4 out of 4 stars
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The Land of the Princes is a destitute place and unless you are royal or in the army, you are in for a pretty rough life. Galen Bray is neither royal nor in the army. He has known nothing but war, famine, and desperation his entire life. That is until one day when a young executor tells him his hardships are finally over. Inheritance can do that. So, optimistic of a brighter future, Galen ‘jumps ship’ so to speak, and heads for Voulhire. What will this new land have in store? Will Voulhire and the town of Magnum Caelum be everything Galen hopes it to be? What will we find out as we follow in Galen's journey to Voulhire?
From the very first page of We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies I felt hooked. Matthew Tysz has created an immensely thought-out world-building masterpiece. From the outset we follow Galen Bray in the first person, leading us to believe he is the ‘main character’ and driving force of the We are Voulhire series. However, throughout the book, the perspective changes to the third person and follows other characters. Characters who are, as it would seem, just as important to the narrative as Galen is. This is an aspect of the story I really enjoyed. Tysz has used the switching of perspectives to increase tension in the story and allow insights into the history of Voulhire, all without info-dumping the reader.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is not only a fantastically written serious fantasy novel, it is also funny. My favourite line from the novel is: “…thing I was forging at the moment was irony, as I hadn't a clue where to begin.” To me, this just goes to show how well written the novel is. Tysz has taken the time to flesh out the characters and the world in such a way that makes the world, though filled with magic, feel real and the characters within it relatable.
I think all fantasy connoisseurs will enjoy this book. It has everything any self-proclaimed fantasy nerd loves: swords, magic, an underdog complex, mystery. There is some profanity in the book so I wouldn’t recommend it to a younger audience. There are not any erotic or sexual scenes. Overall the book felt like a YA novel, so a wide range of people will enjoy reading it.
The only criticism I have is that the story felt like more of a prologue than a complete story on its own. It is as if Tysz wrote this book as an introductory to the series as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book and highly recommend reading it, but perhaps have the second book ready to go right away. Because of this, I rate this book a solid 4 out of 4. it really is a wonderfully written story and has left me wanting to read the series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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