Today, I’ll be bringing you another Storytellers on Tour blog tour post! This tour is featuring an adult fantasy that has a little bit of everything: intrigue, action, and the ever eternal struggle of good vs. evil. But I’m getting ahead of myself! First, I want to thank Storytellers on Tour and the author for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, it’s such a privilege that I can’t appreciate enough!
Of course, my blog is but one of many stops on this tour. Here is a banner with all the wonderful bloggers and bookstagammers that will be participating:
Click the banner to find links to all the stops on this tour or click here.
Now, let’s jump in!
“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 that began during the war grows louder, begging to be released.
Laurel lives in Zedalum, a secret city in the center of the Fairenwild. During her most recent messenger run, Laurel veered off course to explore the streets of Alchea. She never expected that her journey would end in chains.
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 a strange girl or the dark voice in his mind”
- Author: Zack Argyle
- Publication date: March 19th, 2020
- Genre: Epic Fantasy
- Age group: Adult
- Page count: 370
- Content/Trigger warnings: Violence, torture, fatphobic language
About the Author
Zack Argyle was raised with a wonderful family motto: don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. What better way than to write fiction? He spends his days writing code and his nights writing epic stories about family, love, loss, friendship, and pain all intermixed with a heavy dose of the fantastical.
“Wishing. Hoping. They are dangerous words. If you hope for something to be true and it is not, that realization can break you. But until then, while that belief runs warm in your blood, it can drive you to do amazing things.”
Voice of War is an epic fantasy that asks what a father would do to protect his child. We follow a few characters in this, but our main protagonist is Chrys. After making a bloody name for himself in war, he is trying to settle down into his new life as a member of the nobility. As a threadweaver and hero of the war, he has been given a position as High General that he takes very seriously. What he really desires is to be able to settle down with his pregnant wife and welcome their child. But then threadweavers start going missing and it’s up to Chrys to find them. This task leads him down a bloody road that threatens his tenuous hold over the dark voice in his head.
Y’all. When I tell you this is an intensely readable book, I am not kidding! The pages just fly by as your drawn into Chrys’ story and the world of story. The writing in this has a way of pulling you along, never letting you go, and making you eager for more. I thought the pacing was well done, with a perfect blend of action, suspense, and light-hearted moments to give you a break from the intensity! This novel definitely kept my interest from page one until the very end.
We all know how much my enjoyment of a story depends on the characters. If they fall flat, then the whole book is usually a no-go, for me. Zack Argyle does an incredible job of writing some wonderfully flawed and complex characters! I found myself cheering their successes and smacking my forehead at some of their… more dubious choices. My favorite character would have to be our main protagonist. Chrys has so many different layers and it made him so compelling. His internal struggle with his darker side is one of my favorite subplots of the entire novel. I think the author did a great job making us feel his anxiety. Laurel, our main female protagonist, is brash and bold and a little obnoxious, but just as well-developed and complex as Chrys, which I appreciated.
Beyond the characters, my second favorite aspect of this book was the world-building. This fantasy realm that the author has created is rich with detail and absolutely fascinating! The magic of threadweaving, the history behind the war, the descriptions of the city of Alchea and the Fairenwild… it all lends itself to making this world feel real and tangible. I will say there were some moments that felt a bit info-dumpy, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.
All of the above aspects considered, this book was very close to getting four stars! But then there was the fatphobia. I didn’t notice it too much at first. There were some offhanded comments about a big man’s jowls flapping as he walked that I was like “Eh, no…” But there is a character we meet later on in the story where the fatphobia shines like a beacon. He lives in a city that is basically run by this villainous man who happens to be fat. And boy does this character remind you about it at every. possible. moment! He even refers to him as “gelatinous” at one point which is just… yikes. It’s like this man’s evil and corruption is tied up with his fatness and it’s… not great. It just rubbed me the wrong way and brought my overall view of this book down.
That being said, this was still a thrilling fantasy that ticked a lot of my boxes. It was fast-paced. It had an interesting magic system. There’s even a bit of political intrigue, which I do love in my fantasy novels! The pacing was excellent, the characters were well-written, and the world-building was top notch. All in all, I had a fun experience reading this novel and am intrigued about the sequel.
Final thoughts: If you’re looking for an epic fantasy that has great world-building, complex characters, and a high-stakes plot, you’re going to enjoy Voice of War! It’s a breathless ride that will leave you wanting more.