4 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire-A new arrival under the great skies is the first of a nine-book series by Matthew Tysz. We are introduced to the seemingly dystopian world of Voulhire, which is in a golden age of growth and progress. The novel follows the journey of Galen Bray, a refugee from a war-torn land who immigrates to Voulhire, to begin a new life. Once he reaches, he’s amazed and humbled by the beautiful land. The story outlines his adventures as he meets new people and discovers new things. We learn more about the seemingly perfect Voulhire, and then all the problems that bubble beneath its surface. The author takes us through this adventure from different narratives, often from that of secondary characters. One such character is Lord Eldus, a former judge who is given the task of accelerating the growth of a small port town called Hillport. The town, however, is traumatized by the sickening acts of two previous lords. One of them is the most powerful mage in history. The story also has a powerful antagonist, with a well-justified intention to exact revenge on the kingdom. Just when it seems all is good for Voulhire, the author brings in a new twist that is sure to enthrall the reader.
The vast universe and mythology reminded me of Lord Of The Rings. The author has also developed a map, which makes it easy for the reader to imagine and fully engage with the universe. The character development is outstanding, with contrasting personalities and exciting backstories. The novel has elements of magic, religion, and science which are brought together extremely well, and their interaction doesn’t seem forced either.
The book was exceptionally edited, with no typos or grammatical errors. All the elements are well-developed, paving the way for a sequel. The most appreciable aspect was how the different narratives, which seemed unrelated at first, are later revealed to be strings of the same web. The ending comes together as a finale of sorts, the coming together of various elements.
The only negative was that the protagonist was too naïve for someone belonging to a war-torn land. Although it is well established that he is humbled by the new land, it doesn’t account for his naivety at certain points in the story. Also, there are times when the story is slow-paced but quickly recovers.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars as the book has exceptional character development and mythology. There is limited use of vulgar language, with elements of dark subject matter, and a borderline element of erotica. The book is recommended for readers who like a fantasy world and don’t mind a few profanities.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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