Friday, September 26, 2008

Devlin's Honor (The Sword of Change: Book 2) By Patricia Bray

A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Patricia Bray

Devlin's Honor (The Sword of Change: Book 2) By Patricia Bray Genre: Fantasy Series, Sword and Sorcery, Hero, Adult
ISBN: 0553584766
Publisher: Spectra (June 3, 2003)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
The seasons turn and Devlin's heroic deeds are all but forgotten. The King's council is once again becoming jealous of Devlin's influence over the King so they devise a plan. Rumors are started that Devlin can't possibly be the Chosen One without the Sword of Light, the traditional sword carried by previous Chosen Ones' up until 50 years previous when it was lost during the conquest of Devlin's homeland. To accomplish this mission Devlin must return to the place where he is reviled as both Kinslayer and Kinbereft, a trip he is not looking forward to, but once again the geas gives him no choice. But first he must make it there alive, something that, considering how many hidden enemies he has, is by no means certain. Assassins, dark sorcery and harsh travel conditions dog his path but Devlin knows that if he is to have any hope of saving his adopted kingdom, he must prevail.

This book is aptly named. Never has honor been better portrayed then in the characterization of Devlin the Chosen One. His boon companions come a close second but even they can't always come to grips with Devlin's unwavering resolve to do the honorable thing, even if it hurts him deeply. Despite the growing suspicion that the Gods have manipulated his life, up to and including the engineering of his family's death, Devlin stays true to his oaths. What a hero!

With only his aid Lieutenant Didrik and his friend Lord Stephen, Devlin sets out to reclaim the sword and face the demons of his past. In the country of his birth he must not only face the members of his family who cast him out and the friends who turned their backs on him but now he is considered a traitor, General of the armies that massacred their people and now rule their land. Devlin must make some hard decisions, face some difficult challenges but he will also discover some pleasant surprises along the way. As with book one, I enjoyed every minute of this story. I even found the worldbuilding of Duncaer fascinating as Patricia Bray crafts a country full of traditions, customs and politics that I very much enjoyed learning about. Drama, adventure, honor, friendship, politics, dark sorcery, characters that grow and develop, mystery and suspense, all of my favorite fantasy elements combined in one great story.

There are fewer battle scenes, again, no romance except maybe a hint of one later in the story that is given very little focus, minor language, but this is a story written about adults. While the characters do develop in maturity, especially Stephen, it is not a story dealing with typical teenage issues or featuring teenage characters so it is not considered to be a YA book. However, there isn't anything here that prevents it from being read by teenagers either, they are just not the target audience. Personally I think the examples of honor, friendship, loyalty and the determination to keep one's promises regardless of personal cost are lessons that can benefit any age. Besides that its a good story. Patricia Bray's parents were Irish storytellers and her writing reflects that. This lady sure can tell a tale!

Now on to book three. I'm eager to see if the story continues to satisfy as well as it has so far. I'm really surprised by the wide range of ratings on this book but maybe the lack of romance, lesser degrees of both sword and sorcery and increase in world and character building put some readers off. You'll just have to judge for yourself, you already know how much I liked it!

Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari 4.0/5

Librarything Rating 3.40/5

Amazon Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
(31 customer reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Devlin's Honor: Book 2 of The Sword of Change

Ebook: Fictionwise

Buy Book: B&N - Powells

Amazon: US Canada UK

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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