4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a fantasy story that features a prosperous country Voulhire and its neighboring countries. It is the first of a series following the same topic "We Are Voulhire" but different arcs. This arc covers young Galen's immigration from his home country to Voulhire.
The story starts with the Emperor of lullabies giving a series of islands to his 4 sons which earned the place the name "land of the Princes". There have been war on this land for quite a long while due to struggle for power between the princes. The journey of Galen starts from when he left his house in the war torn land of the Princes and headed to the harbour to begin his journey to Magnum Caelum of Voulhire. This journey has been facilitated by his uncle who has been out of the land of the Princes for a long time. He has written a trust that his nephew should inherit his estate and his weapons forge. Therefore the executor Rowan has worked out things to ensure the trust goes through. Bray Galen arrived after two weeks on the ship and is met by the town mayor Malcolm who takes him to his uncle's place. He happened to meet Rowan at the inn and they get along right away. The story follows the King of Voulhire and the festival that was being held in the capital Soulhire to commemorate the founding king and to unify the people. There happen to be tension between the king and the chancellor of the country Maido. The king had just sent a lawyer called Eldus Alderman and his family to a town called Hillport to try and fix the damage done by the two predecessors Orlin and Meldorath, the former was a pedophile who abused children. While the latter happened to be a cause of fear in the people in the entire country due to his magical powers and ferociousness, he used to be the general of the army.
Meldorath was being held prisoner on an island even though the word out to there was that he was dead. Now lord Eldus met with the captain of the fleet in charge of preventing Meldorath from escaping the island to the mainland. Lord Eldus, determined to fix the town met with the township folk who voiced their problems to him. He also collected all documentaries and research books and diaries of Orlin and Meldorath. To cut to the chase, the country's chief enemy called Riva attacked Hillport, killing almost everyone they came across including lord Eldus and his family except Marshus who got away. The friends Galen and Rowan go to Yamon Soul to seek an imbuer to appraise a certain stone they had just acquired and they convinced Demetrius, one of the only two imbuers in the kingdom to go with them to Magnum Caelum. Meanwhile a woman called Beth arrives from the magical world coincidentally to Meldorath's castle.
The story had chapters that bore the name of the featured character for that part of the story all adding up to 151 pages. The author took the liberty to introduce himself and the other books in the series as well as a link to the common words, places and history pertaining to the story. He also introduces his other books.
The story is narrated in a way that follow one character and his surrounding characters for each chapter. Also the theme of the story was not deviated from,though it was hard to follow as the chapters were haphazardly introduced.
What I liked about the story is its adventurous setting as well as great details. What I didn't like about it is its haphazard introduction of chapters and the unnumbered pages that may make it difficult to locate a specific page and line. It also had profane words that I had little problem digesting. Also there were negligible grammatical errors that didn't interfere with the flow of the story. Other than that, the book is cool.
I therefore rate this book 4 out of 4 because the story appealed to me a lot and I really loved the way the author made sure not to leave out details he thought was important. I recommend this book to whoever loves fantasy magic world as well as adventure and life stories.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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