4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz unveils Voulhire, a well-organized kingdom that would appeal to a fantasy loving reader. This science-fiction novel vividly brings out a civilization in its ‘golden-age’ of development that is spread out across a vast land comprised of cities specialized in their activities and yet each cardinal to the prosperity of the unified kingdom.
The narrative is centered on Galen Bray, an immigrant to Voulhire, who flees his home, the Land of the Princes, that is ravaged war for many years. His escape from the place he has call home for more than twenty years not only saves him from the chronic wars but is also as a result of his inheritance of his uncle’s estate whose last wish is for it to be handed to his nephew. He inherits his uncles steel forge in the Voulhirian city of Magnum Caelum where he has to learn how to work and run it.
The opening scene of the book is of a violent siege by men so mysteriously amazing in their abilities, that they capture the attention of anyone and arouse curiosity for what happens next in the plot. Lord Meldorath, a powerful mage who strikes fear into all citizens of Voulhire, leads his allies in this attack in which Orllin the Lord of Hillport, a small city of the southern coast of the kingdom, is killed and his lordship taken by Lord Meldorath.
The festivities of Voulhire introduced King Welhelm, who in my judgement was a nice man, a good ruler, almost too good. I supposed he would have had an antagonist. Midius Maido, though not the extreme of an antagonist, was the one to push the king to his uncomfortable side from within his residence. Voulhire would have been to perfect a kingdom, even for fantasy without any enemies, a role gracefully played by the Riva Rohavi, rebellious group that simply did not relish the idea of a unified kingdom. The threat posed by Lord Meldorath was far more significant to such an extent king Welhelm calms Voulhirians by keeping them under the impression that he was dead.
Matthew’s narrative brings to life the kingdom of Voulhire in such a way that I was left longing to see for myself this civilization. I would personally consider Tyzs a mage, considering how he creates every city of Voulhire in one’s imagination with such intricate detail that carries a reader to the place being described. From Soulhire, the lively capital of Voulhire, to Yamon Soul, the holy city of the kingdom, the brilliant description of each city leaves me in awe of the authors imagination.
The work Matthew Tysz put into this writing is exceptional. I quickly grew fond of Lord Eldus and his great plans for Hillport. I really looked forward to see the little city grow and prosper. I was devasted by the way he and most of his family were ruthlessly and untimely murdered in the attack by Riva Rohavi led by Vidius Crodai. Marshus’ escape gave me something to look forward to in the next sequel. The book ends in a somewhat annoying suspense which is fine considering it just the first in the We are Voulhire series which I look forward to reading in entirety.
The book is well edited with only one instance of incorrect punctuation that does no damage to the write up. I give it a 4 out of 4 rating and recommend it to all science fiction and fantasy lovers except for children because of some vulgar and profane language in the story’s dialogues.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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