By: Zack Argyle
Genre: Epic Fantasy
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR VOICE OF WAR & STONES OF LIGHT
“The final elder was a kind looking woman with soft, blue eyes. She looked at him with a profound sadness, like a mother who’d lost a child and blamed herself…He lunged forward, fighting himself more than any enemy, and met her eyes as the steel cut flesh.
Wide-eyed, her lips moved.
I forgive you…
And somehow, through the pain and sorrow, she looked peaceful…As she finally collapsed to the earth, her lips curled into a smile.” Zack Argyle, Bonds of Chaos
The third and final book in the Threadlight Series, Bonds of Chaos by Zack Argyle, is how the ending to a series is done. Bonds of Chaos ties everything together perfectly, with emotional impact, continued character growth, and world building. At the end of Stones of Light, the main protagonists have all found each other: Iriel, Chrys, Willow, Alverax, Laurel and her wolf, Asher, and Roshaw, Alverax’s father he thought long dead. It’s a race against time to stop the cruel Heralds from taking Iriel and Chry’s son, Aydin, a rare Amber threadweaver, and taking over the continent of Arasin. Bonds of Chaos picks right up after the end of Stones of Light. In this final chapter, the turmoil that was building in the first two books finally come to a head. Not only do they have to stop the Heralds, they are each battling their own personal turmoil. Mr. Argyle excels at making relatable characters, intertwined beautifully with an exciting, action filled story that drew in me in from the from the first page. The Threadlight Series is epic fantasy at its finest, and Bonds of Chaos is a superb book that binds the threads together.
One of the strengths of this series is the characters and their growth throughout the books. Alverax, thinking his father dead all of his life, upon finding him alive, is angry. In their journey by boat in the beginning, Alverax spends his time in his cabin refusing to speak to anyone. He is angry, he is hurting from the death of Jisenna, and he retreats into himself. I found this reaction to be very realistic. It certainly would have been easy to write a nice, happy reunion. However, this had more of an emotional impact, since Alverax was already dealing with pain. This was another blow to him, leaving him to wonder why his father never tried to contact him.
I always related to Iriel as a mother. Mr. Argyle has impressed me so much with her character and how she tries to reconcile being a mother and her role in this fight. We know all the others, except Laurel and Alverax, have all the threadweaver power. Laurel has her bond with Asher, and Alverax is an obsidian threadweaver, able to cut the core of other threadweavers and the powerful sword, the Midnight Watcher. Iriel does have her Emerald threadlight, but still feels she is not as useful as the others. She feels relegated to being the person who is there to hold and feed Aydin, rather than being the fighter she was. The conflicting emotions and thoughts she had were so real to me, as I remember having those doubts when I had children. Your life changes, and with it, expectations. This book elicited many emotions in me, none more so than Iriel’s struggles:
“While some of her feelings of inadequacy had faded, others had slipped their grimy claws into her skin. For weeks, she’d been the woman in the back, holding the child while others did the important work. She was tired of being left behind. Tired of not helping. And she was tired of hearing Willow talk about the gift of motherhood. It was as though she’d gained one title and lost all others. A mother, and nothing more.” Zack Argyle, Bonds of Chaos
It was great to see the other characters develop as well. Where once Laurel was devastated at the loss of her threadlight, her bond with Asher is even more important to her. They can communicate and are inseparable. Laurel takes on many of the characteristics of Asher. She is stronger and faster than the others. Roshaw carries a tremendous amount of guilt about leaving Alverax, and we do find out why. However, it takes time for their relationship to heal and begin to grow. Again, this is such a realistic way to portray the relationship between father and son. Willow, Chrys’ mother, is tough and brave. There is also a blossoming relationship between her and Roshaw, which was very sweet in how it was written. Chrys is still over protective, but that’s his nature. He carries the guilt of when he lost his friends, but he comes to accept that the Apogee was not him and his actions in that time were not his, and he can forgive himself.
The threadlight power is really unique and I always enjoyed how it is used. With Chrys, Willow, and Roshaw having all three threadlight powers, they are able to fly. It was not overwhelming for the three of them to have these powers, as it introduced many interesting plot lines into the book. The story takes our protagonists across the continent of Arasin in hopes of finding a way to stop the Heralds. There are many plot twists and turns, none of which were at all predictable. Mr. Argyle, in our final journey in the Threadlight series, takes us on an action-filled, emotional roller coaster ride from the first page to the last. I loved the series and I’m sad to see it end. The characters were ones that I cared for and it’s like saying goodbye to old friends. I highly recommend not only Bonds of Chaos, but this entire series. You will not be disappointed.
Bonds of Chaos was the perfect ending to the Threadlight Series. It was an action-packed ride from start to finish, with twists and turns that were unpredictable and excellent. Mr. Argyle’s characters were always incredibly written and woven seamlessly into the story. While trying to fight off the Heralds, each character is dealing with their own inner turmoil. It’s handled realistically and makes the characters relatable. For me, as a mother, Iriel’s inner struggles with her role as a mother and feeling like she has been relegated to that one “job”, and that’s her identity was amazingly written and I felt such a connection to her character. She loves Chrys and Aydin, but she also wants to be the fighter she was trained to be. He perfectly captured what I felt as a new mother and it was brilliant. I loved Laurel and Asher’s bond, as it filled her more completely than when she had her threadlight. The first two books set up Bonds of Chaos flawlessly. They flowed smoothly from one to the other, each a piece to the larger puzzle Mr. Argyle was building. Bonds of Chaos was more than a satisfying end to an incredible trilogy. I’ll miss these characters and the world they lived in. I can’t recommend this series enough. If you are a fan of fantasy, Threadlight should be on your to be read list. You will not be disappointed.
Summary (from Goodreads)
TO BREAK THE BONDS, SACRIFICES WILL BE MADE.
When all was lost, the Heralds returned, and the world embraced them as gods and saviors. But there are some who know the truth: the Heralds are not what they seem.
Now, in a desperate attempt to stop them, Chrys and the others travel to Cynosure with hopes of enlisting the only Amber threadweaver with the power to help.
Chrys, Laurel, Alverax, and those they love.
Together, they will stop the gods…or they will die trying.
My sincere thanks to Zack Argyle for providing me with an ARC for The Bonds of Chaos
To find out more about Zack Argyle’s books, please visit his website at https://www.zackargyle.com/
Review for Voice of War
Review for Stones of Light
Purchase signed copies of the books: https://www.zackargyle.com/products
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zack Argyle lives just outside of Seattle, WA, USA, with his wife and two children. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and works full-time as a software engineer. He is the winner of the Indies Today Best Fantasy Award, and a finalist in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off.