4 out of 4 stars
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A group of islands is torn apart by years of battle. The futile war between four brothers brought forth nothing but death and destruction. For a young man accustomed to a hard life, any opportunity to escape this miserable place promises a better future. When Galen Bray gets a ticket to Voulhire, he finds himself among strangers, looking out at the vast sea around him.
What awaits him in Voulhire? The kingdom he has heard many stories about, its prosperous situation and an even more promising future. How can a king protect the peace when evil lurks in the shadows and his most loyal companions find themselves unable to stay out of danger’s way? Who will unravel the secrets behind the image of perfection and who will come out victorious?
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is a masterpiece in the fantasy genre. From the very first page, Matthew Tysz pulls the reader into an incredibly thought-out world of magic and mystery. The way he cleverly uses a fairytale-like style to introduce a short account on the history of his world immediately got my attention. The author uses just the right amount of detail to make the setting believable and easy to visualise, without boring the reader or repeating himself.
The world he created is diverse, the cities unique and memorable, and the political hierarchy easy to understand. If the setting doesn’t blow you away, the characters most certainly will! The fantasy genre often includes long books and series, with an abundance of characters and historical details, which can sometimes be overwhelming for inexperienced readers. Matthew Tysz skilfully presents the story from multiple perspectives and continuously reminds the reader of the characters’ names and titles. At the beginning of the volume, there is a link to a website, where a reader can access a detailed list of characters in alphabetical order, which is a refreshing and practical idea.
The main characters all come from different backgrounds, live in distant parts of the kingdom and have specific roles in the story. This method allows the reader to experience the various aspects of Voulhire’s world. The elements of the plot are presented in such a way to make the novel engaging and exciting.
I loved everything about this book. The flawed and relatable characters, the different customs and political roles, and especially the introduction of magic and mages - all of these elements made it incredibly enjoying. Matthew Tysz provides a unique perspective on the supernatural in the fantasy genre, and I found his theories very convincing. The only downside to We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is that it is relatively short and ends right at the culmination of the story. Luckily, the author already published the next book in the series, which promises an even more dynamic plot. It was obvious that the book is professionally edited, as I have found only one minor mistake. Because of these reasons, I will gladly rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
The book contains a few instances of profanity and short mentions of sexual content, but nothing that would turn away an average reader. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who loves the fantasy and science-fiction genre, but also to those who enjoy long engaging series with political topics. I think it is appropriate for teens and adults, but younger readers might find the plot and the social context complex or confusing.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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