4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies is a fantasy novel written by Matthew Tysz. It is the first book of the series that will ultimately consist of nine volumes. The story is set in the land of Voulhire, a world full of hard-working people, ruthless emperors, and talented magicians.
Galen Bray is a young man, born and raised in a faraway land tormented by a brutal civil war. His life consists mostly of fear, poverty, and daily struggle. But his fate changes when he receives the news that one of his relatives, from a realm called Voulhire, is passing away. His dying wish is to find Galen and offer him the possibility to move and continue his work as a blacksmith. That is an incredible opportunity for the young man, the one that he is more than grateful to accept. Meantime, in Voulhire, lord Eldus is sent by the king to govern the city of Hillport. The two previous lords had become infamous for their cruel practices. One of them, a particularly dangerous mage called Meldorath, is said to be dead. And most people, for their own sake, choose to believe that he truly is.
The plot of We are Voulhire follows two protagonists, Galen and Eldus. The story revolves mainly around them, with the additional appearance of other important characters. Each chapter starts with an "I am (...)" phrase. It is to help readers to indicate who is going to be the lead in the following part. The threads intertwine, slowly unveiling the intrigues that happen under the great skies of the land of Voulhire.
After reading We are Voulhire, I was genuinely impressed by the author's imagination. Matthew Tysz created a magical universe full of legends, myths, and vivid characters. The kingdom of Voulhire is a complex land. There is a lot of characters, names, places, and institutions throughout the story. It may seem a little confusing, so I especially liked that the author decided to include the realm's map at the beginning of the book. In the end, we can also find a glossary of some terms that appear throughout the novel. It shows that it was important for Matthew Tysz that readers accurately comprehend the world he described. It is good to remember that We are Voulhire is the first part of the saga, so it was essential to build solid foundations for the rest of the story.
As I've mentioned before, I think that Matthew Tysz invented an impressive world. As we discover the new land alongside Galen, we learn about the history and politics of Voulhire. We also travel through different cities, discovering many little details that create a fascinating and coherent universe. Thanks to the captivating narrative, the story has a great flow. The book also seems to be professionally edited; I didn't find any errors.
I think there's nothing that I wouldn't like about this book. It has great storytelling and intrigue that made me flip the pages almost without rest. I was a bit surprised to find out that despite the ambiance full of knights, mages, and squires, the characters use surprisingly modern language. There are quite a few curse words throughout the book, but nothing too obscene. The novel also has slightly sexual content and a few rather brutal scenes (I felt genuinely sorry for some characters), so I wouldn't recommend it to children and younger teenagers. Otherwise, I think it is an amazing novel for everyone that likes fantasy books.
I happily award this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a fascinating novel. Witty characters, vivid narrative, and an outstanding world created by Matthew Tysz made We Are Voulhire a book that I found difficult to put down. The author evidently put a lot of thought into the story he invented. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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