4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is the first book by Matthew Tysz in the We Are Voulhire series. The Lands of the Princes have been locked in a civil war orchestrated by the Emperor of Lullabies. "In the Lands of the Princes, it was death by the sword, or a slow starvation." When the opportunity to leave comes, Galen Bray takes it without thinking twice.
Thanks to his uncle, Galen is able to start a new life in Voulhire as a blacksmith. At first glance, Voulhire seems like a prosperous and peaceful kingdom. However, the kingdom is haunted by the memory of Lord Meldorath, a powerful mage who the king insists is dead. But is he really dead? On top of that, there are powerful people who have their own devious plans for Voulhire. In this battle for power, there are many secrets that I can’t wait to read about.
We Are Voulhire has a few likable characters, but there’s no clear villain. It is said that the best villains see themselves as heroes, and this rings true in this case. The book is told from multiple points of view, and while Galen is the main character, he is a lot less interesting than the other characters we encounter. I don't know if this was the author's intention, but I found it interesting. Galen’s naivety made me doubt whether he will survive in Voulhire. For someone who has escaped war, I expected him to be a lot more street smart. Nevertheless, I do understand why he finds it hard to understand people and their motives. His life had previously just been about survival and not the intricacies of social interactions. The author writes from the perspectives of several characters, which is what I liked most. Some people might find such a large cast daunting, but as a lover of the A Song of Ice And Fire series, I have no issues with a large cast. A large cast allows you to read about an event from different perspectives which I quite enjoy.
There wasn't anything I didn't like, but I was sad when a character I got invested in was killed off. I guess one of the downfalls of a large cast is that no character is safe. Any one of them could be killed off at any moment. Which brings me on to the gore. The novel is pretty graphic. If you have a soft stomach, I would not recommend this book to you. The book is quite exciting and I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. It ends with a cliffhanger which sets the series up perfectly. I found just one typo where “or” should have been “of”, but overall the book has been professionally edited.
This is a great book for fantasy lovers and I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I want to commend Tysz for doing a great job of building a whole new world. I would not recommend this book to anyone below the age of 16 due to the profanity and references to sexual situations. If you find crude language offensive, steer clear!
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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