4 out of 4 stars
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For the better part of 29 years, Galen Bray has known nothing but war, death, and survival in his homeland, the Land of the Princes. So it comes as a pleasant surprise when he learns that he has been chosen as heir by his hitherto unknown great-uncle (who lives in another kingdom). With papers in hand and hope at heart, and without a second thought for his chaotic homeland, Galen departs the Land of the Princes to a new land of hope, Voulhire.
Reputed for being the most prosperous kingdom at that time, Voulhire was declared to be in its golden age. With its major cities flourishing in their respective areas of commerce, and the minor cities following this lead, Voulhire seemed like a perfect kingdom for perfect people. Yes, Voulhirians took pride in themselves and their economic accomplishments. Voulhire's political state was however not as impressive as its economic state. Although the king, Wilhelm Arcolo, was reputed to be a kind and successful king, Voulhire's success was not attributed to him alone, but also his predecessors. So was Voulhire's political power not entirely entrusted to him, but shared between the throne and the Mianoran council. At this time, there was no love lost between the king and the lord chancellor of the Mianoran council, Midius Maido. This would prove to be one of the greatest threats to the kingdom, as both powerful men have conflicting interests and principles. A long-time enemy of the kingdom has also awoken after years of silence. This time, they are set to bring Voulhire down in bits and pieces. This time, they are more prepared than ever.
We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is the first book in what is to be a long series. Based on this well-written installment, We Are Voulhire promises to be an interesting series. The story is set in the Middle Ages, in the time of kings, lords, and mages, but with a sprinkle of modernization and science. The plot unfolds at an even pace with the right amount of suspense and humor to keep you flipping the pages; it finally ends at a ringing cliffhanger that makes you eager for the next book. The story featured the themes of power, war, magic, and friendship. This installment served as an exposition of primary characters and the world of Voulhire, as well as a building up of conflict. A map of Voulhire and a glossary of Voulhirian terms were included in the book to help readers get familiarized with the story; these also gave the book a realistic feel.
I'll rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it deserves that rating. The storyline was intriguing, the characters were unique and interesting, the diction was simple but expressive, and the narration was just good. The only thing I disliked about this book was its unusually tiny font size which gave my poor eyes extra work to do. I recommend that this problem be rectified in subsequent editions. I didn't notice any error in the course of reading this book, so I'm certain it was professionally edited.
Lovers of the fantasy genre will certainly enjoy this book. It might also interest lovers of science fiction and historical fiction. I believe it is suitable for persons of all religions. Although there were no explicit sex scenes, the scenes of violence were quite graphic, and there was a rich use of profane language. I enjoyed the book nonetheless. We Are Voulhire by Matthew Tysz is a promising series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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