Paladin Unbound by Jeffrey Speight | Book Review
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Sacrifices are being made to bring back the power of a God. But if his power sweeps across Evelium, evil will coat the land and death will surely follow. When Umhra and his companions take on a quest to find those who have gone missing, they will uncover a host of horrors. But it is only the beginning for Umhra. He must embrace powers he has suppressed and hidden in order to stand against the growing tide of evil.
Umhra's character has so many conflicting angles. His personality truly shows how being different can cause someone to fold into themselves and keep away from the general populace. While he isn’t the most self-confident character, he certainly makes up for it in his willingness to help his companions. As readers become immersed in the story, they’ll be able to see how honorable and kind-hearted Umhra is and the internal struggle he fights every step of the way.
The beginning of Paladin Unbound builds up Umhra’s unease with his orc heritage. His band of fellows has all seen the disgust people share for those of their kind. And yet as they journey into town for a job, they encounter very little conflict over who they are. There are a few brief moments where people admit their disgust at orcs, but these encounters do not allow the tension to build. As much as Umhra does not want to cause a scene, I would have liked to feel more emotion and unease brought into these scenes to really make them stand out.
Jeffrey Speight is a master at developing settings. Each time the characters entered a new area special attention was taken to highlight even the smallest of details. Readers will feel as if they are right alongside the characters taking in each moment. There is also a wealth of information given to the histories of the world and the character’s backgrounds. Although I do wish the information were broken down into smaller chunks, it allows readers a full view of each character.
I recommend this for readers who enjoy dialogue driven stories. Emphasis is made on the adventuring side of this tale and the bonds between characters. This does make the story slower in pace, but no less entertaining. And if you are a fan of Dungeons and Dragons you will feel as if you are embarking on a new campaign.
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