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Devlin's Luck (Sword of Change, #1)
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Devlin's Luck

(Sword of Change #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,360 ratings  ·  54 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.

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Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Spectra Books
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,360 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 30, 2013 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
Aug 20, 2008 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 &
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A great thing about having a Half-Price Books close by is their random and changing selection of $1 books. It's a lot easier to take a chance on an author you've never heard of when you're only out $1. Same is true of the old Kindle books when they hit the various sweet spots on sale.

Devlin's Luck is a solid fantasy book for someone just starting the genre. It uses a small cast, small kingdom, and easy missions to get the reader involved. If you're looking for 'popcorn' reading, Devlin's Luck ha
Heather Rohrer
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-2018-reads
Devlin’s Luck was a compelling fantasy book to read. The characters were well done, the plot was great, and the kingdom was built well by the author. Devlin’s personality was unique. He has strong sense of honor but is full of guilt from the tragic events of him so he is often warring with himself. I appreciated Stephen because he became a great friend to Devlin and his loyalty was absolute. I enjoyed the entirety of the novel and will definitely read the next in the series.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, but I will round up to 4.

I guess I was in the right mood for this book - the unlikely hero plot who ends up encouraging those around him and helping to save the kingdom, though not intentionally setting out to do so. Typical background of hero having tragedy and darkness in his past.
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 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 01, 2008 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
Feb 19, 2009 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
Mar 25, 2009 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 rated it it was ok
Shelves: of, sword, change, fantasy
Another fantasy in one of those politically correct fantasy universes without gender discrimination.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
In a complete turnaround, I loved this trilogy of hers. Go figure.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The series kind of petered out, but this was a pretty good soldier swordman type of book.
David Phipps
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own, reread
The is the start of a fantasy trilogy focusing on a man named Devlin Stonehand with a troubled past who has a death wish and volunteers to become the Chosen One. The Chosen One is sort of a fantasy sheriff who is under a magical geas to protect the kingdom. Most Chosen Ones die quickly so now only desperate men seek that post. I really like the idea behind the post of the Chosen One and how the geas can be a horrible thing. Devlin is a bit of a Marty Stu who seems to be good at too many things b ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not quite sure why I decided, on a whim, to give this a try, but it wasn't bad, as long as you're okay with reading the PoV of a protagonist who has a death wish.
I'll have to check reviews on the next book(s) [again], though, because I vaguely recall thinking I was likelier to enjoy the first than the rest of the series.

MMPB read from the library.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant!!

This was my first read by Patricia Bray and I could not put this book down. The characters are complex and the story, woven around a young man who has experienced a devastating tragedy, is filled to the brim with personal loss, courage and the discovery of unexpected hope. And, of course, loads of political intrigue!
Patrick Smith
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Salve for What Ails You

I gave thus story 5 stars because it has been a fantastic companion while I am convalescing from health issues. Honestly, with books like this, being laid up for a few days isn't too bad.
Cheree Alsop
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book for anyone looking for a great adventure, a strong hero who is also vulnerable and understandable, and a task larger than life with ripples that will impact the future of the kingdom. I greatly enjoyed this and will definitely be buying the next book!
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, magic
Highly enjoyable! I was able to connect to the charaters where I didn't want to stop reading. I will continue on with the rest of the series.
Matthew Murphy
Feb 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Bought it since it was $1.99 on B&N. Kinda wish I had my money back now.
Dec 18, 2014 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
Lindsey Duncan
Feb 04, 2010 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
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is a book I’ve read before, but diving back into old reads is a guarantee that there’s something enjoyable in the next few pages and sometimes you find new things to love about old favourites.

Patricia Bray has been one of the authors I’ll find myself circling back to, along with a handful of others. This time I decided to chain her trilogy Sword of Change one after another, starting with Devlin’s Luck.

Most of the time I have a bit of trouble with older fantasy books. There are some moments
Jun 23, 2013 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
Jess Mahler
Sep 09, 2013 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
Jan 11, 2011 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
Oct 03, 2013 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
Oct 22, 2008 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
Fantasy Literature
Mar 31, 2012 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
This book was great because it wasn’t phenomenal. Devlin’s Luck is what I would describe as a ‘quiet’ read, because it wasn’t explosive, it wasn’t epic, but it was still worthwhile. Devlin is our tragic hero, a man who has lost everything and wants nothing more than to die. But he can’t. He decides to apply for the position of Chosen One solely to win the gold to send back to his sister-in-law’s family. Surprising everyone, including Devlin, the gods accept him as the next Chosen One, and he beg ...more
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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

Other books in the series

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