4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is the first of nine books by Matthew Tysz in the series We are Voulhire. It is an exhilarating read of fewer than two hundred pages. As is the norm in most fantasy novels, the plot contains a bit of magic. Unlike many in the genre, the author balanced an interesting storyline while providing a realistic plot that readers will relate to.
The story revolves around several characters: King Wilhelm of Voulhire; Lord Eldus, the new overseer of the town of Hillport; Meldorath, one of the most powerful mages in the country; the Riva Rohavi, a rogue group that fights to free Voulhire from corrupt leaders. The most central character is Galen Bray; a new arrival in this flourishing land. He is the only one who best embodies the title of the book. Being new to Voulhire and having moved from a war-torn nation, he sees it as a peaceful place that could only mean prosperity for him. He is determined to accomplish every one of his dreams in this land where everything seems achievable.
I appreciated the map and glossary, but my most favorite part was the prologue. It gave a tantalizing sneak peek at a part of the book that was bound to elicit curiosity. I couldn't wait to get to the meat of the story after completing it.
The author employs simple wording. The setting of the story was distinctly historical, so this came as a surprise. The book almost feels contemporary, but the imagery evoked feels medieval. Notable was the limited key female influences in the story. Most positions of prominence were given to male characters, which was in keeping with the book's setting. Either way, this was a disappointing area. Females were relegated to mundane roles; mostly as support systems for their male counterparts. I would have loved to see more gender balance than that. It would be a shame if the rest of the series suffered the same defect, but I hope not.
Other than that, I thought the book was perfect. The author used great stylistic devices to create imagery and lasting impressions. I also loved the dialogues, which revealed a great sense of humor and sarcasm. This was best shown by Galen's interactions with his friends, Rowan, and Demetrius.
Since there were no errors and the issue I mentioned above didn't stop me from enjoying reading the book, I give it 4 out 4 stars.
This is a great book for those who love fantasy novels and enjoy long series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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