By: Zack Argyle
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Voice of War is an amazing debut novel by fantasy author Zach Argyle It is an imaginative entry into the epic fantasy genre. I highly recommend it. Mr. Argyle has created a beautiful fantasy world with a unique magic system, outstanding world building and characters. It was a gripping novel from the first chapter. His characters are brilliantly crafted, each with having personality traits that are both special and flawed. I loved the magic system of Threadlight. What was unique is that every character, no matter where in the world he created the come from, possesses Threadlight (threadweavers as they are called) if they have blue or green eyes. Only those who are brown eyed (the achromatic) do not possess it. It is a novel idea that diverts from only a few characters possessing magic or special powers, an idea that gives the story a different twist on traditional magic. I also found the idea of Threadlight to be beautiful in that it is a connection to the world around threadweavers. When using this power (blue eyes can push with it, green eyes pull), it runs through their veins, allowing them to see the energy connections like a web running through all things. They have a corethread that is their main connection when using Threadlight. I loved the idea of that interconnectedness of Threadlight to created world.
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
The World of Arasin
The Threadlight series takes place in the world of Arasin. Within Arasin are the many different cities. Alchea being one. I will say that this is a typical city, but not one that reminded me of medieval Europe. It had more of a modern feel to it, while not being very technologically advanced.
The city of Zedalum in Fairenwild Forest was without a doubt my favorite. Set in the treetops, the people of Althea do not venture there and do not think it exists. The forest that leads there is dark and foreboding to them. Those in Zedalum call the Altheans “grounders” as they could not imagine not living amongst the trees. It was a richly created city, as are the forests around it. For light while walking the dark forest path to Zedalum use bioluminescent spores. The creatures are unique, most notably the chromawolves. They live in packs, but are green with a double tail. Those who live there also possess Threadlight, and enter the city by pushing off the corestone, a revered stone that harbors a tremendous amount of Threadlight. It is the entrance to Zeladum and is as secret at the city.
To the south in a desert area lies the city of Cynosure, where thieves and rebels are known to hide out. It’s not really a secret, but it is left to its own devices. It is controlled by crime a lord, who rules bu instilling fear in its residents. Here, too, Threadweaving is present.
Chrys Valerain, the main protagonist, possesses Threadlight, as does his wife, Iriel and his mother, Willo. Iriel is pregnant with their first child. When he is born, he has rare gift of amber eyes and must be protected at all costs. Amber eyes possess all the threadlight ability. It forces Chrys and his family to flee the city and head to Zeladum. He is a high general in the military, until he and his family become hunted and he becomes the enemy. Chrys is a man of honor, a man who protects his family, a man who is loyal to his friends, and a man harboring a dark secret. He harbors the Apogee, a violent entity that resides within him. He can keep the Apogee at bay, but if let out, it causes great destruction.
Laurel lives in Zeladum, but is sent out as a messenger to Althea. Who she is secret and she engages little with the “grounders” on her missions. Laurel loves her threadweaving abilities, allowing her to glide through her city. It gives her a sense of freedom she could not imagine living without. Laurel has bonded with a chromawolf she calls Asher, that her people raise from puppies. They are all eventually returned to the wild, as is Asher. She loves her city, the forest and her chromawolf. Laurel is young, and as young people often do; she will take dangerous risks. An important mission into Althea goes terribly wrong, and it changes Laurel’s life forever.
Alexander “Alverax” Grant, lives in Cynosure. His father was a thief and died years earlier and Alverax has lived with his grandfather. Unfortunately, because of who his father was, he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. He is used for an experiment and left for dead. Only Alverax does no die and discovers he now has powers akin to those of the threadweavers. He comes to Althea and joins up with a woman name Alabella. She is worth noting here as she has a vision of power. She is fanatical in that vision, and justifies anything she does as for the greater good. Alverax sees this fanaticism and realizes the danger.
It is clear while reading, these characters are all moving together to be at the same point in time. Where that is and what happens, well, you have to read the sequel.
I found Voice of War to be a very enjoyable and engaging book. As a lover of all kinds of fantasy, this debut novel introduces another dimension of unique elements. Fantasy novels are about world building, magic systems and well-developed characters. Voice of War has it all. The world of Arasin has different cities and realms that are different from other books in the genre. The magic system of Threadlight is beautifully crafted as a connection between the threadweaver and the energy of the world around them. I loved this element of the book and look forward to exploring more of it in the next entry into the series. The main protagonists, Chrys, Laurel, Alverax and Alabella, are well developed characters. Each has their own form of a job that they perform, but they each have secrets. Some are more deadly than others. In each, there is light and dark, a struggle they each must overcome. Does the light or dark win? Do we get a shade of gray? These are the elements that make Voice of War both a great fantasy novel. I highly recommend this novel to lovers of not just the fantasy genre, but all readers.
My thanks to Zach Argyle for providing me with an ebook of Voice of War.
To find out more about Zach Argyle’s books, please visit his website at https://www.zackargyle.com/Follow Me on Social Media