4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a fantasy novel; the beginning of a nine-book series. The story is set in a country called Voulhire. We start as a young man, Galen Bray, recounts his journey from the Land of the Princes to Voulhire. As he joins this foreign land and begins exploring and getting acquainted with its ways, so do we.
The author alternates between characters as he narrates. King Wilhelm of Voulhire is a man under a lot of pressure. He has to deal with the evil mage Meldorath, who seeks total control over the magical world, Caromentis, and the physical world, Cosmos. The mystery surrounding Meldorath's powers, his existence, and his sinister plans kept me at my seat's edge throughout the read.
The author's style of writing made sure that we could watch the unfolding events from different perspectives, something I enjoyed. I loved how believable the characters in the books were. Even the fantastical, magical world feels well-developed, with a build-up to even more discoveries in the sequels. This was another aspect I loved. Most fantasy books go overboard with the imagination to the exclusion of creating relatable content.
As the book is an introduction to the series, I felt like its pacing was okay. Its sluggish plot progression is because most of it introduces the characters, thereby creating a foundation for their appearance later in the story. Up to around halfway through the book, did I feel the pace of the plot start picking up. This, however, did not surprise me since the author's note warned us to expect it due to its role in setting up the basis for the series.
For these reasons, I give it 4 out of 4 stars. I found no errors and the formatting was exceptional. This book is suitable for people who love long series. Readers who want to read it as a stand-alone story will be sorely disappointed because it was created to introduce us to Voulhire and its people. I recommend the book to fantasy and mystery lovers above eighteen years because of the profanities present in the book.
I leave you with this introductory quote from the book:
******"In this special kingdom, where all the tools are provided to build a perfect world, you will stand as a first-hand witness to what people do when they have no excuse to fail.
This, my children, is the magnificent and terrifying kingdom of Voulhire!"
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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