Review: The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

The Palace Job by Patrick WeekesThe 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

Source: Publisher

Rating StarRating StarRating StarRating Star

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.

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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!

What are your favourite heist novels? Do you think that women are underrepresented in capers? Have you read anything by Patrick Weekes? Inquiring minds want to know!

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  • Glad you enjoyed this. I’m happy to see this series get more attention, since it totally deserves it! Cool too that you tackled it in audio. I did that for book two, but when I eventually get to the third book though, I’ll probably go back to print. I don’t know, maybe it’s because of the sheer number of characters, it just didn’t work as well for me.

    • I’ve seen people talk about it before, and it seems to get compared to The Lies of Locke Lamora an awful lot (which isn’t really a fair comparison in my mind) but for some reason I never got around to it. But I really like Weekes’ tone and thought this was a lot of fun!

      Aw that sucks, sorry to hear the audio didn’t work for you! Maybe it’s easier when you’ve already heard Eyre narrate all the different characters’ voices in the first book…or maybe there are even more characters in the second book than in the first!

  • Lynn Williams

    I loved this and have No2 and 3 to catch up with. Are you going to carry on with the series??

    • I’m definitely going to continue with the series! Potential buddy read maybe? I won’t have time to get to them this month, but May could work if you’re interested! 😀

      • Lynn Williams

        That would be great actually and would make me read them. Somebody needs to explain to me though about when you’re buddy reading – do we decide to read so far each day and then compare thoughts? Do we tweet things as we’re going on – I’m useless and don’t have a clue! Clue me in please – somebody!!

  • Ooh, I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a little while now. I’ve seen good reviews but somehow haven’t found the time to pick it up (this may possibly be due to my book buying problem, but there’s no need to point fingers and start throwing out accusations now is there). You definitely make it sound fun and to have a strong cast of female characters, that just makes it even better. I wish I knew why there aren’t more women in heist books. I feel like I should go search through all the heist books I can find and see how many female characters are involved.

    I will read this soon(ish) and we shall see. I will definitely being reading mine though, I just can’t handle audiobooks because I continually tune out when I’m listening to things. It’s a skill.

    • Oooh!! I’ve heard that this was self-published at first and had a number of printing errors in the e-book version (typos etc.), but as far as I know that was all corrected once it got picked up by a publisher so you should be good on that front. Book buying problem?? Pssh, no one around here has a problem! It’s all perfectly under control, obviously. *eye twitch*

      Right? I also feel like women aren’t present very much in heist books, which is a shame because I’ll be honest: I’m not reading a book with an ensemble cast that only features ONE woman. Next!

      LOL I feel like that skill would be both useful and very troublesome. I hope you enjoy this one, Becky! I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts!

      • I’m thinking I’ve got the second copy from it picking up a publisher but who knows. To be honest, unless the typos are really obvious I probably won’t notice. It’s amazing how your brain can just ignore spelling mistakes and grammar errors when reading (if I’m enjoying what I’m reading anyway).

        And exactly! If you can’t be represent the other half of the population then why should I bother reading? Women probably have more useful skills to stage a good heist anyway.

        It’s both a curse and a burden. I sometimes sit and work and someone has to throw something at me to get my attention, it’s not good. I’ll tell you how it goes I’m thinking I’ll read it next week mood allowing.

  • I’ve read so many rave reviews of this book, I really need to read it! And I’m very pleased to hear there are so many well done female characters. That alone is a great reason to jump in:-D

    • You know what, I think you’d *really* like this one Tammy! It seems very up your alley. A fun caper with a ton of great female characters? Yes please! 😀

  • I read that “Jane Eyre” is a good narrator – it’s late and my eyes are playing tricks on me. 🙂
    This kind of sounds like The Lies of Locke Lamora on crack with lady thieves, which is a fantastic idea. Your review is the first I ever heard of this book, so I’m adding it to my tbr for when I finish some of my ongoing series and can start new ones. It’s definitely a bonus that you mentioned the story is funny, I don’t nearly read enough of those (why is everyone so serious and dramatic? I’m currently finishing a YA series that racked up SUCH a body count in the last part I’m appalled).

    • I did the exact same thing at first! I thought to myself “wow, why would you do that to your child…and how odd that she works in a bookish field!” Haha.

      You know, I’ve seen a lot of people compare this to TLoLL and while there are a lot of similarities I’d say they’re two different sides of the same coin, if you will. The Palace Job has a more overt, silly, and slapstick style of humour despite dealing with some heavier themes whereas TLoLL has some heavy themes but still has some clever humour – if that makes any sense! I do think you’d like this one, though!

      YES thank you! I’ve grown super weary of all these “everything must be dark and terrible or no one will take my book seriously” books making the rounds right now. Yeah, high stakes are good but come on. I can’t read a series where nothing good ever happens (or watch a TV show…looking at you, The 100!). What’s the YA series you’re reading? I’m curious now!

      • It’s Stolen Songbird (or rather the last book, Warrior Witch) by Danielle Jensen. I finished and I didn’t like it – I wrote a really ranty review I’ll probably have to revise before I publish it once my irritation dies down a bit. Have you read it? If you haven’t started the series yet, don’t bother.

  • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    OK, I am headed to add this to my Audible Wishlist right now. 🙂

    • Yay! I hope you get a chance to listen to this one, and that you enjoy it as much as I did. I know that humour in books can be hit or miss for you, so I’m curious to hear what you think. 🙂

  • I kinda love that cover! And the title is pretty cool too.
    Also, a lustful unicorn?! Poor Loch, although legendary prisons are interesting…
    This sounds really good – I’m already kind of giggling! Yay for passing the Bechdel test! and and and heists are awesome, and what more could one want?
    I need this in my life. Nowww.
    Thanks for sharing, I had no idea this existed! Great review, Danya!

  • I really need to get back to reading this one! I had started it a few months but wasn’t in the mood for a fantasy, so I had put it aside. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

    • It was so much fun, I really hope you end up liking it! Personally I thought it was hilarious. 😀