One Sentence Synopsis
After the events of Voice of War, a new threat has been unleashed on Arasin and it’s up to our mixed bag of heroes to help stop it.
“But this was different. This was a child embracing a wolf, expecting it to protect him from the night. Hope standing on a tightrope while the winds surge all around. The people needed hope, and so they grasped hold of the anomaly, and eased their fear with lies.
But what is truth if not a lie that has yet to be revealed?”
Before I dive into this review, I have to thank Zack Argyle for not only sending me a finished copy of this book, but for allowing me to help beta read it! It was a honor to be able to help him with this incredible story. That being said, what follows is my honest opinion about the book and my enjoyment of it. Now, let’s get to the review!
**Spoiler Alert** This is the second book in the Threadlight series so this review may contain spoilers for the first book, Voice of War. If you’d like to know more about the first book, you can check out my review by clicking this link!
Stones of Light picks up right where we left off in Voice of War. We’re back on the continent of Arasin and things are in turmoil. After what happened in the Fairenwile, Chrys, Laurel, and Alverax are all thrown into a conflict that none of them asked to be a part of. With Bloodthieves still on the loose and a new threat on the horizon, all three are fighting small battles of their own. But they have to figure out what they want and who they wish to be quickly as an ancient terror rises that threatens everyone they know and love.
Where do I begin with this one? Very rarely have I been so blown away by a sequel! Stones of Light was quite literally everything I could have wanted in a sequel and more!
Let’s start with my favorite aspect of this book: the characters. I am a sucker for a book with well-written, well-developed characters and Zack Argyle delivers in spades! And it’s not like we just have one main character that we’re focusing on. No, he gives us three complex, layered, and wonderfully imperfect main characters that worm their way into your heart. I found myself connecting so much more with Chrys, Laurel, and Alverax in this book than I did in the first and I feel like that’s because we get to see so much growth and development in all three of them. Sometimes that development is… not great from them (looking at you, Laurel!), but it feels real and genuine, which is what matters. It’s also nice to be able to see an aspect of a character that didn’t really jive with me in the first book be addressed in this one. By the end of this book, I was so completely invested in what was going to happen to our heroes that I didn’t want it to be over!
My second favorite aspect of this book, though by no means less well done, was the world-building. This is the second book in the series, so we’re pretty well established in the world, but we do get introduced to a few new cultures. They way are woven into the world felt seamless and learning about them never felt like an info dump. It just flowed in the story. There are also things we learn about the world we’ve already been introduced to that make their way into the story in the most effortless way. I love a rich and complex world where the author manages to give us just the right amount of detail to make the story make sense without bludgeoning us over the head with it! Also, I just really love the world of Arasin. There’s an established mythology, it has varied and interesting cultures, and it sounds like a place I would love to visit.
I mean… not at the moment with the way things are left in the book… but maybe later, lol.
I also love that the pacing of this story is incredible. There was never a point where I was bored! I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what was going to happen on the next page. Even during moments of relative “down time”, you’re so invested in the story that you find yourself flying through the book. I will say that the end felt a smidge rushed to me, but not enough to detract from my overall love of this story.
Final thoughts: This is a beautifully crafted story that will have you completely immersed in it’s world within the first few pages. The world-building is stunning, creative, and such a joy to read as you ripped through this fast-paced tale. There’s no “second book syndrome” to be found here as I honestly think this book surpasses the first! But by far the best aspect of this story is the wonderfully crafted and complex characters that manage to capture your imagination. If you’re a fan of epic fantasy where the stakes are high, the action tense, and the characters incredibly engaging, I think you would love Stones of Light!