4 out of 4 stars
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In We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies, Matthew Tysz takes us to a breathtaking nation filled with color, culture, and fascinating people. We experience the wonders of the land alongside Galen Bray, a young refugee whose long lost uncle's death left him his escape ticket from the infamous Land of the Princes. Galen arrives at Magnum Caelum to take care of the forge his uncle left behind.
The secrets and dangers, however, belong to the ones who had lived there their entire lives. Like Lord Eldus, who got the difficult task of healing Hillport from the horrors its people lived under the management of his predecessors. Unfortunately, the scars may be too deep, even if he keeps reassuring the town that the infamous magician Lord Meldorath is dead.
Between the greatness and the sorrows, we discover the beginning of what promises to be a fascinating adventure, filled with lore and intriguing characters. Galen and Rowan's dynamic is one of my favorite things; they're very different, but those differences seem to complement each other, making them fun to read. That's not to say Eldus is boring. If anything, his part of the story is the one that got me hooked. Reading his chapters was like opening a small chest with new pieces of a puzzle. And the final image was this huge fleshed-out idea for the next books. This first chapter of the saga sets the stage for what is to come exquisitely. There is no dull moment in the book, not a single piece that does not fit the bigger picture perfectly.
Matthew Tysz is a good narrator. He can paint the most beautiful pictures of Voulhire with nothing but words. But when it comes to the darkness and the bloody, he does not falter. The contrast between these scenes makes for a colorful book, with lights and shadows all over.
There's nothing I didn't like in the book; the journey was enjoyable, and the ending sets us up to run and get the second part of the saga. It was also well-edited, as I couldn't find any grammatical or spelling errors. While there are just a handful of curses, there are mentions of adult topics like pedophilia, so watch out for that.
With this in mind, I have no doubt it deserves 4 out of 4 stars. The novel should be enjoyable for teens and adults who are not afraid of traveling to distant magic lands and like to enter complex fantasy worlds.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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