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What if you could steal the body of the man that killed you? Will Sumner wants little more than to avenge his father who died at the hands of the ruthless king, Alexander Drygo. When the opportunity arises to steal the king's most valuable possession, Will and his brothers launch an assault to retrieve it. Obtaining the unimaginable power of a legendary soul stone, Will lear What if you could steal the body of the man that killed you? Will Sumner wants little more than to avenge his father who died at the hands of the ruthless king, Alexander Drygo. When the opportunity arises to steal the king's most valuable possession, Will and his brothers launch an assault to retrieve it. Obtaining the unimaginable power of a legendary soul stone, Will learns that the gods of old aren't dead after all. But even his newfound ability is no match for the tyrant that sits on the throne. Now, the power he thought would be his salvation may very well claim his life - or his soul. To help tame this uncontrollable magic, Will seeks assistance from an unlikely source and aligns himself with a rebel group that may not have his best interests at heart. Will's brothers have forsaken him, his friends may deceive him, and his enemies will stop at nothing to end his life and seize his power for themselves. Fans of R.A. Salvatore, Brandon Sanderson, and Sarah J. Maas will love this sword and sorcery adventure. See what readers have to say about Soul Render: "Soul Render is a rocket driven roller coaster that is fueled by adrenaline and pure awesomeness!" "A helluva debut!" "Truly epic, beautifully written." "T.L. Branson has created a world readers will be returning to multiple times for decades to come." "A definite must-read!"


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What if you could steal the body of the man that killed you? Will Sumner wants little more than to avenge his father who died at the hands of the ruthless king, Alexander Drygo. When the opportunity arises to steal the king's most valuable possession, Will and his brothers launch an assault to retrieve it. Obtaining the unimaginable power of a legendary soul stone, Will lear What if you could steal the body of the man that killed you? Will Sumner wants little more than to avenge his father who died at the hands of the ruthless king, Alexander Drygo. When the opportunity arises to steal the king's most valuable possession, Will and his brothers launch an assault to retrieve it. Obtaining the unimaginable power of a legendary soul stone, Will learns that the gods of old aren't dead after all. But even his newfound ability is no match for the tyrant that sits on the throne. Now, the power he thought would be his salvation may very well claim his life - or his soul. To help tame this uncontrollable magic, Will seeks assistance from an unlikely source and aligns himself with a rebel group that may not have his best interests at heart. Will's brothers have forsaken him, his friends may deceive him, and his enemies will stop at nothing to end his life and seize his power for themselves. Fans of R.A. Salvatore, Brandon Sanderson, and Sarah J. Maas will love this sword and sorcery adventure. See what readers have to say about Soul Render: "Soul Render is a rocket driven roller coaster that is fueled by adrenaline and pure awesomeness!" "A helluva debut!" "Truly epic, beautifully written." "T.L. Branson has created a world readers will be returning to multiple times for decades to come." "A definite must-read!"

30 review for Soul Render

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    He wasn't just doing this for his father. He was doing it for them. For all of them. Will Sumner and his two brothers want revenge upon the cruel and heartless King Drygo. And, they've just found an opportunity that the three of them cannot resist - to steal the king's prized possession - a soul stone. Only, things don't go to plan. Will manages to steal it....but he accidentally absorbs its power and is taken prisoner along with his youngest brother, John. Then the worst thing possibl He wasn't just doing this for his father. He was doing it for them. For all of them. Will Sumner and his two brothers want revenge upon the cruel and heartless King Drygo. And, they've just found an opportunity that the three of them cannot resist - to steal the king's prized possession - a soul stone. Only, things don't go to plan. Will manages to steal it....but he accidentally absorbs its power and is taken prisoner along with his youngest brother, John. Then the worst thing possible happens. Tomorrow. Sunrise. He dies. They're both executed. But, because of the soul stone, Will is able to take over bodies, so he manages to survive his own execution - barely. Even had he been alert, the guard wouldn't have seen Will, who slammed into him. The man put up a valiant effort, but Will won out and the man was no more. There was only Will, in a new body. King Drygo is on the hunt, and he will do anything, anything to take back Will's power. Will Sumner was about to commit high treason for the second time in his life...Most men did not have the opportunity to defy the crown twice... Overall - a promising start to a series! I really enjoyed this whirlwind adventure - plenty of magic, mayhem and mishaps - it'll keep even the most hyperactive kid entertained! The world building was rather well done. The author did a fantastic job of breathing life into such a complex society. The soul stones and their resulting powers were an unique and highly engaging aspect of the novel. However, there were a few things that did throw me out of the book - and that was the ease of killing. "They were my brothers," he said. "...I can arrange for you to join them if you'd like," Will said. Much of Will's past is shrouded in shadows, but from what I can tell, he must have been training all his life for combat (judging from the sheer number of blades slipping into and out of hearts). I really was curious how he came to possess such weaponry skills and was disappointed that it was never fully addressed. Also, I felt that this book focused a bit too much on the action and not enough on the emotions. I'm not saying I want a sappy romance, but I really expected more of a moral dilemma regarding all the deaths. Every time Will takes a new body, he forces the soul out and destroys it. How to you come to terms with not only stealing someone's body, but completely erasing their soul? To me, unless the character is truly, truly evil - you'd expect some guilt to show. Will will occasionally have errant thoughts but those were more like an elementary school child's rationalization (all people working for bad guys are evil and should die). And judging from the sheer numbers of dead left in his wake, Will should've had several mental breakdowns That being said, I did rather enjoy the humor sprinkled in. It added much needed levity throughout the book. "I know what you're thinking," the king said. By the gods, he can read minds, too? "And no, I can't read minds..." It made for a fun interlude between the various adventures. Also, I adored Robert's perspective (Will's other brother). Robert, completely sans magic, manages to worm his way into the rebels and fight the king on his own accord (I'm a sucker for non-magic characters fighting against overwhelming odds). All in all, I am excited to see where this series goes! With thanks to the author for a free copy in exchange for a honest review YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    *This is one of my #SPFBO books* I am very happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's by no means a polished book, there are a few grammatical things I think needed tweaking and some areas which could be stronger, but on the whole my enjoyment level was pretty high throughout and I found the second half of the book to have a lot of what I like in a fantasy read. This story follows three young boys, all brothers, as they try to steal a Soul Stone from the corrupt King of their country. *This is one of my #SPFBO books* I am very happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's by no means a polished book, there are a few grammatical things I think needed tweaking and some areas which could be stronger, but on the whole my enjoyment level was pretty high throughout and I found the second half of the book to have a lot of what I like in a fantasy read. This story follows three young boys, all brothers, as they try to steal a Soul Stone from the corrupt King of their country. Their mission doesn't quite go to plan, as one of them soon ends up killed whilst the other two are separated and one has gained a crazy power he doesn't understand. From there, the story diverges into two main viewpoints, following Will and Robert respectively. What I enjoyed about this book was that both Will and Robert feel like fairly convincing teens who make some rash decisions but who also really care about fighting back. They each have a story thread that leads them to discover more about the ways they can rebel, and in a time of constant oppression for many they are doing their bit against the King. The story moves fairly fast with the opening scenes setting up for a constant pursuit and escape. Both Will and Robert have to hide from the King for their part in the stealing of his power, and yet one of them has more problems than just the King's wrath, he doesn't know how to even understand what knowledge and power he now has. The idea of the soul stones is nothing too original, I have read many books with magical artefacts after all, but I think it is a really good backdrop for a fast-paced story to take place and I enjoyed following Will in particular as he tried to find out more about the stones and their properties. This is certainly a book which doesn't shy away from magic, and there are even some similarities to Mistborn by Sanderson, in terms of the evil King and his dark powers. On the whole I did really like this one and I found it a very easy read, but one where I connected well to the characters and felt like the world and the magic was clear and yet thought-out. I gave it a solid 4*s overall which equates to 8/10 for #SPFBO purposes and I would recommend trying this one out!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Len Evans Jr

    It has taken me forever (slightly more than 3 months) to finish this book. I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 prequel short stories and "Soul Siphon" prior to starting this book. My issue with this book isn't due to it being badly written or the story being boring. My problem was that we jumped ahead in this book quite a bit and so the main characters are completely new and I hated them with a vengeance... I several times found myself rooting for the villian and his henchmen, simply in the hope that the It has taken me forever (slightly more than 3 months) to finish this book. I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 prequel short stories and "Soul Siphon" prior to starting this book. My issue with this book isn't due to it being badly written or the story being boring. My problem was that we jumped ahead in this book quite a bit and so the main characters are completely new and I hated them with a vengeance... I several times found myself rooting for the villian and his henchmen, simply in the hope that they would catch and kill Will and the girl (whose name I can't remember at the moment) just so we could move on to someone new that I would hopefully give a shit about. Anyway, I came up with my final rating as follows, story: 5 stars; writing quality: 5 stars; main characters: 2; total rating: 4. It looks like Will has a pretty large part in book 2 so not sure how soon I will be starting to read it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ravencrantz

    2.5/5 I read this as part of a read along in a book group, and if it hadn't been for that I probably wouldn't have read this at all. It's in no way a Bad Book, there are a lot of things it did well, the problem was it also fell short in a lot of ways as well. It definitely reads as a first time published writer, but there's also a lot of potential in the writing and I can see the author going far. The overall plot was a lot of fun, I love the idea of the soul stones and the different powers they 2.5/5 I read this as part of a read along in a book group, and if it hadn't been for that I probably wouldn't have read this at all. It's in no way a Bad Book, there are a lot of things it did well, the problem was it also fell short in a lot of ways as well. It definitely reads as a first time published writer, but there's also a lot of potential in the writing and I can see the author going far. The overall plot was a lot of fun, I love the idea of the soul stones and the different powers they hold. I love the idea that they have the potential to corrupt the user, and the possibility for different ways to abuse each power. There's a lot of potential in this world, and we only saw a small fraction of it. The magic system isn't exactly unique, but it's fleshed out really well and I appreciated how much magic we got to witness. So often with books I'll come across a lot of worlds where we're told there's a lot of powerful magic, but no one ever uses it we just have to take the narrator's word for it. Here, people were using magic left and right and there were consequences for it. Sometimes it was death, sometimes it was exhaustion or corruption, but magic came with a price. I wish the price was a bit higher for our hero, then I would have worried a bit more when he got into trouble. The characters and dialogue is where I felt this book fell a bit flat. The writing, while not perfect, I could overlook for the most part, but some of the dialogue sounded so unnatural it was hard to read. I never connected with any of the characters, so when one died, I didn't really care. Plus, because our hero's power makes him essentially unkillable, after the first execution scene there's no suspense at whether or not he'll make it. All he has to do is jump into another body whenever he gets too tired or near death and he's good to go. I do like the turmoil he goes through with the loss of his brother and the role he had in it, but I also feel like he flip flops way too easily. One minute he's crying and self loathing, and the next he's good to go and fight. There were a few plot twists I didn't see coming, and it was a good reveal! The Raven caught me by surprise and it's been a while since a book has done that. It wasn't out of left field, either, there were clues there I misinterpreted. I wasn't surprised at who Red turned out to be, but I think as readers we weren't supposed to be. It felt more of a moment to show how impulsive and unobservant the main character was. I expected the betrayal at the very end, but I'm not mad about it. The clues where there and subtle, they weren't giant neon signs saying THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED like I've seen before. Overall it was a good read. It went by pretty quickly, despite what goodreads says I did read this in a day, so even the unejoyable parts don't seem like a waste of time. I'd probably recommend it to newer fantasy readers who want to dip their toes inn the fantasy genre, but don't want to commit to a brick of a book like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. There was a fair amount of action, and even the walking didn't feel boring to read. Continuing the series isn't a priority, but I wouldn't turn it down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Judi Easley

    Soul Render Soul Stones Book 1 T.L. Branson 408 pages, Apr 2018 Kindle, Paperback YA Fantasy ✭✭✭✭⭑ Provided The cover is striking, but not my style of artwork. I prefer art that is more flowing and mysterious for fantasy. This has the image of the main character, but he looks almost like he is in a suit for a sci-fi film. The story is complex and twisty enough to be entertaining and engaging. I’m quite looking forward to reading the next book. (At this writing, I already have read book 2, and it’s great! Soul Render Soul Stones Book 1 T.L. Branson 408 pages, Apr 2018 Kindle, Paperback YA Fantasy ✭✭✭✭⭑ Provided The cover is striking, but not my style of artwork. I prefer art that is more flowing and mysterious for fantasy. This has the image of the main character, but he looks almost like he is in a suit for a sci-fi film. The story is complex and twisty enough to be entertaining and engaging. I’m quite looking forward to reading the next book. (At this writing, I already have read book 2, and it’s great!) The characters are very well done and I was even able to keep track of whose body Will was in at any given time. The author is very good at bringing a character to life and fleshing them out in very few words. The pace was brisk and appropriate for the story while the tension was high, reaching its peak when Lotess calls for the letters to go out against the traitor queen. Will is the main character and one of three brothers set on getting justice. He was an excellent character. He never completely gave up, even when he saw his brothers executed and supposedly at his fault. He was plucky. He got up and got going again, facing each challenge with renewed courage and hope. Maya is the now-dead king’s daughter. She was sneaky and secretive initially with Will about wanting the Soul Shader so she could save her father and about being with and in charge of the Revenant. But her mother had been watching her from the stone where her soul had been stashed and she was proud of her daughter. So why did Lotess call her the traitor queen? Was she referring to Maya or her mother? Who will be queen now that the king is “dead” and the queen mother is back but in another body? Will it be the queen mother or the queen daughter? What body will Will stay in? Will he retain the power of the stone? Read Soul Shade for answers to these questions and more excitement in the Soul Stones series! Highly recommended for YA Fantasy readers. Soul Shade Book 2 release date October 11, 2018

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Hoeflich

    Wonderful magic, great concept, and a hell of a plot twist. Overall, I enjoyed reading Soul Render. I struggled with Will as a main character. He is reckless, stubborn, and his decisions didn't always make sense to me. (He's also a teenaged male, which could explain it) My favorite character ended up being the 'evil' king, who had strong, realistic motivations that I could understand. Not sure what that says about me, but there it is. The ending held a great twist, and it raised the stakes for th Wonderful magic, great concept, and a hell of a plot twist. Overall, I enjoyed reading Soul Render. I struggled with Will as a main character. He is reckless, stubborn, and his decisions didn't always make sense to me. (He's also a teenaged male, which could explain it) My favorite character ended up being the 'evil' king, who had strong, realistic motivations that I could understand. Not sure what that says about me, but there it is. The ending held a great twist, and it raised the stakes for the next book. Looking forward to reading more in this series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Brostek

    Interesting Fantasy! Overall I enjoyed reading this book. The story was well written and the author brought the characters to life. The story was full of action, magic, suspense, many twists and turns but no romance. I wish I’d read the prequels as some of the backstory was unclear. It does have a cliffhanger ending and I look forward to reading the next book. Enjoy! I received an ARC copy and am happy to leave my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rusty

    This story follows the lives of three brothers who are on a mission to steal a powerful, magical artifact known as a Soul Stone. The mission is successful in part as one of the brothers, Will, gets the stone and its powers. Unfortunately, it goes very wrong in that another brother is captured and executed while the third brother, Robert, barely escapes and is presumed dead by Will. The rest of the book finds Will trying to stay one step ahead of his enemies while learning about the powers that h This story follows the lives of three brothers who are on a mission to steal a powerful, magical artifact known as a Soul Stone. The mission is successful in part as one of the brothers, Will, gets the stone and its powers. Unfortunately, it goes very wrong in that another brother is captured and executed while the third brother, Robert, barely escapes and is presumed dead by Will. The rest of the book finds Will trying to stay one step ahead of his enemies while learning about the powers that he now possesses, all while trying to overcome the evil king. Meanwhile, Robert also continues on his own efforts to defeat the king. I was a little mixed with this book, but would say I overall liked it. First of all, I thought the pacing was pretty good. Specifically, I liked that Will didn’t immediately become a master at using the Stone but rather had to go through a lot of trial-and-error to learn how to use it. By the end of the book, he was still not an expert, but had certainly made progress. I think this came across as more plausible and left room for further growth as the series continues. I also was pleased in general with the characters in the story. For the most part, it felt like their motivations made sense, it felt like they were cautious when they should be, and they wrestled with the mental and emotional consequences of their actions. I also enjoyed some of the twists that revealed that some were not who they seemed to be. I was mixed on the idea of the Stones. I get that they are somewhat mysterious and not all of their history is known. Perhaps this will be further explored in the rest of the series, but I would have liked to see more of that in this one. (Maybe this is the hook to draw me into the rest of the series???) Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the audio book in return for my fair and honest review. Overall, this was a fun read with mostly likeable characters and a clear story. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Megan Hartley

    Go read this book! I read about it I wasn't so sure how I would feel. I like romance and swooning in my books, but everything in me told me I need to read these books. I mean look at the gorgeous cover. So when I won a copy in a facebook group I decided with an open mind that fate wanted me to read it. I was glad I did. While there isn't much for romance the book is great. Fun and adventurous and all around Good story. I love the idea of the story line and I did enjoy this book. Kudos to the aut Go read this book! I read about it I wasn't so sure how I would feel. I like romance and swooning in my books, but everything in me told me I need to read these books. I mean look at the gorgeous cover. So when I won a copy in a facebook group I decided with an open mind that fate wanted me to read it. I was glad I did. While there isn't much for romance the book is great. Fun and adventurous and all around Good story. I love the idea of the story line and I did enjoy this book. Kudos to the author. So if you like fun, action packed adventures, and a ton of fantasy then this needs to be the next on your TBR pile!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    This novel starts off with the very original idea about soul stones of which there seem to be quite a number and all are imbued with the different powers of the Gods they belong to. This is a sword and sorcery epic fantasy novel with so many twists and turns to it, it kept me reading all day long. The characters come in all shapes and sizes, some lovable and some detestable but all went to make the story interesting and they brought it to life. The Gods also play a big hand in the story and at t This novel starts off with the very original idea about soul stones of which there seem to be quite a number and all are imbued with the different powers of the Gods they belong to. This is a sword and sorcery epic fantasy novel with so many twists and turns to it, it kept me reading all day long. The characters come in all shapes and sizes, some lovable and some detestable but all went to make the story interesting and they brought it to life. The Gods also play a big hand in the story and at times it seemed as though the humans were just pawns to their game. All in all it was a very exciting read to the last line which incidentally is so shocking and such a cliff hanger but of course by now the reader must have gotten used to being shocked as this novel is full of unexpected twists to it. We get to read about the soul stones, soulfiends, barriers, magical forests and wondering woods. The King Alexander Drygo has turned into a fiend after the death of his beloved wife and his success at finding a soul stone, the Raven and the revenant want to get rid of him, so there is a rebellion brewing in the underworld but who is the raven and will they succeed in bringing him down? Will also has a soul stone and also wants to destroy Drygo, is he powerful enough to see this through? I really feel that this book has the potential of becoming one of the great fantasy sagas right up there with the very best and highly recommend it to all those fans of epic fantasy and sword and sorcery sagas of which this is just book 1.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex Campbell

    News Flash! Soul Render Is Spectacular! (Alright, I’m not affiliated with any news company but this book is pretty great!) I've said it since the release of his first short story, and continuously up to this point, a full length novel will truly show off what this guy can do and let me tell ya, T.L. Branson brought his A-Game for this one folks. It's a rocket driven roller coaster that is fueled by adrenaline and pure awesomeness! Very, very few writers can create such engaging and entertaining News Flash! Soul Render Is Spectacular! (Alright, I’m not affiliated with any news company but this book is pretty great!) I've said it since the release of his first short story, and continuously up to this point, a full length novel will truly show off what this guy can do and let me tell ya, T.L. Branson brought his A-Game for this one folks. It's a rocket driven roller coaster that is fueled by adrenaline and pure awesomeness! Very, very few writers can create such engaging and entertaining fight scenes and then have those same characters in those scenes feel completely three dimensional and like you are part of their lives and maybe even their friend. (Stop worrying about whether or not I have any 'real' friends.) Branson shows off his unique styling in this one with some fun kinds of magic and a main character that gets a bit lost, in more ways than one! If you have read his previous work then you know the deal, extremely well thought out characters and a well realized world to place them in make for a great foundation and the humor, action and crazy good storyline with multiple plots and twists use that foundation to great advantage! If you haven't read any of T.L. Branson's other stuff, start with Midnight Blade: A Soul Stones Story (Soul Stones Origins Book 1) No thanks necessary ;-) At the end of the day, this is one of my favorite reads and I will come back to it again and again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elda

    New characters and old ones When I first started reading this book I expected to read about the characters that were in the novellas but the beginning of this book introduced new characters. I was a little bewildered but as I read further and began to see the plot unfold, I became more interested. With all the different plot changes and new characters mixing in with some more familiar ones, the story became more intense. There were some WOW moments and so many surprises I gave up on trying to pre New characters and old ones When I first started reading this book I expected to read about the characters that were in the novellas but the beginning of this book introduced new characters. I was a little bewildered but as I read further and began to see the plot unfold, I became more interested. With all the different plot changes and new characters mixing in with some more familiar ones, the story became more intense. There were some WOW moments and so many surprises I gave up on trying to predict what might happen next. I was very satisfied with the ending albeit a slight cliffhanger but what series doesn’t have one? Or two? All in all I enjoyed reading this book and can highly recommend it to all epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    An action filled story of epic proportions. Take a trip with twisting and turning reminiscent of the best roller coasters ever ridden. From the very beginning, you will experience action-filled scenes of epic fighting that will keep you enthralled and turning the pages. Couple that with the plot that twists and turns the characters in ways that have you so seeing how will they ever make this plan work. Follow Will, Richard and Red as they work to succeed at their own inner plans and a foul King An action filled story of epic proportions. Take a trip with twisting and turning reminiscent of the best roller coasters ever ridden. From the very beginning, you will experience action-filled scenes of epic fighting that will keep you enthralled and turning the pages. Couple that with the plot that twists and turns the characters in ways that have you so seeing how will they ever make this plan work. Follow Will, Richard and Red as they work to succeed at their own inner plans and a foul King tries to kill the all.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Genelle Themann

    I'm not really sure how to describe this tale of magic, hatred, daring do, adventure, intrigue, gods and goddesses. Best way I know is to say that it's a mix of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and maybe some Lara Croft. It grabs you immediately with the death of one brother and the change in life of another. I am absolutely going to continue reading this series. I received an free ARC and I decided to post this review to entice other to give it a chance. You won't regret it. I'm not really sure how to describe this tale of magic, hatred, daring do, adventure, intrigue, gods and goddesses. Best way I know is to say that it's a mix of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and maybe some Lara Croft. It grabs you immediately with the death of one brother and the change in life of another. I am absolutely going to continue reading this series. I received an free ARC and I decided to post this review to entice other to give it a chance. You won't regret it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    R.J. Batla

    Great series opener! Great series opener! I loved the magic in the world, and the author does a great job keeping you engaged in the story, both during the action and during non action sequences. Will is fun and interesting to walk through the story in his point of view, and the story flows really well. Lots of action, adventure-a great fantasy read. I can’t wait to pick up the next one!

  16. 5 out of 5

    InD'tale Magazine

    A Young Adult fantasy adventure, “Soul Render” is the first of its series and uses multiple points of view to showcase the adventures of two brothers, one arrogant and angry, the other guilt-ridden, impatient, too quick to talk, and overly inclined to trust. Read full review in the 2019 February issue of InD'tale Magazine. A Young Adult fantasy adventure, “Soul Render” is the first of its series and uses multiple points of view to showcase the adventures of two brothers, one arrogant and angry, the other guilt-ridden, impatient, too quick to talk, and overly inclined to trust. Read full review in the 2019 February issue of InD'tale Magazine.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gay Harris

    Simple writing, unrealistic characters Plot and story are fine, but the simplistic writing leads to an oddly overcooked pace. Also, the character's responses to particular situations are not reasonable. (I have power and a voice to guide me, so I'm going to ignore that while my little brother is killed?) A few interesting twists, but not enough to save to book. Simple writing, unrealistic characters Plot and story are fine, but the simplistic writing leads to an oddly overcooked pace. Also, the character's responses to particular situations are not reasonable. (I have power and a voice to guide me, so I'm going to ignore that while my little brother is killed?) A few interesting twists, but not enough to save to book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karynn Campbell

    Great Little YA Novel that left me anxious to pick up the next installment of this trilogy! Branson has done a great job creating characters you can't help but root for as they learn new magic, meet ancient souls and take on a corrupted king. Will remids me so much of a boy I know who gets in his own way quite often despite wanting to do the right thing and be the hero. I enjoyed interactions between the characters and loved that, even though the main character was male, the story had several st Great Little YA Novel that left me anxious to pick up the next installment of this trilogy! Branson has done a great job creating characters you can't help but root for as they learn new magic, meet ancient souls and take on a corrupted king. Will remids me so much of a boy I know who gets in his own way quite often despite wanting to do the right thing and be the hero. I enjoyed interactions between the characters and loved that, even though the main character was male, the story had several strong, supporting females. The fight scenes were well orchestrated, but not overly graphic. I think this would be a great book to recommend as an addition to our middle school library.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Soma Bhattacharya

    This book by T L Branson has a great plot one that I love all too much. It was however not perfect, it could've been better, some parts felt little flat. But the elements of magic and soul stones was enjoyable. Will was a fun character to track and I personally liked his point of interpretations of the situations he had to face. The story was fun though I could appreciate little more romance but overall a nice read. This book by T L Branson has a great plot one that I love all too much. It was however not perfect, it could've been better, some parts felt little flat. But the elements of magic and soul stones was enjoyable. Will was a fun character to track and I personally liked his point of interpretations of the situations he had to face. The story was fun though I could appreciate little more romance but overall a nice read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erica Robyn Metcalf

    Review up soon! I can't wait for this book to launch! You're going to LOVE it!!! *Update* If you're a fan of brilliant fantasy novels with wonderful characters, a dash of humor, and a splash of brutal violence, you need to snag a copy of Soul Render by T.L. Branson today! One thing I will say right off is that I would definitely recommend checking out the short stories before reading Soul Render. It isn't necessary, but I thought that it was so fun to understand some of the things in this book on a Review up soon! I can't wait for this book to launch! You're going to LOVE it!!! *Update* If you're a fan of brilliant fantasy novels with wonderful characters, a dash of humor, and a splash of brutal violence, you need to snag a copy of Soul Render by T.L. Branson today! One thing I will say right off is that I would definitely recommend checking out the short stories before reading Soul Render. It isn't necessary, but I thought that it was so fun to understand some of the things in this book on a deeper level thanks to the shorts. To avoid spoiling any of the magic, I will keep this pretty high-level. Like I said above, I knew this book was going to be great based on how amazing the short stories were. T.L. Branson is such a talented writer. Everything about this book was perfect; the storyline, the organization of the transitions, the character development, the dialogue, the action sequences, the humor, the history of the stones, the heartbreak... It was all just so wonderfully written. The transitions were so smooth! For example, one scene ended with, "The throne room disappeared as his mind went back to that day." And then the next section picks up with, "Will was a little boy again" and then we dove into a memory that added another layer of emotion onto the current situation that the character found himself in. Transitions like this can be very tricky. Most of the time I feel like they are a bit too choppy or too cliched. But this one, as well a numerous others in the novel, were seamless. The whole storyline was organized so wonderfully. Even though there were various characters, the story flowed between them flawlessly. AND THE CHARACTERS. I was so excited to see a few people from the short stories make their appearances. I loved this crew so much. Even the "bad" characters. They were all just so interesting. I loved each of their personalities and quirks. I especially loved how clumsy Will was. The dialogue both between the various characters as well as their inner dialogues when available was all so realistic. The training process that Will and Evindal completed was very refreshing. Far too often in fantasy stories, the training is rushed and the characters jump into their powers much too quickly with easy perfection. This training sequence showed the struggles that Will had as well as the little details of the process. I was so happy to totally immerse myself in the Soul Stone world for the length of this novel, but I didn't want it to end! This is definitely a book that I will be re-reading again soon, and then probably again before book two launches! My favorite passages: Will gaped up at the high spires of the castle reaching to the stars. Will's fear grew tenfold. It had already jammed a foot in the door, through which despair flooded in, but as the king ran a finger down John's face and grabbed him by the chin, it kicked down the door and terror stalked in. Will was in the throne room, but also hundreds of miles away and a lifetime ago. His mind retreated deep within himself and dissociated from his body. Shaw blinked in wonder. How was this possible? How was any of it possible? "I know what you're thinking," the king said. By the gods, can he read minds, too? "And no, I can't read minds," the king said. He could have fooled Shaw. After ten more minutes, he found the bookshelf containing history titles. There was A History of Aralith, Drygo: Rise to Power - Unabridged, and War of the Gods, but nothing like Soul Stones: Everything You Need to Know or So You Found a Soul Stone, Now What? "And this here's Jade," Talon said, holding his hand toward the blonde. "She's our resident thief." "I prefer 'acquisitions manager,'" she said, crossing her arms. Any drunkard he ever knew had any inclination toward anything spiritual, unless the spirits were in the drink. "Pinky-swear it?" Red narrowed her eyes and said, "What are you, ten?" "Just do it." "Fine," she said throwing her hands in the air. Red placed her pinky in Will's and they shook. "I think it wants us to follow it," Red said. "That's ridiculous," Will said. "Who would follow a bird?" "Over here," Shaw shouted. "I can hear someone." Will looked at Red, eyes wide. "All right, we follow the bird." The man tried to stand, but as he got up on one knee Ocken separated his head from his shoulders. The gap between the stairs was widening as a rent in the ground opened up like the jaws of a soulfiend waiting to devour them. My final thoughts: This is a book that I cannot recommend enough. This is definitely an author that you'll want to keep an eye on! I cannot wait to see what T.L. Branson writes next. I'll certainly be here for it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Green

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As an avid fantasy reader, I cannot explain how much I truly enjoyed this book. It was like no other fantasy book I have ever read before but it sure did give me everything I was looking for and more! - Beware there are some spoilers in this post. Writing as an honest review I loved the Authors style of writing. I loved the MC, Will, as he showed real and true emotion as to what someone would feel being in his shoes in a world like that but he was also resilient, strong and my favorite he always As an avid fantasy reader, I cannot explain how much I truly enjoyed this book. It was like no other fantasy book I have ever read before but it sure did give me everything I was looking for and more! - Beware there are some spoilers in this post. Writing as an honest review I loved the Authors style of writing. I loved the MC, Will, as he showed real and true emotion as to what someone would feel being in his shoes in a world like that but he was also resilient, strong and my favorite he always cracked jokes that were absolutely hilarious and relatable. However, the biggest thing I missed out on and wish I had was more descriptions of the characters. I could quite grasped what they looked like which kind of left me a little bummed. While I don’t definitely don’t mind using my imagination (I had the cover for will so I imagined him as that the entire time) when his body died and he Soul shifted to Victor I don’t ever recall his features being described. I loved that we got the feel of how the previous owner either didn’t shower, barely ate and etc but the first person Will shifted was a perfect description of the old man, Sebastian, he inhabited. But after that I as like.... so.... what’s Victor look like? Haha! This is the main reason I’d give it 4 stars because I, personally, would enjoy just a bit more detail on the characters and what they really look like besides look or color of hair and eyes. Even with Robert I don’t have the faintest idea of what he looked like. I think little details like this can make a book even more grander because for me personally it makes me more attracted to the characters and helps view the world I’m creating in my mind more. That’s just me though! Also, I would have enjoyed a bit more world building as well on the cities mainly. While the temple I felt was described really awesome it was still kind of hard to SEE it in my mind. I loves the different point of views of the several characters throughout the book as well. There was so much action, so many twists and turns. I loved the intricacy of the magic by the stones and the gods attached to them. Literally! Final comment, if you’re looking for action, thrill, rebellions, secrecy, magic and beautiful writing and story telling then this is definitely the book you’ll want to read. It truly was amazing and completely captivated me that I couldn’t even put it down!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Myriam

    This was for me six stars. This was, without a doubt, the most exciting book I have ever read! I don't ever remember experiencing a roller coaster of emotions on such an epic scale. The author does not let a reader come up for breath, the book is so incredibly intense. This is a non-stop action packed adventure full of interesting characters, original ideas, epic battles, love, loss, friendship and betrayal. Too much happens to be described in just a few words, every page is full of new developmen This was for me six stars. This was, without a doubt, the most exciting book I have ever read! I don't ever remember experiencing a roller coaster of emotions on such an epic scale. The author does not let a reader come up for breath, the book is so incredibly intense. This is a non-stop action packed adventure full of interesting characters, original ideas, epic battles, love, loss, friendship and betrayal. Too much happens to be described in just a few words, every page is full of new developments and every word counts. The author has done an amazing job in developing the characters and building the world. Although not lavish in his descriptions, the author managed to present a three-dimensional vivid world full of realistic three-dimensional characters. The book is incredibly well written in the same style as the origin stories, and towards the end of the book, the author beautifully brings the reader to the beginning, and all the puzzles fall into place. As I mentioned before, the author does not practice use of cliches in order to placate the reader but instead follows the plausible realistic approach that might seem harsh at times, but improves on the reading experience. Will is the new character and the main protagonist of the story, although there is an array of new and already familiar wonderful characters, Maya Riley, Ocken, Drygo, Robert, Jade and several others. Will's love, selflessness and determination have won me right away, and although he was not infallible and did make many mistakes, I could not help but cheer for him from beginning to the end.  This was an amazing book, and although mostly resolved towards the end, the author leaves an opening for a continuation, and I cannot wait to read the next book. It is important to read the stories in order, for the better understanding of the plot and the characters: Midnight Blade, Kingsbane, Ash and Steel, or Soul Siphon set, which apart from the first three, includes Sentinels of the Stone, the fourth prequel novella. The first two books of the series have been announced Soul Render (Soul Stones, #1) and Soul Shade (Soul Stones, #2).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra MADEUP BookBlog

    Wow! For a Debut novel this is astoundingly good! Very small issues with the storyline, and for myself they were so minor as to hardly notice. Overall, very well written and very unpredictable! This was a story that was action filled from start to very end, with so many twists and turns, and I didn’t see them coming!! Having seen that the end was “a shocking cliff-hanger” i was waiting to be able to guess it. Nope. Not even CLOSE! I thoroughly enjoyed how the story continuously changed, in unpredi Wow! For a Debut novel this is astoundingly good! Very small issues with the storyline, and for myself they were so minor as to hardly notice. Overall, very well written and very unpredictable! This was a story that was action filled from start to very end, with so many twists and turns, and I didn’t see them coming!! Having seen that the end was “a shocking cliff-hanger” i was waiting to be able to guess it. Nope. Not even CLOSE! I thoroughly enjoyed how the story continuously changed, in unpredictable but fun ways. The idea of the soul stones was very well done, and I loved it! Magic is a large part of the story, but i really liked how each use had a consequence, and not always small! The fight and action scenes had me desperately trying to read faster and faster to find out what was coming, and not matter how fast I read i needed faster. I love that! The story had me on the edge of my seat “shush”ing anyone who interrupted because I couldn’t look away until I saw an end to a scene! I rarely like to stop mid chapter, but in this case, I couldn’t make myself do it! The main people, Will, Richard and Red, were very individual and different characters, and all the characters in the story were varied, some i really REALLY hated, others I loved. Sometimes i wanted to throw things at characters, and sometimes they made me grin. Branson has a talent for making people swap between emotions quickly with the ever changing plotline that seems designed to make the reader say “WHAT?!” I did occasionally feel that the dialogue didn’t flow brilliantly, but it didn’t mar my experience at all, and am sure is something the Author will improve with!! Overall, great Debut! I can’t wait to see what shocks there will be in book 2!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Reid

    Soul Render by T.J. Branson begins knee deep in action. The classic hero is created pretty immediately when main protagonist, Will, quickly loses most of his family. By chapter four, the reader is introduced to a world of magic, gods, and peril with plenty to keep the reader guessing and turning pages. The point of view changes happen on an as needed basis to tell the entire story, and Branson’s transitions happen smoothly. He also makes artful use of imagery to describe the sheer essences of em Soul Render by T.J. Branson begins knee deep in action. The classic hero is created pretty immediately when main protagonist, Will, quickly loses most of his family. By chapter four, the reader is introduced to a world of magic, gods, and peril with plenty to keep the reader guessing and turning pages. The point of view changes happen on an as needed basis to tell the entire story, and Branson’s transitions happen smoothly. He also makes artful use of imagery to describe the sheer essences of emotion and break down cognitive function, like Will puzzling himself out of his latest scandal, throughout the entire story. As Will’s personal perils unfold, so does a political background that adds another level of intensity. There are a few times between chapters four and twelve where the story seems to be losing cohesion, but the reader is certainly rewarded by chapter eighteen, when the various plots of the book begin to fall into place. The Soul Render does lose a star for this temporary lapse, an example of which is a prophecy that Will happens upon in his adventures that was supposed to reference ten gods and soul stones but only references eight, but the entire book is worth the read. Especially for the clever twist at about 60%. All in all, T.J. Branson’s Soul Render should be revered alongside some of the more modern classics like Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief, though readers should be warned that it’s sometimes more gruesome, and Will Sumner’s story has a solid four stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    throneofreaders

    Real Rating 3.8 stars From the very first chapters, I was greeted with action scenes! I did not know that this has different point of views, so at first, I was confused but everything is fine once you get the hang of it! Will's p.o.v was my fave, by the way. I also liked the fact that he has room for growth with his abilities! He did train, he got confused, he always discovers and learn something new along the way. The building of the story was great and the plot twists are everywhere! Seriously! Real Rating 3.8 stars From the very first chapters, I was greeted with action scenes! I did not know that this has different point of views, so at first, I was confused but everything is fine once you get the hang of it! Will's p.o.v was my fave, by the way. I also liked the fact that he has room for growth with his abilities! He did train, he got confused, he always discovers and learn something new along the way. The building of the story was great and the plot twists are everywhere! Seriously! Some, I did anticipate, others I did not see coming! One thing - I'm tired of reading about rebels v.s. the kingdom/king/ruler, but turns out - there's more to the story than just rebels having an uprising against the ruler. I was really intrigued by the story of the stones and the gods, and how will the author play it out in the next installments! What were their backstories? History? How did it came to this situation? It's so intriguing! The writing style was not complex and I like it, the only thing I can say is, the word "said" is so repetitive. Overall, I had a great time reading this and imagining how the world and magic look like. P.S. I was kinda having hints that something is fishy about THOSE TWO characters but I did not see that ending coming and I love how it turns out, it's so evil it's good HAHAHAHHA. cool. cool. cool.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katinka

    Will Sumner and his two brothers are attempting to sneak into the King’s castle. They have hated the king for years and are now out for revenge for the wrongs committed against their family. They seek to steal the soul stone from the king to use against him. Will manages to find the stone and though he is not certain how, it seems to have bonded with him. The power of the stone is now his, though he must learn how to master that power on his own. Like Will, his younger brother John is captured, t Will Sumner and his two brothers are attempting to sneak into the King’s castle. They have hated the king for years and are now out for revenge for the wrongs committed against their family. They seek to steal the soul stone from the king to use against him. Will manages to find the stone and though he is not certain how, it seems to have bonded with him. The power of the stone is now his, though he must learn how to master that power on his own. Like Will, his younger brother John is captured, though their other brother Robert manages to avoid detection and escape. Will and John are taken to the capital where after being questioned, they are publicly executed… at least that is what seems to happen. By managing to use the soul stone’s power, Will’s soul finds its way into someone else’s body, thereby saving his life. His brother, however, was not so lucky. Now Will must escape from the capital and find a way to evade the king and his guards while also finding a way to learn about his new powers. This was an enjoyable fantasy novel and held my attention throughout a story that had a number of interesting subplots going on. I did run across a some typos in the book, but not too many overall, and they didn’t truly distract from the story being told. I found this to be an interesting tale and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I believe that others will enjoy it as well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie BwaBwa

    I’ll admit. It’s not all epic fantasy I’m a fan of, mainly because I’m the basic girl who not only loves fire-breathing dragons, magic, and a ton of fighting, but I’m a sucker for cheesy romance. Though Soul Render didn’t have that romance I was hoping for, and it was through multiple POV’s which can sometimes be difficult to follow for me (AKA hence my dislike of Six of Crows)... despite my qualms, I LOVED Soul Render!! It’s one of those, the antagonist is the MC and he’s STUPID corrupt y’all. Bu I’ll admit. It’s not all epic fantasy I’m a fan of, mainly because I’m the basic girl who not only loves fire-breathing dragons, magic, and a ton of fighting, but I’m a sucker for cheesy romance. Though Soul Render didn’t have that romance I was hoping for, and it was through multiple POV’s which can sometimes be difficult to follow for me (AKA hence my dislike of Six of Crows)... despite my qualms, I LOVED Soul Render!! It’s one of those, the antagonist is the MC and he’s STUPID corrupt y’all. But it’s because he harnesses the power of the god of death. Soul Render was an intense journey of sword fighting, old friendships being renewed, ancient plots still being fulfilled, the trickery of the gods, the naïveté of those willing to do whatever it takes for justice because they’ve lost so much, and so. much. more! It was such an awesome read. I really felt like I could root for the characters, and I kept turning the page because not only I needed answers, I needed to know if they would win!! I’ve been following the stories since the Kingsbane short story so I’m pretty invested. I highly recommend this novel. It's great for fans of Sarah J. Maas, JK Rowling, and JRR Tolkien. (But more swords than dragons.)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angel Haze

    An epic adventure for fans of Brandon Sanderson, Sarah J. Maas, Lindsay Buroker, and JT Williams! It is fast-paced, full of action, dark magic, shadows, and surprises! A helluva debut! T.L. Branson is a strong writer and a fantastic world builder! I love the concept of the stones and the magic they wield. His characters are well fleshed out and make you want to root for them (or against them because some are the kind you love to hate!) I particularly loved Drygo (whose character was amazingly we An epic adventure for fans of Brandon Sanderson, Sarah J. Maas, Lindsay Buroker, and JT Williams! It is fast-paced, full of action, dark magic, shadows, and surprises! A helluva debut! T.L. Branson is a strong writer and a fantastic world builder! I love the concept of the stones and the magic they wield. His characters are well fleshed out and make you want to root for them (or against them because some are the kind you love to hate!) I particularly loved Drygo (whose character was amazingly well done in the prequels!) and a couple new characters: Will and Red. Will is learning to use his newfound abilities while Red is like a version of Celaena Sardothian from Maas's Throne of Glass from the attitude to her skills. There were some jaw dropping moments and heart pounding scenes that kept me up well into the night! I've read all the short prequels leading up to this one . . . but this! This surpasses them all!! If you like epic fantasy, this is a definite must-read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Griffin

    A young man steals a magic gem which holds the power of a god, and sets out to overthrow the evil king. The gods, for reasons, have put a portion of their powers into a collection of magical gems. The evil king is using one and has found another. Three brothers, the heroes of this tale, set out to steal this new gem from him. Naturally one of them gets the gem and the magic powers that go with it. Adventure ensues. So that’s all a bit clicheed, but this is actually pretty good. The story is engagi A young man steals a magic gem which holds the power of a god, and sets out to overthrow the evil king. The gods, for reasons, have put a portion of their powers into a collection of magical gems. The evil king is using one and has found another. Three brothers, the heroes of this tale, set out to steal this new gem from him. Naturally one of them gets the gem and the magic powers that go with it. Adventure ensues. So that’s all a bit clicheed, but this is actually pretty good. The story is engaging and very readable, and the powers wielded by the protagonist give him some morally tricky decisions to navigate. The start of the story I found a bit lumpy: the setting description is confusing. Otherwise, the editing is good, with few obvious errors. While this is clearly the start of a series, it’s a complete story which works standalone. And while it’s tending to the young adult, there’s no romance to speak of, though the potential is set up for the follow-ons.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Exceptional read. I didn't think I'd like this book but I fell in love with the characters and the story so quickly, I found myself desperate for more when it ended. This story is based in old times. When horses were used for travel and people worked hard or died. Where kings and Princesses fought wars for reasons the mere minions could not comprehend. One of the main characters, Will Sumner deals with a lot of loss but he is strong and he will survive. There are many characters intertwined with Exceptional read. I didn't think I'd like this book but I fell in love with the characters and the story so quickly, I found myself desperate for more when it ended. This story is based in old times. When horses were used for travel and people worked hard or died. Where kings and Princesses fought wars for reasons the mere minions could not comprehend. One of the main characters, Will Sumner deals with a lot of loss but he is strong and he will survive. There are many characters intertwined with important parts to play. Told from many perspectives. I cannot say much without giving away some of the good stuff so I'll just say there is Blood, awesome fight sequences, paranormal, magic and even a bit of romance in this story. Awesome read and cannot wait for the next installment. After this story, I read Soul Siphon. I found it back-filled about the characters and brought the whole story full circle. Really really can't wait for the next book, SOUL SHADE out October 11th, 2018

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