4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is the first out of a nine book series by Matthew Tysz. It can best be described as an adult, dark, fantasy series. It is indeed overwhelmingly exciting.
As its title suggests, the reader will observe a number of new arrivals in this novel. One of the main characters, Galen, leaves his war-stricken land and travels to Voulhire. One quickly learns that Voulhire is the land of hope and opportunities. The reader also sees that one of the towns in Voulhire receives a new mayor. This mayor is tasked with bringing this town out of despair. As the novel progresses, a banished mage also returns to his former town.
Although Tysz includes a lot of magic and fantasy into his novel, a lot of its content reflects life as we know it today. Indeed, Voulhire consists of a number of cities. Each city has its unique strengths and personalities. This is similar to most of the countries that we live in today. In Voulhire, the cities, in spite of their strengths, still have to depend on one another for their continued success. Some cities of course, take advantage and do not share the wealth fairly. Such greed also permeates the world in which we live today.
This premier novel truly sets the tone for the subsequent novels. It explores so many themes. Some of these themes that the reader will learn about include: the role that class plays within a society, religion, family relationships, trust and betrayal, leadership, politics, abuse, magic, fears harbored by mankind as well as the unique traits of human beings.
This novel further explores the long-standing dispute between a man being a product of nature and his being a product of his nurture. The title of this novel can in fact lead one to assume that the story is all just fantasy. On the contrary, it could not be more profound and representative of what one sees and experiences in everyday life.
It is a pity that I can only rate this novel a 4 out of 4 stars. It was so perfectly executed. I especially liked the excitement and suspense that seems to increase with each turn of the page. The language used was beautiful with a lot of imagery and literary devices being relied on. The reader will feel as though he is in the midst of all that is going on in the novel. He will not want to put this novel down.
There is nothing that I did not like in this novel. I enjoyed it from the very beginning to the very end. I would recommend that persons aged 16 years and older read this novel as some profanity was used and some of the scenes were a bit scary. However, these two factors were needed in the book to make the plot that more effective. It is also worthy of mention, that although some reference is made to God in the novel, it is by no means a main feature. As such, persons of all religions will enjoy reading it.
Honestly, I was sad when I read the last page of this novel. I kept replaying scenes in my head for a good day or two afterwards. It is that good a read! I can hardly wait to read the next novel, The Fires of Virko. Great job Matthew Tysz!
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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