in the first person, all others are in the third person. It is pretty well-narrated, but there were no significant character developments throughout the story.
Apart from that, it is mainly an adventure story. Galen bands with new allies and embarks on a journey to be a blacksmith. However, the main story is much bigger than that. It shows the slow and rapid decline of peace that the people have enjoyed for years. It describes the ruthless aristocracy abandoning the people to take a jab at someone in higher office. It portrays broken dreams and betrayals. It lets you deal with the raw pain of the violent deaths of the characters you have come to like.
The book is fairly well edited. I found two errors that do not deter readers from the wonderful reading experience. There are a few instances of profane language, but no explicit sex scenes are present in this book. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend any fantasy lover to read this book. The ending was also nicely executed, and the story was able to pique my interest in the world of Voulhire. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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