4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: a new arrival under great Skies is the first book in the we are Voulhire fantasy series by Matthew Tysz. The storyline is centered on the fictitious nation of Voulhire. The book is written from the perspective of the different characters but kicks off with the portrayed mysterious villain of the tale Lord Meldorath, a powerful mage with seemingly evil intentions for the people of Voulhire. The narrative continues from the perspective of the main character, Galen Bray who had just left his homeland that had been at war for the past 20 years. His long-lost great uncle had just died leaving his business, fortune and home to him. He is deeply grateful to his late great uncle for the opportunity he handed him to escape the life of poverty and suffering he had been born into in the land of the Princes.
He boards the next available ship to Magnum Caleum in Voulhire leaving life as he knew it. We're introduced to Eldus Alderman the new Lord of Hillport, a small town west of the coast of Voulhire. As he struggles to become accustomed to the people of Hillport and their ways of life, there may be more danger on the horizon than meets the eye.
I liked several things about this book. I enjoyed seeing Voulhire from the wide-eyed innocence of Galen. He gave everything a fresh, beautiful perspective unsoiled by the cynicism of his great uncle's executor, Rowan. I also liked the character development of most of the major characters in the book and the author's ability to create vivid imageries in the readers' minds with his detailed descriptions of places and people.
I disliked the excessive use of archaic, unfamiliar words that left the reader consulting the dictionary a lot to confirm the meaning of words. While it's understood that this book is a medieval fantasy novel, some readers may not appreciate using the dictionary so often.
On that note, for easier navigation, the glossary should be moved to the front of the book, so the reader can read it first before commencing. Shuffling back and forth to check the glossary for information on an ebook can be a bit tiring especially as it is required very often. I also noted that there weren't any exact times or dates provided throughout the book. While there could be a reason for this, it could sometimes leave the reader unable to place the time frame of certain ongoing events. I noticed that in the section of the book when a strange lady from the magic world meets Lord Meldorath, it is not immediately clear to the reader that it's happening in the present.
The element of suspense and intrigue is utilized to the fullest while ending each section of this book. It elaborately portrays the magical, economic and political conflicts of the people of Voulhire. This book cannot be read as a standalone because of the way it ended but because it's the first book of a series we await the second book to answer a lot of questions unanswered by this one. However, while this book is very well written in terms of vocabulary and grammar. I found one or two typographical errors but on the whole, I believe the book was professionally edited.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading science fiction fantasy novels but due to the profanities and sexual references found, this book may be unsuitable for some younger readers. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because I enjoyed how well developed and detailed the plot was.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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