4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is the first book of an intriguing series written by Matthew Tysz. It is a fiction with a multifaceted narrative. The first point is the country, Voulhire. A vast country booming with wealth, natural resources and magic. From the outside, the country is the best place to be. It is a place where one is sure to find good fortune, a magnificent gem. For an insider, there are more to the city. It is plagued by the politics of the elites, power conspiracy and magic.
Lord Meldorath is a powerful mage who represents terror and evil at Hillport. King Wilhelm had ordered for his arrest after the death of the former lord of Hillport. The news of Meldorath’s death is a relief to the country or so they thought. While the country tries to forge ahead, a fresh wave of evil emerged. Can Voulhire survive the onslaught penetrating the golden country?
The second point of narration is from Galen’s perspective. He is a young man determined to make the best out of the fortune he inherited from his uncle. He is from a land torn apart by civil wars. On his arrival at Magnum Caelum, he pledges to make the best out of his new fortune. He embarks on a journey with Rowan, his uncle’s executor to gather metals for his acquired forge. On his journey, he encounters the role of magic and mages in the affairs of the country, Voulhire.
I think it is exceptional how the two points gradually develops a relation. The life of Galen is slowly moving towards Voulhire and the affairs of magic. Matthew narrates the story from the character’s point of view. He allows the reader to imagine what the character thinks.
For the most part, I enjoyed reading this book. It is a mixture of science and magic entwined in politics and faith. The diction is rich, mostly simple, few at times, you would need a dictionary but it is well written. I would say that this book is more character-driven than plot-driven. The activities of the characters shape the events that unfold in the story.
The character development is what I love most about this book. The author made a good choice on how each character develops a link to the main theme of the story. The story didn’t seem to depend on a particular character. As much as he builds his suspense around a character, the demise of such character will not end the story rather, it builds a fresh stream of suspense. At the beginning of the story, when I thought Lord Eldus is the shining light at Hillport, the author brings a new twist that left me flabbergasted.
The character of Galen seems to have the potential to play a significant role in the story. The character has a binding effect on both plot and characters. King Wilhelm is a strong political character. Although he seems warm and intelligent, he exudes the aura of a wily king. I like Marshus. He represents a new generation; defiant yet smart. Rowan is another character that brings humor to the book. Meldorath is a force in the book. The mention of his name is a symbol of fear. I like the effect the character has on the development of the story.
Overall, I think this book is worth recommending to adults and young readers. Mystic lovers will enjoy reading this book. I must say, this book is exceptionally edited. I did not notice any error, although there is an occasion or two where profane words are mentioned. Contents like pedophile, sex and rape are mentioned in the book, thus I wouldn’t recommend this book for readers younger than 16. There are no erotic scenes in the book. In all, there’s nothing I dislike about this book. Based on this and more, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The ending left me breathless.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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