4 out of 4 stars
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The war in the Land of the Princes began when Galen Bray was a young boy and continued to rage 20 years later. He grew up an orphan on the streets where, “...death lurked around every corner...” Then he is tracked down to inherit his dying uncle's estate and is rescued from his dangerous life in his homeland.
Galen makes it to Magnum Caelum, a village in Voulhire, and is awestruck by all the wonders around him, but this is just the beginning. He is welcomed by the villagers who are excited to have a new blacksmith in town, especially a nephew of the great blacksmith before, who died a week before Galen's arrival. His Uncle's executor, Rowan, is there to help him get settled into this new world and excited to stick around and help bring Galen's new trade to a higher level. The pair soon head out on a journey to search for better metal; along the way they pass by the fishing village of Hillport.
Hillport has recently been victim to two different lords, both who tormented the villagers in their own wicked way. After both of the evil lords were dead, Lord Eldus is sent to Hillport to help the poor village turn into a booming fishing village. The people in Hillport are deeply wounded by the atrocities of the previous lords; many do not even believe that they are both dead. Lord Meldorath
was a powerful mage who delved deep into the villagers minds; possibly even filling their dreams with constant fear.
I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies takes place in a fascinating new world created by Matthew Tysz; the world where Voulhire is located. I found it interesting to learn about Voulhire through the eyes of the different characters who took turns telling their story. The main character, Galen, offered the most interesting perspective because he was completely naive to being without constant war. Both the world and the characters were created and explained thoroughly and the different societies were well put together; some quite unique and intriguing. The idea of the “magical” realm that was part of this world provided logical explanations of how different types of magic work throughout the story. I did not find any editing errors. This is Book 1 of the “We are Voulhire” series, and I look forward to reading future books.
Throughout the story, you can see the effort that was put in to the creation of the setting of the “We are Voulhire” series. The book begins with a map of Voulhire and a reference guide including history relevant to the story. The details are consistent throughout the book, and dots are connected for the reader all along the way. Any loose ends seem to be left that way for the next book in the series. We first learn about this kingdom of Voulhire in the middle of them celebrating the golden age they recently achieved. The king is on parade, dancing through many towns, celebrating with his people. “The crown of ivory and black sat on the chair behind him, and his graying brown hair lay exposed to the raining petals of howling sapphire, which came down from happy hands all around him.” He is a well loved king who is credited with his kingdom's success.
The Cosmos, the physical realm, is where most of the story takes place. The Caromentis is a magical realm that the characters often discuss, but many of them think of it as more of a myth. I enjoyed reading about how the realms connected and how the realms related to the different types of mages. Some types of magic could be used for skilled work and were welcomed in societies. Some types of magic were feared and outlawed. “Those who weren't dancing or pilling at the doors to leave twitched and writhed on the floor or in their chairs, toiling to regain control over their own bodies.”
The one thing I did not like about the book was the disconnect I felt given the old fashioned feel of the setting and the present day type of speech used by some characters. Rowan was the character that bothered me the most in this way. He seems as though he doesn't quite fit in among the other characters. This disconnect was not enough to detract from the story overall.
I found no errors in this book; it appears to be professionally edited. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in new beginnings, mages, and/or the fantasy genre. There are inappropriate scenes and language, so I would not recommend this book for young readers.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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