Friday, January 18, 2019

Book Review: 'We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies (We Are Voulhire #1)' by Matthew Tysz

We Are Voulhire by Matthew Tysz
'In the lands of the Princes, it was death by sword, or a slow starvation.’

New York author Matthew Tysz is a young writer whose passion in epic fantasy, He studied journalism at Stony Brook University and now writes form his home in Riverhead, New York. 

The new arrival under great skies is Galen, one of the four sons of the wicked and powerful Emperor of Lullabies who ‘had four sons, each with a legitimate claim to his throne by the traditions of their land, each with a desire to have the throne, and each with storied animus against one another, as brothers often have.’ The Emperor, fearful of the combative nature of the sons, gave each a piece of land on a small chain of islands. Each son was content for a while –until civil war broke out for twenty years, at which point Galen departs for the strange land of Voulhire.

And from that opening stance the story begins – ‘The kingdom of Voulhire has found itself in a golden age. In matters of wealth, culture and technology, it is the envy of a fast-changing world. In these times of conventional prosperity, the people of Voulhire are struggling for a national identity. Faith, science, and magic— each in their own jealous way— offer promises of a perfect world. Each offer an identity to those uncertain of their purpose. But a darkness lingers about the kingdom of Voulhire, this tiny continent adrift in an envious world, a nation filled with powerful people who have plans of their own. In these uncertain times, an immigrant has arrived from a war-torn land, eager to repay the opportunity his new home has given him. As the people around him endure the rising tensions, they can only dream of what their nation will one day mean to the world. But they cannot possibly imagine what this immigrant will one day mean to them.’

The story is short and reads very quickly, not because of its brief length, but because of the complete immersion in this fantasy that holds the readers’ attention. And as with all well conceived fantasy novels, there is much cogent philosophical relevance that makes the book render many ‘a-ha’ moments that anchor the story. A fine book by a solid author. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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