By: Zack Argyle
Genre: Epic Fantasy
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR VOICE OF WAR
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Stones of Light is the second entry in the Threadlight series by fantasy author Zach Argyle. As with the first book, I highly recommend it. The sequel brings new challenges to our protagonists, well written fight scenes and surprises. It had me drawn in from the first page. Stones of Light picks up right after the end of the Voice of War. In this sequel, the characters become even more fleshed out. The turmoil that we saw in first book comes to a head, as each of them must deal with issues they face. Will they make the right choices, or will the darkness win?
As with the first book, I found Stones of Light a very enjoyable read. Mr. Argyle’s fantasy storytelling has only improved from Voice of War. The characters are even more developed as is the story. While different chapters will focus on different characters, it is never confusing. It flows seamlessly through the plot. I felt he was writing like a puzzle. Each character was slowly coming together as the book progressed, until they all finally meet. It was very well done and kept me wanting to read more to solve the puzzle.
Summary (from Goodreads)
The coreseal is shattered and a new darkness is coming.
Chrys swore to never again let the Apogee take control but, in a moment of desperation, he gave in. Now, he will learn what the Apogee truly wants.
In Alchea, Laurel will do anything to get her threadlight back, even if it means working for the leader of the Bloodthieves. But she has no choice…a life without threadlight is no life at all.
To the west, Alverax travels with the Zeda people to the large port city of Felia, where they seek refuge after the fires in the Fairenwild. But he shattered the coreseal, and no one quite knows what the consequences will be. They only know it won’t be good.
Together, they doomed the world…now, they must save it.
The main characters are the same (Chrys and his family, Laurel, Alverax and Alabella) but they become more developed as the world around them is now changing.
To save his family, Chris has let the Apogee take over. He is able to drive away the attackers fro, Zeladum, but with the Apogee in control, the last we see of Chrys at the end of Voice of War, is him walking away from his family. He can no longer control the Apogee. Chrys cannot stop it as he walks away searching for a new vessel for the Apogee and his sister. We come to see they are beings who possess powerful Threadlight abilities. All Chrys wants is to find his family.
Alabella is the leader of the Bloodthieves, a group who takes blood from threadweavers with the hope that she can bring threadlight magic to all. By drinking their blood, they temporality become threadweavers. Using the threadweaver blood from those she has captured, she is trying to find a permanent way for Threadlight to last.
Alabella led the attack on Zeladum to destroy the corestone. In destroying it, she believes she can bring Threadlight to all. She is a fanatic who justifies this attack on peaceful people, killing many who jump from the burning treesf or the greater good of her cause. For her, the ends justify the means. Alveraxs’ power has manifested as the opposition to Threadlight. He can cut the core Threadlight, which renders the threadweaver temporarily unable to use their magic. As he witnesses the horror of what Alabella has done, he cuts the core thread of many of the people of Zeladum, including Iriel and her son, allowing many to escape. After the attack, Alabella is discovered and forced to leave Alchea, taking Laurel and her surgeon with her.
In the failed mission in Voice of War, Laurel is stabbed in the heart. Willow, also on the mission, though heartbroken, manages to escape. Laurel survives only to find out that she has lost her Threadlight power and was saved by Alabella. She saves Laurel, who is devastated that her Threadlight power is gone. They temporarily return when she drinks threadweaver blood and has decided to stay with Alabella with the hope she can restore her magic. She does not, however, know of the attack on her home. Upon learning of the attack on her home, she vows that she will kill Alabella for her lies, killing her people and breaking the corestone.
There is not much in the way of world building in this book as it is the same setting as Voice of War. It is more character-driven. We see the internal struggles of the characters and the consequences of the decisions they make. Alverax has escaped the shadow of his father’s thievery to aid the people of Zedalum in finding refuge. Chrys, while free of the Apogee, knows the real fight has begun as these powerful beings will threaten the very existence of all he knows. Laurel must come to terms with losing her threadweaving and never getting it back. She has lost an important part of who she is, but knows the lies Alabella has told her about getting her magic back. Alabella is still bent on bringing threadlight to all. While it is a noble idea, to do it at the cost she does, makes her a dangerous fanatic.
There is a very interesting part in this book, that, as a mother, I felt very connected too. Iriela was a warrior. In one scene, she is finally back training. She feels doubts as a mother, she feels disconnected and overwhelmed caring for a new born. This one scene is the book is very real. All new mothers feel this way at some point after giving birth. I feel that Mr. Argyle touched on something that made Iriel a very relatable character. It stuck with me and I was very impressed how the author expressed the feelings of a mother with a new born baby.
Mr. Argyle continues to impress me with his Threadlight series. His character development is excellent in Stones of Light. The main characters face obstacles, not only with their threadweaving ability, but battling personal demons. The story is well paced and is like a piece of music. Each chapter is an instrument playing, coming together to reach the crescendo towards the end. I highly recommend this sequel to Voice of War. The ending is amazing, and I can’t wait to read the next installment.
My thanks to Zach Argyle for providing me with an ARC for Stones of Light
To find out more about Zach Argyle’s books, please visit his website at https://www.zackargyle.com/
Purchase Stones of Light on Amazon