Soul Render by TL Branson

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.

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