• Colorado Book Review

Paladin Unbound: An Archives of Evelium Tale by Jeffrey Speight

3.5 stars

Umhra the Peacebreaker and his mercenary crew are hired by Lord Morrow to track down the source behind a recent spate of kidnappings in the city of Anaris. It seems like a simple enough job until one of their own goes missing too. Searching for their lost brother-in-arms leads the group to stumble upon a most sinister plot by the Brotherhood of the Resurrection. The Brotherhood’s sole, centuries-old, covert purpose has been to free Naur, the God of Fire, from his prison in the bowels of Pragarus so that he may become the chaotic ruler of Tyveriel and beyond.

And how does one release a god from a hellish confinement, you ask?

The blood of twelve thousand humans will do nicely, thank you.

When Umhra comes to understand the immense and horrific consequences of the brotherhood’s plan, he knows he can no longer hide what he truly is. For it is only a paladin—a warrior of the gods, whose training has been banned for centuries—that can hope to save them all.

Paladin Unbound is brimming with fantastical creatures, other-worldly species, and gods that are as full of personality as are Ares and Aphrodite in Greek mythology. All of them lend vibrancy and complexion to the familiar hero’s tale. Every worthy hero needs a quest to undertake, and Umhra is no exception. Although his journey is long, daunting, and full of hardships, he does not travel the path alone. Author Jeffrey Speight smartly surrounds his main protagonist with a gang of interesting secondary characters, some of which could carry a story in their own right (I’m looking at both of you, Shadow and Nicholas). At the core of it all, the moral of Paladin Unbound is: You can only truly achieve greatness when you become who you are supposed to be. You choosing to embrace and exalt in your full power will certainly have far-reaching consequences. Who knows? You might even save the world.

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