4 out of 4 stars
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Are we about to see some MELDO-WRATH? The pun is intended. Is the second installment, The Fires of Virko, of this enthralling series, We are Voulhire, worth your reading time? Hell yeah! Matthew Tysz welcomes you to an abode of demons in this book. Avert your eyes from this review if you haven't yet read the first book.
Towards the end of the first book, we witnessed the wrath of the Riva Rohavi as they tore the small town of Hillport apart. The 'Demon Lord' Meldorath escapes his prison only to sit idle and feel betrayed by his once good friend, King Wilhelm. Do you remember that weird bio-mage who killed everyone with his mind during his trial at court; he was rather hard to forget. He is Alabaster, Meldorath's mentor. Let that sink in. We are introduced to Folcro, the fulcrum of the story. The pun is intended. Being the charismatic, bold, and persuasive character he is, he befriends Kayden Morgan, a prominent lord in Virko, who is stuck between his love for Peter, his wife, and Folcro. Quite the love square if you ask me.
So far, I've been ranting about just the new pivotal characters. The major scenes take place in the most industrious city of Voulhire, Virko. The land was a brainchild of the overworked and ill Lord Venden. Folcro, son of Lord Venden, is dabbling in dark arts of magic. In comes Galen, Demetrius, and Rowan, to redeem a favor from the bedridden lord, only to deem him a favor of saving Folcro from the demons lurking in Virko. This is the main plot of the storyline, and it was so gripping, it had me tearing the pages.
The impeccable character development had me rooting for all the main characters in the book. Galen, Demi, and Rowan are the trio of the year. Galen is a humble creature, never thinking twice when his fellow man is in danger. Rowan, on the other hand, has an arrogant smirk planted on his face like a permanent-marker-mustache but is serious when he wants to be. Demetrius is as insecure as he is mysterious. All of them felt relatable on multiple occasions. I was only a bit sad that I wasn't able to see Meldorath in action. But boy, having read the third book as well, I'm hyped! Hyped doesn't completely portray my emotions. I'm rooting for Meldorath, just putting it out there.
Tysz has done a wonderful job of building the protagonists as well as their surroundings. Each of them had their own morals and stayed true to their character. I enjoyed the idea of Alitheia(the realm of spirituality), Caromentis(the realm of magic), and Cosmos(the realm of humans) existing separately. The author’s storytelling abilities are top tier. I got a very Dan Brown vibe from the progression of the book. Matthew Tysz did a great job at showcasing events happening in several places at the same time. The only misgiving was that there was a burgeoning amount of new people and words. It became a bit difficult to keep track of all of the names thrown about and the activities that were taking place. I didn't dislike anything else though.
Considering the aforementioned points, I would rate the book four out of four stars. I don't want to drop a star because it was a trailblazer towards the end. The book was professionally edited. I found no typographical or grammatical errors. The book has a fair share of profanity but is completely devoid of eros. It does have a solid amount of gore. Oh, man! There's a character-defining scene of Folcro doing, probably, the most gore thing I have ever read in a book. I mean, who thinks of such things? If thrillers are your catnip, this is a must-read for you. Containing profanity and gore, I suggest that children stay away from this book.
We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko
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