4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz opens with Galen, a young man from the war-torn Land of the Princes, embarking on a new life in the glorious land of Voulhire, which has now entered a golden age. His uncle, a distinguished blacksmith, has bequeathed Galen his entire estate in the small city of Magnum Caelum. Galen is thankful to be starting a new life; however, he is remarkably naive and enlists his uncle's executor’s assistance to help him navigate his newfound wealth.
Despite Voulhire's success, there are still shadows lurking in the background. King Wilhelm has appointed Eldus Alderman as lord of the village of Hillport, a coastal city that has been abused by the previous lords Orlin and Meldorath. Lord Orlin was a supposed pedophile who harmed many of the village's children, but he is fortunately dead. The citizens of Voulhire are more concerned with Lord Meldorath, a dangerously powerful mage who committed unspeakable acts. King Wilhelm insists that Meldorath is dead, but many believe this to be untrue. The king is currently more concerned with a group of rebels called the Rivi Rohavi. The Rivi has recently been laying low, but the king knows it is only a matter of time before they resurface. Perhaps Voulhire isn't as wonderous and peaceful as the rumors led Galen to believe.
Tysz's world-building is the chief aspect of this book that I enjoyed. The author has done an excellent job building Voulhire, and I am excited to see this world in more detail. His characters are believable and have strengths and weaknesses with which I can relate. I have always enjoyed epic fantasy with multiple plot lines, and this book delivers that exceptionally well. I love how the author has presented the reader with various points of view that are all interesting and engaging. I can't wait to see how the plots all tie together in the end.
I only had a few dislikes regarding this book. First, there are very few female characters that the readers get to know. I'm hoping that will change since this is only the first of nine books. Second, I felt the author relied heavily on ellipses in the dialogue, which seemed odd to me. Finally, my biggest issue with this book was that it felt like a prequel or a novella, not a full novel. By doing this, though, the author has made me excited about the second book.
Overall, I rated We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies with 4 out of 4 stars. The level of world-building made this an enjoyable and engaging read. I felt like the author could have gone into a bit more depth, however, seeing as this is an epic fantasy novel. It felt more like a prequel or a portion of a more substantial novel instead of a stand-alone work. The editing was very well done, and I noticed only a few errors. I would recommend this book to adults who enjoy epic fantasy that follow multiple plot lines. There are several instances of profanity and sexual topics that may make this book inappropriate for young readers.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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