Paladin Unbound (The Archives of Evelium #1), by Jeffrey Speight - A review by Charles Cavendish

The Book

Paladin Unbound
Series: The Archives of Evelium
Pages: 324
Age Group: Adult
Published on 7/1/2021
Publisher: Self-Published
Classic Fantasy
Available on:


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 people, 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?

My Review (5 out of 5 )

When I first started getting into indie books, one of the first books I kept hearing about was Paladin Unbound by Jeff Speight. I’m only sorry it took me this long to get around to reading it.

I’m reliably informed that Paladin Unbound is very much in the vein of a classic Dungeons & Dragons adventure, I don’t have a D&D background or a great deal of knowledge in that area but that in no way diminished my enjoyment of the story. The story has a fast pace and it kept me engaged throughout. Without giving any spoilers the way, the direction of the book changed was a key aspect of why I enjoyed it so much.

This is in many respects a classic fantasy adventure, with our band of heroes facing a number of sidequests en route to the major quest at the end of the book. I read that some readers found these distracting from the overall quest but for me I really enjoyed them. It was a chance to see a little more of the world of Evelium and to see the team in action.

Jeff has created a raft of characters both our band of heroes and also the villains and nefarious creatures they encounter, and you get the feeling these are only a taste of what the world of Evelium has to offer. We learn a little of the main characters' back stories but I’m hoping more will be revealed in subsequent books (maybe even some prequels?). Thankfully the second book in the series (Mystic Reborn) was recently published, so we can pick it up soon.

If you are ready for an extremely fun and engaging story, then please do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Paladin Unbound.

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About the reviewer


Hey I’m Charlie!

I’m old enough to have seen the original Star Wars trilogy at the cinema (let's leave it at that). I currently live in Sydney (Australia) with my wife, three teenage children, and two pugs. I have spent about half my life in the UK and the balance in Australia so tend to have a strong English sense of humour.

I’ve always loved books and reading but stumbled into the world of indie authors/self-publishing after making the “brave” leap onto Twitter in 2022. This proved to be a revelation and I have been getting involved in the community ever since, with my main focus being on indie SFF books.

I’m keen to help promote indie authors and so thought I’d try my hand at writing a few reviews, its very much a work in progress!

Outside of reading and the book community, I love running, my pugs, and my family (not in that order).

The Author/s

Jeffrey Speight

Jeffrey Speight

Jeffrey Speight’s love of fantasy goes back to an early childhood viewing of the cartoon version of The Hobbit, when he first met an unsuspecting halfling that would change Middle Earth forever. Finding his own adventuring party in middle school, Jeff became an avid Dungeons & Dragons player and found a passion for world-building and character creation. 

While he went on to a successful career as an investor, stories grew in his mind until he could no longer keep them inside. So began his passion for writing. Today, he lives in Connecticut with his wife, three boys (his current adventuring party), three dogs, and a bearded dragon. He has a firmly held belief that elves are cool, but half-orcs are cooler. While he once preferred rangers, he nearly always plays a paladin at the gaming table.