3 out of 4 stars
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In We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz, Galen Bray is rescued from his war-impoverished life by his long-lost great-uncle and immigrates to Voulhire. By the time Galen arrives in this new country, his uncle has died but left Galen a sizable inheritance, including a forge. Galen must learn to make his own place in Voulhire with the help of friends he meets. Unlike Galen, however, recently-appointed Lord Eldus knows Voulhire is not as prosperous as it seems. As Eldus tries to bring prosperity to the small town of Hillport, the town’s past seems determined to take him down. Will Eldus be able to establish Hillport’s place as a great city of Voulhire, or will the entire nation crumble before Galen has a chance to learn about his new country?
This book does an excellent job of writing from multiple characters’ point of view. Each main character of the book reveals a different aspect of Voulhire. Chapters from King Wilhelm’s perspective show the politics. Galen shows what Voulhire is like to a newcomer. Eldus sees how Voulhire’s prosperity can be spread to smaller towns. Together, the viewpoints add greatly to the reader’s understanding of the world. The book is the first in the series, so it spends a significant amount of time world-building and introducing the reader to the cast of characters. Even though the book is setting the stage, it was still a very interesting read, although the plot was not resolved as cleanly as some might hope for.
The only thing I disliked about the book was Galen’s place as the main character of the series. Galen is an incredibly kind and generous person, but he has no faults that make him realistic. Galen has survived years on a war-torn island; however, it appears as if his time on the island did not affect him. Galen is grateful for his escape from the island, but he does not have any of the survivalist instincts or suspicion I would have expected based on his background. This book is the first of the series, though, so Galen’s character will likely be more developed in later books.
The other characters in the book were well-written. Aside from Galen, each character was given positive and negative traits, which increased their believability and made their personalities enjoyable. What I enjoyed most about the book was that the antagonists were given backstories with which the reader could sympathize, which further developed the antagonists.
The book had an excellent plot, but Galen, the main character, was rather one-dimensional. The book also had some typos and punctuation errors. For these reasons, I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to adults who enjoy fantasy. The book does have a small amount of strong language and sexual references, so I would not recommend it for young readers.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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