Paladins were at one time a feared holy warrior in Evelium. Trained by the church and dedicated to the gods, they protected the world from evil. However, their power was so great it scared the rulers of their day and the church was forbidden from training any more Paladins.
Hundred of years later the mercenary, Umhra the Peacebreaker, a half-Orc with a big secret, finds himself and his crew taking on the unlikeliest of commissions. Little do they know what trouble they are going to find themselves in by accepting this once in a lifetime job.
Ultimately Umhra is sucked into a journey that makes him confront his past, return to his god, and look to save the future of the world. A world filled with beautiful magic, horrifying monsters, and the unlikeliest band of heroes the world has ever seen.
I need to begin by saying thank you to Jeffrey Speight for offering to send me a copy of his wonderful book to read and review. I’m honored he considered me worthy! Not to mention the amazing, additional surprise that came with the book that you can see in the picture below. Thanks Jeff! (Also, just look at that cover!)
Paladin Unbound, for me, had a unique prose that I found enjoyable and fun to read. A clear influence on the flow of the story, which he mentions multiple times in his acknowledgments section, being DnD, which I found fascinating since I have yet to play DnD even though I’m a huge board game guy! There are clear types of characters such as half-orcs, mages, and bishops, not to mention the amazing creatures and monsters that these characters find themselves confronting along the way.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was that the MC Umhra was a half-orc, which are kind of outcasts of society in this world. My only complaint about this is that we don’t get to see this impact his story more than just a few minor inconveniences! However, the theme that anyone can be a hero is certainly a large part of the story overall. Umhra specifically has qualities such as bravery, loyalty, faithfulness, self-control, and leadership, even with the hindrance that the world puts on him because of his race.
Jeff does a great job taking the reader through a clear story that is interesting and exciting. I won’t give away what types of baddies the heroes meet along the way but each provide action packed fight scenes that read like a movie sequence. They were great!
The only complaints I have, and this might be my ignorance of this style of book, are that, first, I felt like the scenes were a little short and sometimes lacked depth since the story is in a very simple third person style and we miss out on the internal character development that I always enjoy in other books. Of course there is character development, but you have to see it in their actions after the change has already happened in most cases. I say this as a warning in case you are after something more character driven rather than story driven. Second, while there were plenty of fight scenes, there was not a lot of conflict other than that. There were several instances where I was expecting something to happen but instead the characters just talked about it and they were sent on their way. Not that this was bad. It just left me a little wanting if that makes sense.
Overall I found Paladin Unbound an exciting action adventure that merges a lot of fun tropes into a well crafted story in an intriguing new world. I look forward to seeing what Speight does next! (Hopefully a book 2 wink wink)
You can check out the authors website here: https://www.jeffreyspeight.com/