Review: Paladin Unbound (Archives of Evelium #1) by Jeff Speight

MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5

Format: kindle Whispersync


Indies Today 2021 Best Fantasy Award Winner The last of a dying breed, a holy warrior must rise up against a growing darkness in Evelium. The most unlikely of heroes, a lowly itinerant mercenary, Umhra the Peacebreaker is shunned by society for his mongrel half-Orc blood. Desperate to find work for himself and his band of fighters, Umhra agrees to help solve a rash of mysterious disappearances, but uncovers a larger, more insidious plot to overthrow the natural order of Evelium in the process. As Umhra journeys into the depths of Telsidor’s Keep to search for the missing, he confronts an ancient evil and, after suffering a great loss, turns to the god he disavowed for help. Compelled to save the kingdom he loves, can he defeat the enemy while protecting his true identity, or must he risk everything?


The audiobook was released on November 22nd, and I was reminded by the author that it was ready. So I immediately jumped into it, and I’m glad I did! I also wish I had given it a shot before the audio was released as well. Adam Blanford does a great job with his character voices as well as separating the narrator voice to deliver a solid performance, one character I liked solely because of the Scottish accent used!

This Sword and sorcery, epic fantasy is the start of Archives of Evelium series, this makes me happy because after reading this, I definitely want more stories! Paladin Unbound is a really good fast paced story with lots of well written action, violence, gore and a bunch of great fleshed out, diverse characters. A really fantastic read and as someone that has never played D&D, this really makes me wish I had!

An orc as the protagonist? Well, half-orc… I love it! Orcs are almost always the bad guy, so I love that the author flipped the script and gave us Uhmra, who being a half-orc has to deal with discrimination while also being a warrior, the last of his kind, destined to save the world must deal with a deadly cult that is trying to resurrect their demon god! The author also does a tremendous job with his world building, as I read all I wanted to do was be in these places myself… which is probably why I wish I had started playing D&D long ago. But, I picked up reading at 32 (36 now) maybe it’s not too late to pick up D&D!

UPDATE 12/1/21: I had an issue with the map quality in the eBook, because of this, the author has provided a better, zoomable map on his website at for anyone that likes to follow along like I do.

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