THEIR CHILD WILL SAVE THE WORLD, IF THEY CAN KEEP THE DAMN KID ALIVE.
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, never expecting 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 growing voice in his mind.
Together, these three will change the world—whether they intend to or not.
Voice of War begins the award-winning Threadlight series, filled with unique magic, exotic creatures, and a diverse cast of characters you’ll love and hate.
I’ll confess that I read this book a while ago. In fact, I read it when I was a judge for BBNYA, so you could say this review is well overdue. Since I first read it then, the Threadlight trilogy has gone from strength to strength. A 2020 SPFBO finalist, Voice of War has hundreds of reviews, a thousand ratings on Goodreads, and now a legendary Kickstarter campaign to bring this series into one of the sexiest looking omnibuses I’ve ever seen. Its author, Zack Argyle, has almost become a household name within the indie fantasy scene, and someone I would regard as one of the big indie fantasy legends. It helps that Zack is also one of the nicest authors in the indie community and regularly gives back. All this to say that these books are a big deal and you don’t need this review to convince you of that.
But you’re probably here for a review, and that is what is due! Voice of War is the first book in the Threadlight series of epic fantasy. This is character driven story based around three POV characters in a world where magic is used by pushing or pulling on magical threads of light. The three POV’s start with Chrys, a high general tasked with uncovering the mystery of missing threadweavers while coping with the trauma of his war-torn past and preparing for the birth of his upcoming child. To add even more stress to Chrys’s life, his child becomes the centre of a prophecy which puts Chrys’s wife and child in danger. Then we have Laurel, a headstrong teenager who wants to do more with her threadlight than just play messenger for her village, and then later on we’re introduced to Alverax, possibly the most interesting of the three as he rises from the dead with a new mysterious threadlight ability that could change everything.
These three characters set out on their own quest. While two do cross paths, the third will likely catch up within the sequels. It’s clear from the start of the story that these characters are going to have a massive impact on this world. This is classic character driven fantasy where the stakes are world-changing but also based on family connections, as there is a big emphasis on family ties in this story that I loved to see, especially written from Chrys’s perspective as a husband and father. As Chrys begins his investigation, there is an element of mystery and this is where the magic of threadlight really came into play. A lot of people have compared this series to Sanderson, but as I’ve not read Sanderson yet, all I can say is that I enjoyed the way threadlight is developed, though if I have one small niggle, it’s when the threads are emphasized as being pushed or pulled on, which did annoy me after a while haha sorry!
I also appreciated that the storytelling for this book felt simple and clean. I don’t mean this in a negative way, as I generally don’t like reading overly difficult or purple prose, and this was a quick and easy read for me in that regard. So many epic fantasy books can feel overwhelming and challenging to get into, especially when they become a ten-book series or similar. So if you’re new to epic fantasy or high fantasy and feel put off from them for similar reasons, then I recommend this one as a good place to start. For readers that live and breathe epic fantasy, there’s plenty of action, creative world building, and twists to keep you entertained.
I’ve also not yet read the sequels to Voice of War, but I’ve heard good things about both, thus I will definitely be continuing this series!
Classic fantasy that feels ‘modern’, Voice of War is a page-turning epic and a great start to a legendary series.