4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is a captivating science fiction novel and the first installment in an epic series by the author Matthew Tysz. The story starts with somewhat of a coup organized by Lord Meldorath (a powerful mage) to take over the city of Hillport from its leader, Lord Orlin. Meldorath succeeds. However, shortly after, he disappears and is declared dead by King Wilhelm Arcolo. When tales of the powerful mage being alive start spreading, the people of Voulhire are left fearful about the truthfulness of such rumors. The author further introduces various characters who play a crucial role in developing the story, such as Galen bray and Lord Aldus Alderman.
Galen Bray (our main protagonist) is a young man who grew up in the Land of the Princes, which was characterized by war and oppression. Luck finds Galen when his great Uncle sends his executor to arrange for Galen's immediate departure from the Land of the Princes into Magnum Caelum , a small town in Voulhire. His great Uncle had named him heir to his inheritance and his forge business. Galen's great Uncle, unfortunately, passes on before Galen arrives in Voulhire. Galen soon becomes acquainted with his Uncle's executor, a man named Rowan, who helps him adapt to his new life in the prosperous nation of Voulhire.
The story further introduces us to Lord Aldus Alderman. He is declared the new Lord of Hillport, and he is tasked with the heavy-duty of restoring the city from the wounds left behind by his predecessors, Lord Orlin and Lord Meldorath. He plans new reforms for Hillport to improve the town alongside helping the victims of Lord Orlin's perversions. He uncovers some truths about his former predecessors and also the secrets about the magical world of caromentis. Later, he faces a great threat that results in fatal consequences for him, his family, and the city of Hillport.
The author had a unique style of writing. Each chapter is named according to the character of focus. The chapters that focused on Galen were told in the first-person perspective, whereas the chapters about other characters were told from the third-person perspective. The world-building was also wonderfully done and very descriptive. I also love the suspense and tension that the book generates towards the middle. It's quite engaging. Matthew Tysz also provides the readers with an ancient map of Vouhire at the beginning of the book. It helped a lot in envisioning the world he had created. He also provides a glossary to explain foreign terms and words that he used in the book. The only thing I disliked about the book is it dragged a lot. It takes a while before getting to the main events. It is also hard for readers to understand what the primary plot is. What or Who is the focus of the story?
Due to sensitive topics such as perversions, sexual mentions, and violence, I would not recommend this book to a younger audience. Furthermore, the book is professionally edited. I did not find any errors in the book. Thus because of good writing, excellent world-building, and intriguing plot, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to fans of science fiction and fantasy. My favorite quote from the book is, "Keep your head low, but your eyes ahead. Keep your mind on earth, but your heart among the stars."
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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