Soul Shade (Soul Stones Book 2)

Young Adult

FANTASY:  Queen Maya Drygo, assuming the throne after her father is murdered, must somehow quell the anarchy threatening to pull the kingdom down around her, stop an invading army of elves, and discover who is at the heart of the assassination attempt against her. With the power she can draw from the goddess Merva, Maya sets out to prove she is more than her father’s daughter, a queen in her own right and Arilith’s rightful heir.

“Soul Shade” begins where the first book ends, the assassination of King Alexander Drygo. From the first page to the last, T.L Branson weaves an epic story filled with heroic quests, inglorious villains with god-like powers, and mighty damsels who need no saving. It may be helpful to read the first book in the series. Mr. Branson assumes the reader is familiar with the other characters and their respective roles. While back stories do come to light, for example Will’s relationship to Khate and Khate’s relationship to Riley, the connections come at some cost to the overarching story flow. There are times when character dialogue slips into the mundane, and modern colloquialisms are infused dissolving the illusion of a mythical world filled with demi-gods and demons. And while some of the reactions of the main characters seem pre-fabricated, there is enough freshness in their evolution as the story unfolds to over-look that flaw.

T.L Branson delivers twists and turns, with epic battles, gorgeous tragedies and gives us a brilliantly designed new mythology any fan of magic will devour.  He craftily bates the hook, leaving his readers wanting more.

Kimberly Gunvaldson