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Ash and Steel

(Soul Stones #0.3)

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  70 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B075BLQ4BQ

An inferno is about to be unleashed.

Alexander Drygo, king of Sunbury, is reeling from the loss of his wife. Despite his best efforts using an incredible power, she is no longer among the living.

When a rival kingdom seeks to take advantage of this delicate time in Drygo’s life, he is thrust into a battle for the future
...more
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  70 reviews


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Start your review of Ash and Steel (Soul Stones, #0.3)
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
Soul Siphon is a very short story meant to give a feel of TL Branson upcoming trilogy Soul Render.

I was given the opportunity to review by the author himself.

It will be very difficult not to spoil anything given the short lenght of the story so I'll focus on my thoughts and feelings instead of the plot.

What did I think of it?

- first that I loved the writing. It fits the storry and the setting perfectly. It's "kingly" or "knightly" and lovers of either historical novels or fans of Tolkien will re
...more
Len Evans Jr
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Each of these short stories just keep getting better and better. One more to go "Sentinals of the Stone" and then I am on to the first full-length novel in the series "Soul Render" "Ash and Steel" was by far the shortest of these stories, while there was not much character development it was packed full of action. It was a fun and totally enjoyable read! ...more
Emma Scott
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a short novella or story, my angle on how I read it changes. I don't expect a full boat of...anything, really. I'm content to wait until the story unfolds in a larger book setting. Nevertheless, I was impressed at the world-building and intrigue in this one. And the magic system was just awesome. Very unique. I don't even care that not every detail is explained 100% straight off the bat, in fact I prefer it. The author didn't toss us into a sea of strange magical rules *cough Sanderson cough* ...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Soul Siphon is a short story that leads into T.L. Branson's debut YA Fantasy series, Soul Stones, which is set to release its first installment in 2018.

It follows King Drygo of Sunbury, grieving over the recent loss of his wife, as he responds to a vicious attack by the neighboring province of Havan.

If there's anything I am a sucker for, it's a cool magic system. From this story, I gather it will focus on soul manipulation which certainly grabs my attention. I'd be curi
...more
angela
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great beginning

This was a short taste of what's to come. It sounds like it'll be really good. There was action, magic, a quest and loss. I look forward to more.
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Carien
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This being a short story (24 pages), it's a quick read.

I must say I really enjoyed it. It's a kind of intro to the series, leading up to the events of book one - Soul Render.

With this being a short story there's little time for character and world building, but Branson did manage to give me a clear view of the world with just a bare minimum of world building. There are quite a few fight scenes in this short story and those were well crafted. It's easy to get bored or confused during fight scenes
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Erica Robyn Metcalf
Soul Siphon by T.L. Branson is a short story that is inspired by the world and characters of the upcoming release of the first book in the Soul Stones series, Soul Render.

While short, this story is action packed and very well written! I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more releases from this author!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.

First of all... how interesting is that cover?
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 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
ASH AND STEEL by T. L. Branson

I really enjoyed this tremendously fast-paced fantasy short story, and I'm eager to delve into the upcoming series. Any time I like fantasy, pay heed; it's not my general genre. This story was non-stop suspense, heightened emotions, and I really liked the magical element. The respectful tension between Drago and his Master of Arms, Callum, and between Drago and the Lord Commander, and Drago and his enemy king, are super cool. Then there was the denouement--do good!
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Amy
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was a great read! short but full of promise with fantastic writing! it keeps you hooked from start to finish! I look forward to reading the next book to find out what will happen next!
Angel Haze
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya-fantasy
This short story was amazing--probably the best short story I've ever read!! Its vivid scenes were packed with action that grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go! It was so well written, I had a hard time believing that this was the author's first story! I was given a copy of Soul Siphon in exchange for an honest review and I can tell you that T.L. Branson shows a lot of promise! I cannot wait for the second short story, Callum, and his debut novel, Soul Render!

Watch for the name T.L.
...more
Judi Easley
My Disclaimer:

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it’s about…

Midnight Blade is the story of Davion Callum’s mission to Sunbury as an assassin for King Rommel and how he became the sworn follower of his target, Prince Alexander Drygo.



Soul Siphon is the story of King Rommel of Havan’s attack on Sunbury and King Alexander’s
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Seregil of Rhiminee
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Soul Siphon is a short story, which is inspired by the world and characters of T. L. Branson’s upcoming novel, Soul Render. It serves as an introduction to the world of the Soul Stones fantasy series.

This story tells about Alexander Selenius Drygo, king of Sunbury, who has - despite using an incredible power - lost his wife. While he is trying to cope with his grief, a rival kingdom of Havan is trying to take advantage of the situation and he finds himself ba
...more
Victoria Moschou
Soul Siphon is a very short story, written by T. L. Branson, who was kind enough to send me an ARC, and for that I am extremely grateful! It is meant to introduce the readers to the upcoming Soul Stones series, that will be released in 2018.

The story begins with the grieving king, mourning for the loss of his wife, while at the same time, he has to defend his kingdom from his enemies.

As much as I enjoyed the quite vivid and beautiful description, at times I felt like the plot was unfolding a bit
...more
The Addicted Bibliophile
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

My Thoughts on…...

Characters ★★★★

Drygo, King of Sunbury, from even the beginning you see the struggle and the heartbreak at the loss of his Queen. his wife. But almost in the same moments you see him pull through it only to save his kingdom he ruled over. My only problem is I still feel like I don't know him, I understand more about why the diamond was so important but I don't feel close to the characters like I usually do. Maybe in the first
...more
K. J. Harrowick
Real score: 3.5 stars

Why I picked up this book:

Recently I was sent an email with a ton of free books to choose from and download. I was so excited I loaded up my kindle. With Ash and Steel, I was immediately drawn by the fact that the main character was closer to middle age and already married. This story is a novella length introduction into the Soul Stones series, a perfect quick read for anyone who is up for a rainy afternoon sword fight.

What I loved:

I love that Drago’s character is both kin
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Jessica Macaulay
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At just 5000 words anyone, and I mean anyone, has the time to fit this story into their reading schedule. Not only are we offered an in depth look into the character traits of Alexander Drygo, there is so much world building and plot foreshadowing that I was left immediately checking the release dates on the upcoming novel.

What stood out the most however, was the unique magic system that seems to seems to form the backbone of the narrative. The concept of soul manipulation is one that I have alw
...more
Myriam
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tl-branson
This story continues immediately after Kingsbane and should not be read before Kingsbane. It is much shorter than the other because it only covers events of several days. The focus shifts back to Drygo and Callum as they defend themselves from King Rommel of Havan, again. As any great strategist, Rommel is once again using a moment of weakness for his never-ending advances.
Fortunately, Drygo's grief becomes anger and in that sense productive tool for defence of his Kingdom. Callum remains by his
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Desiree reilly
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE AUTHOR T. L.BRANSON GAVE ME COPY OF THE NOVELLA WHICH IS A SHORT STORY
OF THE KING WHO FIGHT FOR THERE LAND AND FOR THERE PEOPLE

I ENJOYED THE BOOK AND IT START OFF WITH KIN DRYGO WIFE DYED OF ILLNESS AND HE HAD THE FUNERAL FOR HER BUT WHAT HE HAD WAS A DIAMOND AND IT MEANT A LOT TO HIM IT WAS HIS WIFE SOUL.

WELL WHAT HAPPENING IS THE KING IS MIDDLE OF BATTLE AND THEN IT WITH THE KIND OF SANBURYS HIS MEN TOOK THE PRINCESS AND SOME WOMEN OF THE TOWN AND GOT THEM OUT IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO T
...more
tammy
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literally, one of the best short stories I've read this year!

I received a free copy of Soul Siphon for my honest review. Soul Siphon is a short story for T.L. Branson’s upcoming novel, that is set to be released on September 29, 2017. The story follows Drygo, the king of Sunbury who lost his wife and despite having to grief he also has to lead his kingdom against their rival’s.

When I first started this I didn’t know what to expect from this book, I didn’t know whether I would enjoy the book or
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Leigh Holland
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soul Siphon (A Soul Stones Story) by T. L. Branson, 23 pages, September 29th 2017, Genre: Kindle Short Reads/Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.

Review by Leigh Holland.

    I love a good short read, something I can finish by the time I’m done with lunch. I finished this read in about 15 minutes. The story is an excellent start to the series. King Drygo is practically a god, but no matter how much power he may possess, he couldn’t save his wife. Torn apart emotionally, the Ki
...more
Desiree reilly
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE AUTHOR T. L.BRANSON GAVE ME COPY OF THE NOVELLA WHICH IS A SHORT STORY
OF THE KING WHO FIGHT FOR THERE LAND AND FOR THERE PEOPLE

I ENJOYED THE BOOK AND IT START OFF WITH KIN DRYGO WIFE DYED OF ILLNESS AND HE HAD THE FUNERAL FOR HER BUT WHAT HE HAD WAS A DIAMOND AND IT MEANT A LOT TO HIM IT WAS HIS WIFE SOUL.

WELL WHAT HAPPENING IS THE KING IS MIDDLE OF BATTLE AND THEN IT WITH THE KIND OF SANBURYS HIS MEN TOOK THE PRINCESS AND SOME WOMEN OF THE TOWN AND GOT THEM OUT IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO T
...more
The Tour
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexa K.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually loved this. The 3 things I disliked are just my own issues. I actually really enjoyed this read, like, a lot. I never thought I would say this about historical fiction, even though it's fantasy, but I would definitely read the whole sequel that will come out in 2018. I'm giving this short story ★★★★★.
I recommend this short story to everyone who likes historical fiction, YA fantasy and fantasy in general. I mean, if I liked it, then that says a lot.

I would like to thank T.L. Branson fo
...more
Rick Ellrod
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A prequel short story is designed to whet the appetite for the longer tale it precedes. T.L. Brandon’s Soul Siphon sets up a promising quest for the novel to come, Soul Render.

King Drygo is twice grieved: his wife has died, and his city is burning. But neither situation is quite what it seems—nor is the king. He marshals unsuspected resources to turn the tide toward a partial victory. The true triumph, however, will require a mysterious stone called the Soul Render. As a good prequel should, thi
...more
Gayreth Walden
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Wow"!

I loved this short story! As I was reading I knew it was going to end soon and I didn't want it to. It starts out with a bang and doesn't stop. A royal battle between King Drygo and the neighboring kingdom. So much action then Magic. It was so exciting! This story introduces the Soul Stone trilogy and thank goodness the first book, Render, will be out in the spring. I am very anxious to read it. I never give a 5 star rating to short stories, but I am making an exception for this one. It wi
...more
Jolyn
Very well written story introduction

This is a very well written story that introduces the characters and the world well.

I am not going to read more of the story when it becomes available because the magic system bothers me (sucking the life force out of people is troubling to me particularly when it is used as a method to kill) but if you are not bothered by this or the system doesn't strike you that way, you will probably really enjoy the story.

Sex - none
Language - none
Violence - the story is
...more
OldBird
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, e-books, freebie
A nice enough short scene or two as part of a setup to a larger world. The writing is competant and coherant without the scattering of spelling/grammatical errors usually associated with self publishing. I did have a few issues: some repetition, particularly of "the king" just in case we weren't sure who was taking action/having action taken against; and the fighting didn't feel quite as fluid as some I've read - but I stress these are personal preference things.

I would rate it higher, but it be
...more
J.L. Smith
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The author T.L. Branson shared his work with me and I was intrigued enough to make a purchase and check this out for myself.

First off, this was a short story meant to introduce the Soul Render Trilogy. I enjoyed the writing style as well as the mix of the YA genre along with fantasy and elements of historical fiction.

In his effort to introduce the reader to the trilogy, he doesn’t overdo the explanations of what is what. You get just enough character development to make you want to know more. I
...more
Steppen Sawicki
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this story for an honest review. I'm giving this five stars because I hate war stories (heck I don't even read fantasy), yet the battles in this story kept my attention. The characters were interesting, there was plenty of action that was easy to read, and the reasons for the battles were clear and understandable. The ending leaves off with a hint at much more left to tell in the story, promised in future novels, and the concept is interesting. Overall, well-written and ...more
Rickie
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The blurb for this storyline was definitely correct as it seemed to actually pull just enough to catch you hook, line, and sinker. Though the odds of coming out on the winning end Drygo and some of his trusted me turned the tables. The news to the King of Haven were sorely miscommunicated. The kicker is the black diamond as it holds the key for Drygo. You'll have to read as I hate imparting spoilers, and Branson is a new author for me. Worth your while to pick up a copy and get your feet wet for ...more
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T.L. Branson is the author of the Soul Stones series. Branson started writing when he was eighteen and has contributed articles to several blogs and websites over the years. Soul Render is his debut novel in a planned trilogy. He finds his inspiration from the kings (and queen) of story, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George Lucas, and J.K. Rowling. Born in Pennsylvania, he currently lives in Califor ...more

Other books in the series

Soul Stones (5 books)
  • Midnight Blade (Soul Stones, #0.1)
  • Kingsbane (Soul Stones, #0.2)
  • Soul Render (Soul Stones, #1)
  • Soul Shade (Soul Stones, #2)

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