Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Devlin's Luck (Sword of Change, #1)” as Want to Read:
Devlin's Luck (Sword of Change, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Devlin's Luck (Sword of Change #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,107 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The once mighty kingdom of Jorsk is in decline, its borders beset by enemies, both worldly and otherworldly. The king has retreated to the capital, abandoning the far-flung provinces. The only hope of the people lies in their Chosen One, blessed by the gods as defender of the realm. But of late every Chosen One has died, targeted by the harshest of the enemy attacks.
Paperback, 405 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Spectra Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Devlin's Luck, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Devlin's Luck

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
An entertaining fantasy (3.5 stars) about a tortured man (much of it self inflicted) who takes up a position for the sake of paying a debt that only he, with his strict code of honor, really sees as his own. The position with the kingdom had been reduced to a joke, but he tries to turn it back into a position of high honor.

The self-inflicted torture does NOT continue at the levels of Thomas Covenant, although it starts there. He's hurt bad at the start, but regains his balance as the book &
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 02, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I made a tactical error here...I read the second book before I reviewed the first. I'll try to keep that straight for as you'll see if you read my review of the second book, I'm not as thrilled with it.

BUT...that said this is an excellent read. It's not deep, intricate story telling that will change your life. It is a good "yarn" with well formed if not deep characters who stand out enough not to get lost (at least the protagonist and the main supporting characters). You get action inside the fr
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 Kat Hooper rated it it was ok
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

2.5 stars

Devlin is a tortured soul who wants to die, so he becomes the country's Chosen One because it pays a fortune (which he sends to his brother's widow) and he's sure to be killed soon. Sounds exciting, but don't bother putting on your blood pressure cuff because it wasn't.

Devlin's sure he's going to die during the initiation ceremony (boring), but, unfortunately, he doesn't. And so we accompany him on his journeys which read more like a book report t
Dec 03, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy and military readers looking for a good new author
It's always a risk in reading a series by an unknown author, especially with so much junk out there. So it is always a good note when you take a plunge and buy a whole book series and come out of the first book hungry for seconds. This book, by relatively new author Patricia Bray, is a fine piece of fantasy work. It creates a new world, in which we enter via the kingdom of Jorsk, where there is an interesting role of Chosen One. Our protagonist, Devlin, has arrived in Kingsholm to "apply" for th ...more
Dec 18, 2014 Aelvana rated it really liked it
The post of Chosen One has lost all respect in the kingdom of Jorsk, to the point where the kingdom has posted a reward for anyone brave---or stupid---enough to try to fill it. But when the Chosen's One lifespan is measured in weeks, few volunteer. Devlin, a man with nothing to lose, takes the post fully anticipating the trend will continue. Hoping it will. The death he seeks eludes him time and time again, and people are starting to realize they may have gotten an actual hero out of the deal af ...more
Feb 19, 2009 Liviu rated it it was amazing

Been in a mood for a page turner, I tried various books and none held my attention until this one.

Nothing special in plot, setting, character, but the book has energy and I stayed way too late to finish it. Book 2 is next and I am curious to see if will still hold my interest.

Similar to the better known and more recent Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series by K. Miller, but I liked this one much better
Aug 01, 2011 Roxanne rated it really liked it
Recommended to Roxanne by: Mike Carcel
This book was a pleasant surprise. Based on the cover, I wasn't expecting a well-written story with complex characters. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy, and hanging on to some high hopes for it to live up to the potential of this first book.
Dec 28, 2010 Simeonberesford rated it it was ok
Shelves: of, sword, change, fantasy
Another fantasy in one of those politically correct fantasy universes without gender discrimination.
Dec 27, 2015 Mikayla rated it really liked it
This book has been sitting on my shelf since about 2008. I finally picked it up over this last weekend for a road trip. It was a really good book. It wasn't anything amazing or mind blowing but it was an enjoyable read.

Devlin was a bit annoying at points with his rather emo personality. He spends the entire book blaming himself for something that was clearly in no way his fault. Maybe we will find out something more about it in later books that makes his attitude more obvious but at this point
Feb 05, 2010 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The series kind of petered out, but this was a pretty good soldier swordman type of book.
Aug 05, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
In a complete turnaround, I loved this trilogy of hers. Go figure.
T K Gilb
Aug 19, 2014 T K Gilb rated it liked it
Good fantasy novel that actually rates more like a 3.5 or even 3.75. Nice to read a sword & sorcery tale that doesn't depend on a cast of thousands to move the story forward. Devlin of Duncaer is an intriguing main character--a tortured soul scarred by tragedy who becomes defender of the realm. But I have a fondness for tragic heroes, especially when they're driven by a strong sense of honor. Dream sequence featuring the attack of the banecats was especially poignant. Had to finish the novel ...more
Oct 02, 2014 pauliree rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2014
Another reread. I don't know whether I just don't like what is being published in fantasy nowadays or I'm just too poor to buy too many new books, but I have been finding myself rereading a lot of my old books lately. This one, the first in a trilogy of course, is one that I find surprising isn't more known than it is. It is an underrated series about an underrated hero who just wants to die. That he doesn't is a continual surprise to himself and a continual burr in the plans of the traitors try ...more
Jan 11, 2011 Ithlilian rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Devlin's Luck is a good novel overall. I appreciate the author's ability to make a well contained, concise, interesting story without bogging the reader down the histories, overlong descriptions, and multiple viewpoints. The novel centers around Devlin a metalsmith from an outlying village come to the kingdom to pay a debt. Unfortunately, that debt is paid by pledging his life to serve the whims of the kingdom. He becomes the kingdom's champion and is put under a spell that forces him to obey or ...more
Karen Desmond
Nov 02, 2011 Karen Desmond rated it really liked it
Lindsey Duncan
Feb 14, 2010 Lindsey Duncan rated it liked it
Shelves: just-fantasy
Devlin's Luck is a solid, enjoyable fantasy novel - nothing particularly unique, but a good read set in a believable fantasy world. You do see the grit (in the "dirt" sense, not the "modern angst" sense) that would be realistic for the period in a way many other fantasy novels miss.

I understood those people who found the book hard to read. The prose is ponderous and workmanlike - it serves its purpose, but there are few flourishes and the emotional pitch remains fairly steady ... but to me, part
Jess Mahler
Sep 20, 2013 Jess Mahler rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The book looks like it should be classic sword and sorcery of the Conan variety - and it does hit a lot of the key tropes - barbarian warrior who wanders into civilization after the death of his family and ends up saving everyone, secretive evil sorcerer, brave but clueless sidekick...

But somewhere it takes a left turn. In fact, it takes a left turn almost immediately, because Devlin is not your classic sword and sorcery hero. He was a farmer and a blacksmith. And he doesn't want fame or glory o
Fantasy Literature
Dec 14, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it it was ok
Devlin is a tortured soul. He wants to die, so he becomes his country's Chosen One because it pays a fortune (which he can send to his brother's widow) and it's certainly deadly.

Sounds exciting, but don't bother putting on your blood pressure cuff, because it wasn't.

Devlin's sure he's going to die during the initiation ceremony (actually, it was me who nearly died of boredom), but, unfortunately, he doesn't. And so we accompany him on his journeys which read more like a book report than an adven
Mark D
Oct 03, 2013 Mark D rated it really liked it
Decent read - really I'm giving it a 3.5 but more high then low...

Devlin was an interesting character, we know very little of his past and I liked how it was expanded upon as you read. Kept you interested and the end - that final fight...Epic.

The magic system was a little different from other books as well, didn't really get to much depth on that..maybe in the next few books. The whole Geas/bond to the Kingdom thing - cool idea.

I'm not a fan of calling the Kingdom's "Champion" the Chosen One. An
Sep 25, 2015 Brenda rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was pretty average epic fantasy, with nothing that really stood out to recommend it above the other epic fantasies that are out there. I guess if you'd already read through all the really good fantasy, you might eventually make your way here. It's not bad, it's just not particularly groundbreaking or even very memorable.

With that out of the way, I mostly enjoyed reading this. Although I thought the first half was slow, it really picked up in the second half. It got good enough that I will c
Fredrick Danysh
Dec 04, 2014 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
After losing his family in an attack on his farm by banecats. He travels to the capital of the empire to become the Chosen one, the dispenser of justice and champion of the kingdom. But someone in the court wants him dead. He is sent on quests by a magic spell cast on him at his choosing ceremony to protect the kingdom. This was a good read that was hard to put down.
Apr 06, 2015 T J rated it really liked it
Devlin has only one choice and is to become the Chosen One. Everything he knew and loved have been taken from him and he has a big debt to pay. Being the Chosen One is not what he thinks and there are alot of surprise in store for him as it quest is asked of him. Great book with great characters and story line.
Sep 25, 2014 Francesco rated it liked it
Shelves: _eng, _reviewed, fantasy
Vote: 3,50
Class: L-A3 (FP)

(first book of a Trilogy)

I've found this book to by a surprising good one; maybe sometimes not very original but well told and with good characters.

The world (3,25) is a classic fantasy world (medieval setting). Not very original.

The characters (3,75) are great ones and I hope they will grow more in the next books. Simple but convincing.

The story (3,50) too is not really original; however it's well told and intriguing: let see how it's going to led us in the sequel.
The kingdom of Jorsk is headed downhill, beset by enemies, the king has abandoned the farther provinces. They need a chapion, the Chosen One, blessed by the gods, defender of the realm. But lately every Chosen One has quickly died, targeted by enemy attacks. The job is now seen as a suicide mission. Devlin Stonehand is suicidal, but he needs to provide for his brother’s widow and children, and the post of Chosen One pays well plus has a substantial death bonus.

But the Gods are messing with the p
I was looking for some light and fluffy airplane reading when I spotted Devlin's Luck on the $1 table at the local charity bookshop, and it seemed like it might fit the bill. It did, and pretty admirably. I like the middle-aged protagonist, the "Chosen One" being an official position (with a uniform and everything), and the focus on friendship between characters rather than romance. If you're looking to fill a few hours with a basic secondary-world fantasy in which Good is Good and Evil is Evil ...more
Jul 09, 2016 Sierra rated it liked it
I wish goodreads did half stars. This would have been a 2.5. I found the protagonist completely cliche and predictable.
Text Addict
Mar 05, 2015 Text Addict rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sff2015_f
I'd like it better if the character development and theme weren't quite so heavy-handed.
May 01, 2015 Lilly rated it it was ok
Show don't tell show don't tell show don't tell show don't tell
Jan 20, 2016 David rated it really liked it
Descent book, nice world building.
Jori Richardson
Mar 21, 2013 Jori Richardson rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
I read this fantasy book by chance, sitting in an office with nothing else available.
No one wants the job of being the Chosen One, because those chosen are known for getting killed so quickly. Devlin, a man who has tragically lost everything he cares about, signs up in hopes that his life will be ended with honor as opposed to committing suicide. However, the magical sword he carries senses his motives, and miraculously keeps him alive because of it. Forced to continue living, Devlin begins to a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Covenants (Borderlands, #1)
  • The Prince of Shadow (Seven Brothers, #1)
  • The Skewed Throne (Throne of Amenkor, #1)
  • Song of the Beast
  • The Seer King (The Seer King Trilogy, #1)
  • The Gilded Chain (The King's Blades, #1)
  • The Sword (The Sword, the Ring, and the Chalice, #1)
  • The Sorcerer's Torment (The Sorcerer's Path, #2)
  • A Hero Born (Realms of Chaos, #1)
  • The Glasswrights' Journeyman (Glasswright, #3)
  • The Eye of Night
  • The Questing Game (Firestaff series, #2)
  • Victor Deus (Heritage of the Blood, #1)
  • Children of Amarid (Lon Tobyn Chronicle #1)
  • Dragon Bones (Hurog, #1)
Patricia Bray is the author of a dozen novels, including Devlin’s Luck, which won the 2003 Compton Crook Award for the best first novel in the field of science fiction or fantasy. A multi-genre author whose career spans both epic fantasy and Regency romance, her books have been translated into Russian, German, Portuguese and Hebrew. Patricia Bray has also spent time on the editorial side of the bu ...more
More about Patricia Bray...

Other Books in the Series

Sword of Change (3 books)
  • Devlin's Honor (Sword of Change, #2)
  • Devlin's Justice (Sword of Change, #3)

Share This Book