3 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: Someone Else’s End is the third book in the We are Voulhire series by Matthew Tysz.
The kingdom of Voulhire is meant to be a shining example of humanity in a turbulent world; but lately, the careful facade has begun to crumble, revealing the shaky politics and quaking foundations beneath. The land is no longer known as a prosperous safe haven for those who flee from the war-torn countries that surround them.
Though the struggle for power between the politicians and upper-class is damaging, it is a hidden sinister force from the outside that poses the most pressing threat to Voulhire and its citizens: the Emperor of Lullabies, the mystical figure in control of Galen’s homeland, is reaching his influence beyond the borders of his domain. This spells trouble for the humans in Voulhire: “they would soon be lifted from this world like dust in a gentle breeze.”
Another threat lurks in their midst: the terrifying Meldorath has escaped his island prison and taken up the post of Eiodi (religious leader) after successfully defeating his predecessor. Having laboured in secret and darkness for years, Meldorath ponders how to reveal himself to the people, to finally show the true extent of his power. But he can sense the plans of the Emperor, and he knows better than most the danger implied.
Galen, still a relatively new arrival from the Lands of the Princes, knows Voulhire is a far better place than the one he left behind, in spite of the growing threats. He continues his travels with his friends Demetrius and Rowan; despite their differences, the three of them get along quite well. But beneath the surface, each of them is haunted by secrets from their past that they keep shielded from the others.
This book, like the first two in the series, is written partially from the third-person point of view (narrating events among the kingdom’s powerful and elite) and partially from the first-person point of view (which in this book extends to include the narratives of Demetrius and Rowan as well as that of Galen).
This book is just as well-written as the first two, the language just as rich and the plot just as exciting. Even the courtroom drama and political scenes are engaging and interesting, not boring or dry like scenes of the sort tend to be. The suspense and mysterious happenings running through the pages keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to finish the book and the rest in the series to find out what will become of Galen, his companions and the rest of the people and beings of Voulhire. The world-building in this book is excellent, and the author handles the multiple additions and twists of the plot well; it was easy enough to keep track of the various characters and storylines, and the narrative is woven together nicely. The element of the novel I enjoyed most was the suspense and the skilful way the author keeps the readers on the edge of their seats.
I did sometimes feel as if there are a few too many villains and other characters being followed throughout the book. But as I said, the author keeps track of the threads of the narrative well, and as long as the loose ends are all tied up at the end of the series, it won’t be too much of an issue.
Though there was nothing I really disliked about the novel, there were several elements that I did not enjoy so much; however, as they were due to personal taste, I would not take any stars off my rating. Though there are far less blood and gore and dark themes in this book than the previous instalment in the series, there are still several scenes (some of them graphic) involving these elements, as well as many instances of profanity. As with the previous books, there are several sexual jokes and innuendoes but no outright inappropriate scenes. Due to these things, I would not recommend this book to young or sensitive readers.
There are quite a few spelling and grammar errors, and though they do not interfere with the reading and enjoyment of the book I would have to take a star off my rating anyway as there are more than ten. Most errors are either words substituted with similar words or homophones (such as peace for piece or wailing for whaling) or simple errors in punctuation.
I rate this book three out of four stars. I recommend this book for fans of fantasy adventure stories with a magical element. I do not recommend this book for young or sensitive readers due to some graphic content and profanity.
We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End
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