The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic)
Stop me if you’ve heard this before…
A Death Priestess, 2 escaped convicts, a 16 year old virgin, a shape shifting unicorn, an illusionist, a former monk slash contortionist, a safe cracker and a talking Warhammer that used to be a King come together to pull off a heist in a floating magical city.
Whew! Wait…there’s more.
The Palace Job is a long con that is a fun, witty, humorous romp of a story that stays three steps ahead of the reader. It pokes fun at common fantasy / adventure quest tropes and simply enjoys itself as the story runs ahead of itself.
Patrick Weekes, a writer for BioWare (a computer gaming company) has written for all three Mass Effect games and now brings his talents to write a series of books that is worthy of being the successor of Terry Pratchett. Well, almost. It’s up there. The comedy and dialogue is sharp and Weekes uses the Rule of Three masterfully in setting up his jokes. (The Rule of Three is a comedy principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things.)
With a cast of thousands (or at least a couple dozen), Weekes give equal time to all of his characters. They all get a chance to shine. Their traits and identities are smoothly revealed throughout the novel. He masterfully juggles all of his characters and gives the reader just enough of their backstory to lay the ground work for future adventures.
For example: There is a magical, talking Warhammer named Ghylspwr (Ghyl to his friends.) It/he doesn’t speak English, rather, it/he spouts phrases like: “Kun-kabynalti osu fiur’is!”
And everyone knows what Ghyl is saying.
Frankly, by the time the novel ends, you will laugh at the perfect comedic delivery of Ghyslpwr.
The Palace Job is fast paced and that leads to a little confusion with dialogue. Context is everything. It’s really a question of writing style. You’ll get used to it quickly.
Behind the comedy, behind the action, is subtle and not so subtle political and social commentary. I liked that. It added some depth into the adventure and gave it some layers worth exploring and thinking about. News reports are scattered throughout the novel, delivered by a trio of marionettes consisting of a dragon, a Minotaur and a griffin. The three represent different political factions of the story.
The plot is your typical quest/heist/get-the-crew-together/adventure/escape fantasy. Throw in a military coup, a mysterious black shadow and an Inspector Javert-ish character in hot pursuit of our scoundrels. Just when you think you think you know what the plan is, it quickly falls apart and the back-up plan might have been the plan all along. Got that?
I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. As a result, I think the formatting of the novel was a bit off. Its conversion to eBook format was horrible (I read it on a Nook so I had the epub version). It doesn’t ruin the book, just makes the reading a bit frustrating. Don’t let that deter you though. I got this for free, so really, no complaints. I haven’t seen any formatting complaints from people who purchased this novel in a long while, so I’m going to chalk it up to the review process.
As of this review, there are two additional novels in this series. Head on over and pick up a copy of The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes by by clicking here. I highly recommend this novel. You’ll enjoy reading it.
Four Stars out of Five