4 out of 4 stars
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The novel We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first book in the series We are Voulhire, and it is a fantasy story written from various perspectives. This is a short introduction novel that sets up the plotlines and backgrounds of different characters within a fictional country called Voulhire. The novel covers themes and topics such as social class divisions, manipulation of the public, political power, and the fight between good and the forces of evil.
The story covers the fictional country of Voulhire, a nation in the middle of a prosperous golden age, while neighboring lands suffer from a lot of political strife. In this world, magic and mages exist, contributing to the fantastical element of the story. As the plot develops, the luster and appeal of Voulhire begin to fade as many of its sinister and dark secrets are revealed. In order to explore how different people witness and come to understand Voulhire's dark side, the novel's chapters are divided to cover the perspectives of various characters. There is Galen, a refugee from the neighboring lands, entering Voulhire to create a better life for himself; King Wilhelm of Voulhire, who is trying to keep his subjects sheltered from the truth about certain hidden dark forces within the kingdom; Eldus Alderman, the lord of the "backwoods" town of Hilltop, who attempts to bring his town into prosperity while protecting it from nearby magical dangers; and others.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as a whole. I am already a big fan of fantasy and fiction stories, so the concept of this novel was appealing to me. I thought it was interesting that this novel was structured to be an introduction to the world of Voulhire. I commend the author on this idea because it allowed him to be free in his world-building before going deeper into the overarching plot as the series continues. I also enjoyed the character development and really liked each of the different personalities that were showcased in the cast of characters. All the dialogue and exchanges between characters felt natural and authentic.
I could not find anything negative to say about this novel. It was mostly well-edited and there were no moments when I was confused about what was happening in the story. Each event smoothly flowed into the next one, and the perspective shifts between chapters were not jarring.
I am happy to give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Although there were a couple of very minor spelling errors, they did not detract from my reading experience in any significant way. There is some explicit language that may be uncomfortable or unsuitable for younger people. I would definitely recommend this book to young adults, or anyone who enjoys fantasy and fictional worlds. I am very excited to get into the next book of the series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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