Midnight Blade and Soul Siphon
A Soul Stone's Story
T. L. Branson
Self-Pub, Dec & Sep 2017
Kindle, 72, 23Pages
Also available in paperback
Genre(s) Fantasy
Source Author

Other books in this series 

Kingsbane (short), Soul Render (novel) neither is available yet

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 King Rommel of Havan's attack on Sunbury and King Alexander's defense using his army and his magic. This happens just as his wife has been sick and to save her he has transferred her soul into a black diamond. Now he needs the Soul Render to save her.

I understand that Kingsbane actually occurs between these two. Soul Render the novel follows after all of these.
Technical Tidbits...  
The cover of Midnight Blade looked very contemporary and just not right to go with the story.

The cover of Soul Siphon was actually perfect for that book since it was all about the attack by the Havan army.

The storyline in each was okay. I thought the one in Soul Siphon felt a bit like an introduction to a series, like a prequel. Midnight Blade felt like it should be part of a novel. Yes, it does stand alone, but it really could be part of a novel easily. And yet, Midnight Blade is the earlier one.


The characters are relatively shallow. Even Davion Callum, the primary character in Midnight Blade, is fairly shallow. We know what he did and said, but we really don't know much about him, what he feels, until the end when he swears his loyalty to the prince.


The pace was fast in both books. There was no time for sitting around flirting with pretty girls, though they tried.


The tension was right there from the beginning and stayed with you all the way to the end. It didn't taper off either. It kept you on your toes to the point that you were ready for the next book right away.


The writing quality is very good. I think the author should stop writing short stories about the novel and just get on with the novel.


And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰


Enough short stories, sit down and write the book already. There comes a time when you just have to do it. Now might be a good time to do it with a third prequel due out shortly. You just might run out of story before you get to the novel.

I like to have juicy, three-dimensional characters. These characters are short of juice and dimension. We just don't know enough about them, about their lives. They need personalities, quirks. So far they are all sort of flat, a little like paper dolls. The search for his parents had been going on his whole life, and yet Callum really didn't react much when his suspicions about Rommel as his father were confirmed by the Prince. At least when the black diamond was taken from King Alexander, he reacted with a frantic response. They really need to show more emotion, more response to things that happen or are said. Princess Chelsea seems to be the only one free with her emotions whether it's rebelling against her father or weeping on Davion's shoulder.

I understand that Kingsbane will explain a bit more of the magic system that the King uses in Soul Siphon. I had thought at first that it seemed random. The King used it to drain a soul from one person. Another time he used it to bolster the courage of his personal guard by pouring his magic into them. Another time he helped one of the guard shoot further in the same way. I understand that it is a kind of tether between the magic user and the other person that acts as a conduit and that the magic can make the soul or life force go either way, to or from the magic user. So, I guess, explained in that way, it isn't random. The magic user determines who he interacts with and which way the magic flows. I'm curious about the origin of the magic and how Alexander ended up with it. And if anyone else has it.

Did Davion and Chelsea end up together? Is the wife Alexander is so worried about in the black diamond Evangeline? Does he get her out and does he save her? Why did Sunbury think that King Rommel was dead? Prove to me that you haven't run out of story and that this is just the beginning.

Recommended.

849 wc