4 out of 4 stars
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Voulhire is a flourishing kingdom ruled by King Wilhelm and is now expecting a new resident.
Galen Bray has been named the heir to his great uncle in Voulhire and takes a journey to this kingdom to take over his business as a blacksmith. We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies[/] by Matthew Tysz follows Galen’s path as he adapts to a new life and a new place – a land of different culture, ideologies and magic.
The book also trails Eldus, the new Lord of Hillport in southern Voulhire as he seeks to raise the town from the shambles his predecessors left it in. His noble intents are tested by strange happenings and whispers of the infamous mage, Lord Meldorath. Is he truly dead or is he pulling the strings leading the people towards something sinister?
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies[/] is a fantasy novel set in a progressive yet historical background. While the story switches between Galen and Lord Eldus, it gives you glimpses of other key characters and organizations of this world. Many stories run in parallel leaving you wondering how they may intersect and Matthew Tysz does a great job of tying it all together.
I love Galen for his open mind and generosity. His interactions with this new kingdom are insightful and interesting. Lord Eldus is another great character – a people’s leader, progressive, perceptive yet human. The author really takes you into his mind showing what he is thinking and the rationale behind his actions. The concept of physical world of humans and the cosmos as the source of magic is intriguing enough that I wouldn’t mind reading a whole other book on it as a parallel to the “We are Voulhire” series.
The manner in which magic is described and used in this story deserves a special shout out. It is vast and infinite in its potential and is masterfully yet simply described in the book. The magic is creative, quirky and has a delicious flamboyance to it. I cannot wait to see where the author takes it as the series progresses.
Right in the prologue, the first thing that comes forth is the author’s flair for visual poetry in descriptions. They add depth and flavor to even the simplest moments, adding character to the story. While this makes for dynamic storytelling in key moments of the book, unfortunately it is also the cause of my only gripe with the book – inconsistent pacing. In certain parts, the descriptions break the flow of an otherwise gripping read without adding much to the overall experience.
But the way the last 50 pages play out is absolutely unexpected and brilliant. It more than makes up for slow bits in the first half. It leaves you with a cliff-hanger that creates an obsessive desire to begin the next book immediately. For that phenomenal climax, the exquisite language and great characters, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is exceptionally well edited with no errors. The book does contain some strong language and concepts that make it unsuitable for children. If you are looking for a series based in a fictional historical world rich in magic but are not keen on very lengthy novels, definitely give it a go.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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