4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first book in the We are Voulhire series. Fantasy meets the medieval ages as the readers enter into the world of Voulhire - a magical kingdom with its own set of rules and way of life. A New Arrival tells its story from multiple perspectives. In its capital of Soulhire, a king, beloved by his people, rules. An immigrant from a war-torn country plans to start anew in Magnum Caelum. A judge-turned-lord of Hillport with dreams of fixing his predecessors’ mistakes. And a mage whose name brings terror to all that hear it murmured.
Those that enjoy novels with intense world-building will love this first entry. Straight from the beginning, the author provides readers with a map of the world. Throughout the book, A New Arrival explores locations on the map. Each landmark has its own culture and way of living. If it ever gets too confusing, Matthew Tysz provided a glossary of the world at the end. I, for one, really appreciate the time and effort the author went into to create this immersive society. It is all so detailed, even just from a few locations the book visited. It makes you want to know what the rest of the world is like going forward.
If there is one bad thing to all the world-building, it doesn’t leave much room for action. Besides the opening and ending acts, A New Arrival spends all of its time establishing the world. As much as I loved the world-building, after the beginning, I felt a bit disappointed with how little happened. I was expecting more fight scenes when there wasn’t any. Those that like their books to have pure action throughout will probably get bored very quickly.
A New Arrival isn’t short on compelling characters. All the characters, even the minor ones, were all so interesting. When something happens to them, good or bad, you feel for them. My favorite had to be Lord Eldus’s son, Marshus. A trickster mage with a preference for ice magic. While a minor character in this book, he seems like he is going to have a grander role in later installments. Due to his personality, his true allegiance has me intrigued.
A New Arrival under Great Skies had no grammar or spelling mistakes that I caught. It was well edited. In terms of profanity, there are quite a few swears. However, besides an occasional dirty joke, there is nothing too extreme. The fight scenes can be a bit bloody, but nothing gruesome. Overall, I think it is a perfect read for teenagers and older. I give We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies a 4 out of 4 stars. It is a very well written introductory into the world of Voulhire. It is what any starting book in a series should be.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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