4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first in a 9-book series, and as such, should be read first. The book is filled with old-world themes and descriptions and is a mix of a future blended with magic and an alternate universe that sometimes seeps into the known one.
Who has the upper hand? The political structure? The religious order? The elusive magical element? The rebels who hold a mixture of each?
In a world of power struggles and disorder, Voulhire seems to evade much of the travesty experienced elsewhere. Prosperity reigns in most of the land, especially in the city of Soulhire, but not, sadly, in that of Hillport. With the leadership changes there, that is about to change for the better, but for how long?
Galen Bray knew what it was to have a family and to lose it. But he didn’t know his place “in” the world. His uncle unexpectedly gave him that. Many mysteries unravel before his eyes, as all of Voulhire does before the reader.
Yet even in these tumultuous times where upheaval seems inevitable, there is peace and tranquility, a surge of victory over foes past and present, and a pervading hope that all is well.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. There are no grammatical errors of which to speak. Mostly mild profanity is interspersed throughout. Sexuality is sparse, with only a few minor references. The storyline is vividly alluring. I saw the sights in my mind’s eye with clarity and interest. Never a dull moment, the work is an excellent blend of the familiar with the unfamiliar.
I cannot think of a single thing that I disliked. Each element was flushed out and intertwined with the other elements to create a rich and rewarding story. The communities were both clearly defined and diverse.
What I liked most was the foreshadowing. It is imparted deftly with just enough distance to its revelatory counterpart for effective satisfaction. I also found it quite interesting what some of the character names are. Examples of some phrases I especially like include “the dangerous weapon of hate,’ “howling sapphire,” and “gazed through the carriage window at the honesty around him.”
Some savagery is specific enough to make me cringe, but not enough to make me stop reading. Ultimately violence expressed in movies is just as vibrant. All of it is pertinent to the thrust of the book.
This book is easily enjoyable for anyone interested in fantasy, politics, magic, power struggles, and also relationships, at the very least. Due to some of the language, themes, and violence, I would not recommend it for those in their early teens or younger.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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