Tuesday Reviews – Ash and Steel by T. L. Branson

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.

Ash and Steel (Soul Stones #0.3)

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 of his kingdom.

Can he save his people where he could not save his queen?

   

What I loved:

I love that Drago’s character is both king and warrior. He gets things done, and doesn’t hesitate to put himself in the line of danger to protect his kingdom.

One of the most interesting aspects of this story was the black diamond and what it really holds locked between its facets. I would have loved to understand the depth of this from the beginning as it would have made a stronger impact on why Drago was so determined to get it back.

Areas needing a touch of refinement:

I would have loved to feel more of an emotional connection to this story. Even as a novella, it was missing the emotional depth to really hook me to the main character. I think this ties back to the true nature of the soul stone.

Once the king and his army got to Havan, the rest of the story was rushed. Some world building details brush stroked here and there would have really helped grounded me into the finalé and smoothed out the pacing.

Overall:

This was a fun read and never got boring. I finished it quick and found it interesting, but I’m not sure it was enough to hook me into the series. I’ve added the first in the series to my ‘to be read’ pile, but I’m not in any hurry to get around to it. Maybe when summer gets too hot and I need some darkness in my life. 🙂


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