In The Palace Job Patrick Weekes has concocted a wild ride full of swashbuckling thieves, con men, wizards, unicorns, talking war hammers, prophecy, empires, and magic. This is a fantasy con and heist novel and wears its influences on its sleeve—there is an ancient prophecy, a battle of good and evil, a desperate band of thieves and con artists, and an impossible heist. Weekes has taken the standard tropes of the two genres and combined them almost seamlessly. The fast pace and relentless sense of fun papers over any cracks.
Isafesira de Lochenville, commonly known as Loch, is a former soldier—betrayed, left for dead, and marked a deserter. She has survived by her wits as a thief, her birthright stolen by the most powerful man in the Republic. With the help of an old comrade and a band of thieves, illusionists, death priestesses, unexpectedly lustful unicorns, and a young boy with a mysterious tattoo, Loch plans to have her revenge, or steal it.
Outside of Loch, most of the characters are somewhat flat and seldom rise above their archetype. Nevertheless, Weekes makes sure they all have a moment and clearly enjoys playing them off of each other. Likewise, the world with its ancient magical past, class and racial tensions, and rival empires is fascinating but lightly sketched. This is a novel primarily concerned with plot and action sequences. The reader is introduced to Loch and Kail, an old comrade in arms, during a prison break dangling from the bottom of a sky city, and the story seldom stops for breath.
The Palace Job never takes itself entirely seriously. There are crosses and double crosses, swordfights in the sky, break-ins, and uncrackable magical safes, but most importantly, there is an infectious sense of fun. The Palace Job is not trying to be anything more than a fantasy heist novel, and it doesn’t need to be. Highly enjoyable. I look forward to the next book in the Rogues of the Republic Series.
*Revived a Copy from NetGalley for Review