While preparing for the birth of his first child, Chrys Valerian is tasked with uncovering the group responsible for a series of missing threadweavers–those able to see and manipulate threadlight. With each failure, the dark voice in his head grows louder, begging to be released.
A young girl from a secret city in the center of the Fairenwild veers off course to explore the streets of Alchea. She never expected that her journey would end in chains.
Far in the deserts to the south, a young man’s life changes after he dies.
When Chrys learns who is responsible for the missing threadweavers, they come for him and his family. He must do everything in his power to protect those he loves, even if it means trusting strangers or, worse, the dark voice in his mind.
Together, they will change the world–whether they intend to or not.
Voice of War is the first installment in the Threadlight series and Zack Argyle’s debut novel. It is a very well-written story with boatloads of intrigue built in, fascinating characters, and an interesting and unique magic system. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Starting with the narrative, Argyle does a really nice job of describing the different threads from varying perspectives. While there are many characters to follow, the reader gets three main viewpoints: that of Chrys, Lauren, and Alverax. This, to me, is where the author’s writing really shines as we have three different people with completely misaligned motivations, goals, and experiences; yet, the story interchanges between the three of them effortlessly. They are all relatable, their journeys emotional, all with really interesting pasts.
Good men do what must be done, even if it is dark.
This quote sums it up for a lot of the characters in this book as many are forced to do dark things in order to accomplish what each thinks is right, but amongst the many characters, Chrys gets the majority of words dedicated to his portion of the story. He is also a bit of a classic reluctant hero, in that he is not really morally ambiguous. Not of his own volition, at least, but you will have to read the book to decipher that cryptic wording! Really, though, Chrys is just a good guy. Full stop. And I like that.
Courage is the core, but humility is the foundation.
I love how Argyle took all of these interesting characters and gave them storylines that interconnect, eventually. That does not necessarily mean they all end up in the same place, but I get big butterfly effects vibes from the story. What one does throws off the balance for another, and when that one makes a move to equalize things, it throws off another. And so on. That should not be surprising, as the world the author has created is not a very big one, so small ripples cause big waves. What that means to the reader is that there is constant drama and suspense. The tension spring is constantly being coiled and released, keeping the reader’s attention on what turned out to be a story full of intrigue.
The magic system plays into the plot a lot, too, and it is really unique, as well, the basic idea being the existence of threads of magic that some few chosen are able to push off of or pull, with different causes and effects. Of course, there is more to this than meets the eye, and things do get much more complicated. I do not want to get into too much detail about this part of the book because it would not be fair to spoil some of the surprises that come along in the latter part of the story. Just know it gets INTERESTING.
Laurel was… captivated with the idea of coincidence. Was there such a thing?
I chose to highlight this quote because it was one of the biggest pieces of the book that took me out of the story a few times as I read. There were a couple big coincidences that were chosen to move the story along, and I am not a huge fan of that as a catalyst in writing. In my opinion, the same plot points can be reached with a more deliberate, storyboarding approach. This did affect how I rated the book, but not enough to make it not worth reading.
And if there is any one reason to continue reading, it is that ending. Wow! Luckily, I had book 2 (Stones of Light) on hand, because I would not have wanted to wait to see what happens. Argyle leaves the doors completely open as to where to take the story next, and I am excited about the direction.
Overall, I really liked Voice of War. There is so much to like: deep, flawed characters; a plot bursting with intrigue, and a unique magic system that fits right in with this complex world that Argyle created. I am really looking forward to Stones of Light and continuing this story. This book gets my recommendation for fans of fantasy.