4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first book of the We are Voulhire series. The science fiction/fantasy is a captivating book that is as curious as it is exciting. It is quite easy to stay glued, as there are plenty of twists and thrills on a page-by-page basis. Tysz presents an absolutely remarkable story, so engaging that one is left almost feeling desperate to read the other books in the series.
After spending nearly his entire life as a refugee in a land ravaged by war, Galen Bray finally found a way out of the Land of the Princes. His great-uncle arranged for his trip to Voulhire, and willed his house and forge to Galen before his death. Galen is faced with adapting to his new surroundings, in the company of Rowan, his Soulhirian executioner and later a monk named Demetrius. He sets about learning his great-uncle's forge, while trying to build a new life.
The story also follows the town of Hillport, a small rocky town which suffered atrocities in the hands of its previous two Lords. The king responds by appointing the respectable judge Eldus as the Lord of Hillport. The new Lord and his family arrive Hillport determined to turn the town's fortunes around, trying as much as possible to heal the wounds inflicted by the former Lords and move the town forward. One of those Lords is Dalehei Meldorath, a former general and great mage with a grudge against the king. Although presumed to be dead, Meldorath is kept imprisoned by the king near Hillport, where he still remains a threat.
The story carries a theme of hope, as it buttresses the refreshing effect of new beginnings. Tysz introduced us to a new world, and the most lovely thing about this story is the patience with which he elaborately defines what that world entails. There was a satisfying richness and uniqueness to every character, with a lot of intrigue not only in the plot but also in the personality of each character. Tysz employed a unique style where he frequently switched between first and third person point of view, as if to suggest what characters with whom the reader should relate more intimately. The story was largely introductory - as should be expected with the first book of a series - but actually fun. This book was very well edited as there were no typos or grammatical errors.
I would rate this book four out of four stars. Tysz's incredible imagination and creativity makes this story a joy to read. The absence of errors means that there is nothing not to like about this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction/fantasy.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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