4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is the first book in an epic fantasy series by the author Matthew Tysz. The main character, Galen Bray, was born in the Lands of the Princes where civil wars were constantly occurring. Thanks to an uncle who learned of his existence, Galen was able to get away from his hometown and inherit his uncle's forge in Magnum Caelum, one of the beautiful cities located in the kingdom of Voulhire. Unfortunately, that uncle died before Galen could meet him in person. Fortunately, soon after Galen arrived at Magnum Caelum, he met his uncle's executor, a man named Rowan who embarked him on an adventure to help him become a famous skilled blacksmith like his uncle once was.
Aside from Galen's perspective, the book also showed the side of Eldus Alderman, the new lord who was appointed to the town of Hillport by Wilhelm Arcolo, the King of Voulhire. Hillport had suffered under the hands of its predecessors, namely Lord Orlin and Lord Meldorath, both of whom had been greatly feared by the residents. Eldus came to that place with his family in order to improve the town and help the people there, supporting Orlin's victims and bringing closure to those who feared that Meldorath was still alive.
One of the things I liked about this book was the author's writing style. Although the pacing was slow in the beginning down to the middle, it slowly introduced me to this new world Matthew Tysz created. Thanks to the alternating perspectives, I was able to delve into Galen's thoughts, Eldus' honest intentions and principles, and even glimpses of King Wilhelm's situation. With Galen, it seemed like I was exploring the new world along with him with childlike curiosity. Meanwhile, with Eldus, I was intrigued by all the secrets he had to keep and how he dealt with them for the sake of his family and his new people in Hillport.
On the other hand, there were very few things I disliked about the book, mostly minor ones due to my own personal preference. The slow pacing made the storyline a bit dragging and monotonous. There were also parts of the story where I got confused about the descriptions of some characters and the reasons behind certain events, but these are understandable due to the fact that this is only the first book in the series. I also thought that the ending turned out to be a bit anticlimactic after all the previous thrill and suspense. It wasn't a cliffhanger, but it did pave the way for curiosity in regards to the next installment.
All in all, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Since I only found two errors in the contents, I can claim that this book has been professionally edited. There were some graphic scenes and profanity as well as mentions of sensitive issues such as child abuse in the book, but they were not described in detail and were only referred to in an indirect manner. There weren't any erotic scenes as well. I recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers out there who appreciate well-written characters and detailed world-building. However, I don't recommend this to young audiences due to the nature of the story.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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