The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes (Rogues of the Republic #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Publisher: 47North on October 8, 2013
Audiobook: Justine Eyre for Brilliance Audio
My thanks to 47North and NetGalley for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.
The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.View Spoiler »
With the help of a crack team that includes an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking warhammer, and a lad with a prophetic birthmark, Loch must find a way into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire–and get past the magic-hunting golems and infernal sorcerers standing between her and the vault that holds her family’s treasure.
It’d be tricky enough without the military coup and unfolding of an ancient evil prophecy–but now the determined and honourable Justicar Pyvic has been assigned to take her in.
But hey, every plan has a few hitches. « Hide Spoiler
A prison break, an impossible heist, surprising plot twists…and a lustful unicorn. What more do you want from your caper novels?
On the surface, the Republic is a relatively peaceful, fair, and democratic society where people of all races and classes can enjoy the same privileges. But beneath this perfect veneer, there is rampant corruption and bigotry (of course). No one knows this more than Loch, a disgraced black soldier incarcerated in the legendary prison The Cleaners. She’s been cheated by the system one too many times, and now she’s out for revenge.
Loch, her best mate Kail, and a motley crew they assemble along the way are going to right some wrongs and take back what’s rightfully Loch’s. And get rich doing it, of course. This is a heist novel, after all! But stealing from one of the Republic’s most prominent politicians is no easy feat.
In my experience, a good heist story requires two things: dynamic characters and surprising plot twists. But a great heist story? That’s one that passes the Bechdel test. And I’m pleased to report that THE PALACE JOB does so with flying colours! A+ on the Bechdel test. Among the ladies we have Loch, skilled fighter and tactician and an even better thief; Tern, the safe-cracker with a deadpan sense of humour; the reluctant death priestess Desidora; and of course the aforementioned nature-loving and uh, horny, unicorn Ululenia. The guys were cool too, but I was definitely rooting for the ladies, especially Loch. It was refreshing to see a woman of colour portrayed with such nuance, and in the central role of a fantasy novel.
I won’t reveal much about the plot because I want you all to be kept guessing like I was, but I will say this: THE PALACE JOB is perfectly paced. Patrick Weekes knows when to turn the action up a notch and when to give his readers a chance to catch their breath…and also when to leave them gasping with laughter. Even during some of the more dire moments, I found myself laughing aloud at the crew’s banter and their shenanigans. Loch’s second-in-command Kail is always ready ready with a quippy “your mamma” taunt, and while that’s not normally my thing…he totally pulls it off.
Fellow audiobook junkies, be aware: this series is absolutely fantastic on audio. Justine Eyre narrates these perfectly, with distinctive voices for each character (impressive, given their sheer number) and instinctive comedic timing to boot. Do yourself a favour and read – or listen – to this series.
If you who don’t mind your fantasy rich in humour and heart and light on world building, then THE PALACE JOB is for you!