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

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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!