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Fortune's Pawn (Paradox Book 1) Paperback

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Fortune's Pawn (Paradox Book 1) + Honor's Knight (Paradox) + Heaven's Queen (Paradox Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Series: Paradox (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316221112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316221115
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ambitious career mercenary Devi Morris, believing her advancement stalled in the prestigious Blackbird company, accepts a security position on the notorious trade ship Glorious Fool, a ship so prone to interesting times that one year served there counts as five years served anywhere else. Devi discovers a diverse crew of aliens and humans under a demanding master, and a ship full of secrets worth killing to protect. Swarms of alien slavers and predator-infested derelict ships lost in the depths of space are dangerous enough, but can Devi survive the Glorious Fool herself? All of space opera&'s conventions make appearances, including violent aliens, mysterious powers, high-tech weaponry, powered armor, sympathetic mercenaries, and feudal societies. What Bach fails to demonstrate is much ability to blend her stock set pieces into a coherent whole or put a new spin on familiar clichés. (Nov.)


"This book kicked ass... I JUST LOVED IT!"—Felicia Day

"Rachel Bach's Fortune's Pawn is based on a fascinating premise and launches what looks to be a superb military science fiction series."—Eric Flint

"Rollicking space opera starring a tough, sexy, armor-clad space chick...Lots of fun."—Kirkus

"Bach makes her SF debut with this series launch that introduces a strong female heroine whose mind is mostly on her career -- and her high-tech suit of armor -- yet who finds herself inexplicably drawn into a relationship that could damage her life and her honor. Fans of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series and David Weber's Honor Harrington novels should enjoy starting another potentially long-running SF military saga.—Library Journal

"Bach's space opera is a fantastic, action-packed and accessible exploration of deep space. Devi is hands down one of the best sci-fi heroines I've read in a long time...Fans of Douglas Adams, Scalzi and Fforde will absolutely devour Fortune's Pawn."—RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)

More About the Author

Rachel Bach grew up wanting to be an author and a super villain. Unfortunately, super villainy proved surprisingly difficult to break into, so she stuck to writing and everything worked out great. She currently lives in Athens, GA with her perpetual energy toddler, extremely understanding husband, overflowing library, and obese wiener dog. You can find out more about Rachel and all her books at

Rachel also writes fantasy under the name Rachel Aaron. Learn more about her first series, The Legend of Eli Monpress, and read sample chapters for yourself at!

*Official Paradox Series Reading Order!*

Devi Morris's adventures were written as a trilogy and must be read in order to make any sense! Here is the official book order:


Thank you, and I hope you enjoy Devi's adventures!

Customer Reviews

Well written and enjoyable story.
Bryan Angone
The book wonderfully mixes action with romantic elements along with the Sci-fi aspect of the story.
M. Wanchoo
The ending also left me a little bit unsatisfied.
Eric Christensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Wanchoo VINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
ANALYSIS: This was another awesome book from the mind that gave us the wonderful Legend Of Eli Monpress series. Rachel had mentioned this book in her previous interview with Fantasy Book Critic last year and after finishing it, I think can be best summed up as "Kate Daniels in space with armor". The author builds up an interesting universe that I'm sure will be explored in the sequel books. What this book is simply awesome and here's what it's about.

Deviana "Devi" Morris is a mercenary very much in the Kate Daniels mold, that is tough, extremely competent, headstrong & packing a lot more power than is apparent. Devi is a person who does things her own way, be it her personal or professional lives. Her aim is to be the best at her job so she can attract enough attention and commendations to be called to join the Devastator unit which serves the king directly. She is a citizen of Paradox which is ruled by a god-king. Democracy is heretical to them and violence is second nature. She is unapologetic and extremely focused on becoming a part of the Devastators [Royal Paradoxian unit] that gets to play by her own rules. Her path to becoming a devastator however goes through a year of guard duty on the Glorious Fool.

The Glorious Fool has a high mortality rate for its crew as well as the mercenaries that protect it. This ship's captain Brian Caldswell has a worse reputation than his ship when it comes to dangerous missions however his worth and ideals are admired throughout interstellar space. Devi will learn that the captain plays his own game and his crew is even more shrouded in ambiguity. The story then focuses on Devi and the journey she will take as a security team member of the Glorious Fool.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Taryntoo on December 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was ready to hate this in the first 25 pages, because of Devi's obliviousness to the Glorious Fool's obvious real purposes, the constant weapons porn, the macho posturing, and the lazy science. But I found myself reading on, and liking Devi, and her crewmates, and intrigued by the plot foreshadowing, even as I grew further annoyed with truly lazy science and really overblown adolescent crushing. But the end I was pulled in by the engaging plot, and banged through this book in a few hours, left wishing for more.

I'd like Rachel Bach's work a lot more if she eased up on the space opera elements and tedious battle scenes to focus on the interesting universe and plot elements she's developing. Bach has a lot of great ideas, and I think her work would be far better if she didn't cater so hard to a weapons and space piracy fixated audience. OTOH, I suppose that's a much larger audience than those who like their SF with more thinking and less blasting.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By fiction_fridaynirvana_com on November 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Now, I’ve read sci-fi with a female protagonist before. Still, apart from Catherine of T.C.McCarthy’s Exogene (and she’s a genetically modified war machine, so not quite the same thing) I haven’t read a character quite like Devi’s. There are many sci-fi books with adrenalin-loving, gun-toting heroes but almost no sci-fi novels of any heft featuring a female equivalent. So Devi is kinda unique. She’s super aggressive, in-your-face, loves a good fight and names her guns (Sasha and Mia) and her Paradoxian armored suit (the Lady Gray) like they were her babies. She talks a big game but has the substance to back it up. And she doesn’t mince words; she’s a straight talking gal and says it like it is. I loved her character!

Fortune’s Pawn is narrated in the first person from Devi’s point of view. She spends quite a bit of time describing the Lady Gray – what it’s composed of, how it works and the expense and trouble Devi has taken to get it. She also describes Sasha and Mia lovingly, “my girls were no slouches”. There’s considerable space given to describing invasions and fights in great detail. Manouvres, strategies, fighting skills, weaponry and armor all feature heavily in this book, as does romance.

Bach builds up an interesting universe for this novel. This is of course many many years in the future, and in this world there are other life-forms besides the humans, namely the aeons, the xith’cal and the lelgis; Devi has an opportunity to encounter all of them. Besides the fact that I really liked the lead character I also appreciated the way the author narrates her story, divulging details along the way and building up her characters, and still keeps the momentum of a fast-moving space opera. There’s action and fights galore but there are also the quiet moments.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Christensen on November 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
FORTUNE'S PAWN by Rachel Bach, AKA Rachel Aaron (Twitter) is a fun, science fantasy tale of Devi Morris, a power-armored mercenary who tries to take a shortcut to her career goal by taking a contract on a cursed ship. It's the first book in the Paradox series, with the sequel, HONOR'S KNIGHT due out on February 2014.

Devi Morris is a badass, let's start there. She's very good at what she does, and she has risen quickly through elite combat units. Devi is brave, strong, and aggressive. She's earned a turn at a cushy desk job, but that's the last thing she wants. Instead, she wants to be a Devastator. The Devastators are the best of the best power armor units that serve the King directly, and she's willing to do just about anything to get that post, even taking a risky short cut.

And that's how Devi ends up taking a one-year guard duty contract on the Glorious Fool, a trading ship captained by Brian Caldswell, who has a reputation for landing his ship and crew in dangerous, deadly situations. It's not the most glamorous or glorious job, but the mercenaries who survive the year have been known to get slots with the Devastators. Devi thinks it's a risk worth taking, but might the secrets behind Caldswell's crew and missions conceal dangers even a badass like Devi can't handle? Along the way, there are also aliens, space pirates, battles, romance, psychic powers, snarky dialogue, and more. But I'll stop there before I spoil anything.

I was very eager to read this story. I am a fan of Bach's/Aaron's fantasy Eli Monpress series, so I was curious to see how she made the jump to science fiction. Want me to sum up her style in one word? Fun. She writes fast-paced, exciting, adventure tales that are a pleasure to read.
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