4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is a short first novel that introduces the We Are Voulhire series by Matthew Tysz. Other works of this self-published writer include The Turn series and The Last City of America.
Science, fiction and religion come together in this 167-page novel which plunges into the complexity of human behaviour in an era of modern civilization. Voulhire is a civilized and prosperous kingdom, rich with an eventful history of gallant leaders and their heroic deeds and home to united and developed cities. Galen Bray is a refugee who leaves his war-torn homeland for the seemingly proverbial promised land that is Voulhire. Young and naive, Galen, our hero, is fascinated with his new home, a land of beauty, magic and intrigue and with the help of his new companions, he intends to learn as much of it as he can. What he’s yet to learn, however, is that Voulhire is as magnificent as it is terrifying, filled with peril and self-serving people prone to their evil desires that may endanger the Kingdom.
Despite the complicated themes within, the story is a light read. The narration is straightforward, the plot is engaging and one seems to breeze through the novel while absorbing every detail. The description is extensive without being excessive, giving just enough information to capture the reader’s imagination while making the story interesting. The story is packed with action at every other turn of a page which prevents boredom. Humour has been incorporated, of a slightly sarcastic nature, full of wit and innuendo that serves to make the novel an enjoyable and fast read.
Besides that, the editor has done thorough work of eliminating grammatical errors and polishing the vocabulary to make the novel immaculate.
I feared at first, that Galen was an underwhelming main character which made me wonder why Tysz cast him for that role. As I read on, however, I gradually realised that he is perfect for it. He serves as a medium for the reader, as eyes of sorts, to learn and observe the Voulhirians around him while falling in love with the Kingdom. It is through Galen that I too got interested in Voulhire, particularly its diverse cities, their architectural designs and famous attributes.
What intrigued me the most is Meldorath. The mage and former friend of King Wilhelm, despite his misgivings, is a complex character that resists duality as he is neither devil nor a saint. The author took care to nurture his characters as a perfect imbalance of both which only serves to make them human and relatable. This diversity in personalities is by far my favourite feature of the novel and probably the reason why I will go on to read the sequel; We Are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko.
On the whole, We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies impressed me as the sort of story I’d give a second read, whether the remaining books in the series disappoint or not. Hence why I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
Reading We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies was like taking in a breath of delightfully fresh air. It would, according to me, prove to be an entertaining read for a tired mind looking to unwind or distract by getting lost in the pages of a thrilling adventure without taxing heavily on the reader’s senses. We all at some point need such a book, so in a way, this novel is for everyone as long as mages, demons and moderate profanity do not repulse one.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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