4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies written by Matthew Tysz, is a dystopian fantasy novel set in the country of Voulhire. The story follows Galen, who comes from a distant land where life is vastly different from that of Voulhire, to which he travels upon the death of his grand uncle. As Galen arrives major events begin to take place as new lords are put into power. Throughout the novel, we are given an insight into Galen’s journey to finding himself and his place but also the changing of tides of his new home.
To start, I liked most the world-building in the novel. The varying aspects of the worlds were well fleshed out and uniquely introduced. The aspect of two worlds coinciding with each other and providing each other with varying abilities was a major plot point for me. This gave the story a distinct uniqueness that I haven’t seen in many books. Overall, I appreciated the effort the author put into building and molding of the world displayed.
In addition, I admired the writer’s style and also his descriptions that illustrated a clear picture in my mind. However, there wasn’t enough focus on Galen as the novel progressed, which is odd for the first book of the series since it introduces the main character and the part he plays in the plot. This was overshadowed by the work put into the world which paid off tremendously; however, the same amount of effort or more that was used there could have also been used for Galen.
To further, the plot did not have a focus on it as many perspectives were shown though some were not needed. They could have been mentioned when the time came or even left out entirely. I understood they were used for backstory; however, the same backstories were mentioned more than once by different characters. This I disliked most as it made my view of the story a bit hazy and unfocused. Overall, the author could have stuck with the major characters and then had smaller branches of minor characters as he did with Rowan and the monk.
To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Despite its shortcomings, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The book seemed like it was professionally edited and the writing captured my interest. I would recommend it for young adults and above as it did include vulgar language and minor sexual content.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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