Review : Voice of War by Zack Argyle

โ€œ๐—ช๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด. ๐—›๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด. ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€. ๐—œ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ธ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚. ๐—•๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป, ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ณ ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ, ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜‡๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€.โ€

  • Release : March 15th 2020
  • Publishing house : Independant
  • Series : Threadlight
  • Pages : 380
  • Illustrator : ร–mer Burak ร–nal
  • Literary Awards : SPFBO Award Nominee for Best Fantasy Book (2020)

Spoilers ahead

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. 

Characters :

Chrys Valerian : I think it’s the character I’ve loved the most throughout the book. He’s a high general, just under the Great Lord of Alchea. He’s despised by his colleagues because he got this position too rapidly and his actions (not intentional) during the war play against him. He’s nicknamed the Apogee because of the little voice in his head who took over during the war and ended up killing hundreds of people.

โ€œSelf-betterment is the rarest form of ambition.โ€

He’s such a family man and it was heartwarming to see his relationship with his wife, Iriel, his mother, Willow, and his son, Aydin. He clearly has good morals and tries to protect his family and friends alike. But behind all this facade, Chrys has been suffering because he feels like he’s, little by little, losing control again against the Apogee. He hasn’t talked about it to his family and this has been weighing him ever since.

โ€œIt doesnโ€™t matter how beautiful the wall is if the garden inside is dying. No one can live like that forever.โ€

Laurel : Laurel is also a threadweaver and seems a bit too addicted to it. She lives in a city on top of a tree, and her people have been keeping to themselves for hundreds of years, but she would have none of it. She just wants to explore the world. That’s mainly why she wanted to be a Messenger, someone who relay messages to the elders or the guy living near Alchea. But her addiction to threadlight sees her expelled from her position. She has a sick brother, a grandfather and a friend which is a chromawolf, very large wolves.

โ€œWe all lie, Laurel. The world would be worse if we didnโ€™t, but itโ€™s also more brittle because we do.โ€

On the whole, she was the one I’ve liked less. Maybe because of some of her reactions which were a bit up for questionable (when she uses her power to get away from her grandfather and because he’s old, he collapses on the ground because he can’t really handle his powers anymore, and she just runs away, like really ?). There were times when she was showing modesty and regret over her past actions, and well, it contrasted with her more feisty nature.

Alverax : He lives past the Silkar Desert in Cynosure. He’s the son of a famous thief who was killed by the cruel ruler of the city. This ruler gathered several people and underwent a « ventricular mineral graft » to force them into being a (black ?) threadweaver. Left for dead in the desert, he awakens as a black threadweaver. After a series of unfortunate events, he’s abducted by one of the ruler’s wives who told him that his power will change the world and that her husband can’t be aware of him being with her.

I also find it a bit strange to have this character shows up about halfway through the book. I guess it disrupted a bit the flow of the story. But I understand the need to introduce this character. On the other side, we get to know more about the world and the magic system.

Story :

Let’s talk a bit about the magic system. So far, there are 5 types of magic so far : those who have blue eyes who can use their powers to « push », those who have green eyes who can « pull ». These two are the most common kinds of magic. Then, we have those who have a green eye and a blue one. We’ve only seen one who is the High Lord of Alchea. The last two have amber eyes and black eyes. A vast majority of people have brown eyes and can’t use magic. They are achromatic. Each family can only have two children, if a third is born, they can keep it only if he has magic, otherwise, he or she is given to the priests and is blinded.

A big part of the book revolves around the issue of Bloodthieves. They’ve been abducting threadweavers to take their blood. Thanks to that, they can give it to whoever is willing to pay enough. That way, they can experience a bit of magic, but it doesn’t last a lot. Later on, we learn that they’ve been looking to gift threadlight to people by what was done on Alverax. And to do that, what the Zedalum elders have been hiding/protecting seems to be the key. That said, it seems that this group is also very interested in Chrys’ son because he has amber eyes.

Let’s talk now about the worldbuilding. I’ve found it to be well thought. I loved the way the Zeladum people used their environment to get their bearings or to go to one place. Loving wolves, I was delighted to read about the chromawolves. Zack does a great job at pulling the reader into the world. The Fairenwild was both frightening and exciting, so was the Silkar Desert with Alverax.

All in all, Voice of War is a really great start to the series. The characters all have a distinctive voice. They stay consistent with themselves all along the book. The story is easy to follow and the different parts of the world are vivid. There is a strong emphasis on family, friends, and trust.

Noteย : 4ย sur 5.

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