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 in a nine-book series set in a fantasy world where magic, religion and science collide and coexist. A naive young man lands on the shores of prosperous Voulhire, eager for a fresh start away from his war-torn homeland. He dreams only of inheriting his uncle's blacksmith business and leading a peaceful life. But that will not be easy. Under the perfect exterior of peace and prosperity that Voulhire presents to the world, dark and fearsome schemes are in progress.
A terrorist organisation ideologically against everything that Voulhire stands for, has been quietly gaining followers and power, and is now poised to attack precisely where it will hurt the kingdom most. A powerful mage feared throughout the kingdom, whose ambitions extended beyond the human world, had been terrorising the town he was supposed to govern. The news of his death, vouched for by the king himself, brings respite from panic and fear to the citizens. But events suggest that someone is manipulating people and events across the entire kingdom, someone merciless and ruthless. And a host of characters, each with their own set of motivations and convictions, become mere pawns and puppets, all easy prey to these machinations.
The plot is set in multiple locations and moves smoothly among several POV characters. The writing is excellent and the storytelling engaging. The world-building is detailed and meticulous and the descriptions are painstaking and vivid, transporting the reader effortlessly to a world of magic- a place of both happy dreams and terrifying nightmares. I was invested in all of the characters, even the most flawed ones.
There are plenty of characters (almost too many for one book), all of them well fleshed out. My only disappointment is that there wasn't enough story for the number of characters in this book. But that is probably only me being overly eager to read the rest of the story. The good news is that six out of the promised nine books are already available, so there will be no need to wait a million years for the sixth book.
I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a brilliant start to the We are Voulhire series, and I have huge expectations for the remaining eight books. There are no profanities, but I wouldn't recommend it for children or adolescents because some of the scenes are brutal and gruesome. The book has been professionally edited and does not have any obvious grammar errors. I would recommend this book to all those who like fantasy, magic and political intrigue.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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