4 out of 4 stars
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A cinematic start with the castle of Hillport being blasted by an ambitious mage under the guise of a blue mist in Matthew Tysz's We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is almost a feast for the reader's imagination. The lord of Hillport is killed, and the castle is taken over by Meldorath, a powerful mage. This news travels to King Wilhelm who orders Meldorath's execution.
Can he be executed since a powerful mage he was? What happened to Meldorath and what is he up to next, if he was alive? Meldorath is the name that created not only fear but an obnoxious feeling in most of the people in Voulhire. He exerted some sort of power in everybody's mind with his supreme knowledge about the Caromentis, the magical world. Personally I traced some anti-hero qualities in Meldorath. Why should pages of history always praise kings?
The course of the novel then shifts to focus on Galen from the Land of the Princes. Galen, a novice to Voulhire who has been tracked down by his uncle's benefactor Rowan. Galen's uncle is a blacksmith and has left him a decent sum and his forge to Galen, as an inheritance. Galen, who has grown up in a society that is tarnished by war begins to explore Voulhire and its people with admiration. His reminiscences about his childhood and his current experiences in Voulhire shape his personality in finding his real self and destiny.
With Meldorath's execution, Eldus Alderman, King Wilhelm's favorite judge is appointed as Hillport's Lord for the development of Hillport. Eldus, within a few days of stay in Hillport is able to sense the invincible effect Meldorath has left both physically and psychologically on the people of Hillport. He, too, feels uncomfortable and haunted by dreams. Riva Rohavi, a rebellious group, plans to attack Hillport. Will Hillport withstand an unexpected attack?
The plot moves interestingly with the author also introducing the landscape and political conditions of Voulhire to the readers. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I almost travelled with the course of the novel. A well-edited piece of work with the author's apt and precise description. Readers who would love magic and fantasy do give this a try. I rate the novel 4 out of 4 as I hardly find any reason to reduce my rating. The plot, characterization, magical elements and setting are all intertwined together presenting a beautifully articulated.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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