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The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.

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.

438 pages, Paperback

First published September 26, 2012

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About the author

Patrick Weekes

18 books582 followers
Patrick Weekes lives in Canada with their non-platonic life partner Karin, their children, and an ever-increasing number of rescue animals. By day, Patrick currently works at BioWare, where they are lead writer on the Dragon Age franchise. By night, they write novels whose feel usually boils down to “Absurd premise executed faithfully.”

Patrick enjoys Lego, martial arts, musical numbers, and chocolate milk, but probably not in that order.

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Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,753 followers
September 6, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I'm probably going to horrify a lot of Fantasy lovers by saying this, but . . . I was not a huge fan of THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch. And believe me, no one was more surprised by that than I was. At the time this review was written, it had a 4.28 average rating on Goodreads, based on nearly 75k readers.

That's nuts.

Additionally, the second highest category (after fantasy) the book was shelved on was Adventure, and 25% of readers also shelved it as Crime. And people . . . it is a truth universally acknowledged that Adventure + Crime = HEIST.

And maybe there was a heist. I honestly don't know, b/c I was too bored to get there.

YES. It was clever. YES. It was beautifully written. NO. It did not hold my attention, and it wasn't an issue of too many details, b/c I THRIVE on details.

It just wasn't what I was expecting, and the difference between reality and expectation was so great that the two could not be reconciled. *shrugs*

There is a reason why I'm yammering on about THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA when I'm supposed to be reviewing THE PALACE JOB by Patrick Weekes, and that reason is THE PALACE JOB was exactly what I was expecting THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA to be: a laugh-out-loud high fantasy heist.

And it didn't sacrifice depth to slapstick comedy either. Rather than separating the humor from the detail, which is what I felt happened in that other one, Weekes combined the two, and as is often the case, the whole was greater than the parts.

Take the political commentary that happens throughout the book via puppets (yes, puppets---you can say a lot with a puppet that you can't say as a person b/c sedition). The two main factions are represented by fantastical creatures, and when our heroine is looking for information, the puppeteer asks her:

"Tell me, if you don't mind . . . which do you favor? The griffin or the manticore?"
Loch looked at the griffin, an eagle's head and wings on a lion's body, and the manticore, a lion with bat wings and a scorpion's tail.

"Funny thing,
Yeshki. You get right down to it, they're both mostly big cats."

*stands* *ovates* (<------it's a word if I say it's a word)

But cleverness is not enough to make a stellar heist novel. It also needs a fantastic cast of characters.

Like a wizard of questionable morals:

"Mister Hessler?"
"Yes, Dairy?"
"Are you a good wizard?"
. . . "Do you mean good as in ethical or good as in capable, Dairy?"

A #2 who takes pride in his less-than-reputable work (and can tell "your mom" jokes in at least three different languages):

"I'm just saying, as someone who occasionally rigs fights, I'm offended by the lack of professionalism."

A flexible ascetic:

"Do you radiate cold magic when you punch people?" Kail asked.
"I do not engage in physical combat," Icy replied, taking a bite from his vegetable plate, "and I possess no elemental magic ability."
"Then why Icy Fist?"
"It is short for 'Indomitable Courteous Fist,' which is my full name."
"That's significantly less cool, Icy."

And a unicorn who only lets virgins ride her in a decidedly different context than most people are familiar with, a sentient, if incoherent war hammer, a love/death priestess, and a virgin:

"No alcohol for the boy," said Desidora.
Kun-kabynalti osu fiur'is," mutterd Ghylspwr.
"Because he's
sixteen," Desidora insisted. "Kail, you will not give him alcohol. Do I make myself clear?" Her hair darkened perceptibly.
"You just
had to play the death priestess card." Kail grunted. "Fine. Virgin for the kid."
"Virgin," said Ululenia, smiling dreamily, her horn shining brightly on her pale forehead. "Mmm."
Dairy blushed.

Among others. *snickers*

And of course there's also the requisite Bad Guy who comes equipped with puns and henchmen:

The airship hit another building and lost most of its aft section. Loch dropped her knife and clung to a flailing rope as the deck slid out from under her, and she felt open air yawning sickeningly beneath her dangling legs.

"Reached the end of your rope, Loch?"

I could give you more details, but you already know the basics, and the basics are all you need. The Palace Job was so thoroughly entertaining that the only reason it wasn't a 5.0 star read is b/c it had a slow start. BUT. Once I hit the 18% mark, it was action and hilarity from that point forward. SO. If you like clever things, fantasy, heists and the criminal masterminds that plan them, I strongly recommend you discover this hidden gem for yourself. It might just be the most quotable book I've ever read.

Jessica Signature
September 19, 2017
"Book, you have the right to a (not-so) speedy trial" review


- Quite simply, one of the greatest ensemble casts I've ever read! - Whenever I read a book featuring a large group of protagonists, there's inevitably at least one who just doesn't hold my interest. But this time around, it was like every character was in a constant competition to be named my favorite! Everyone in this band of thieves and rogues have their own unique personalities and voices, and I couldn't get enough of any of them:

LOCH - I've read about stronger fantasy heroines. (Sorry, Loch, but in LOTR, Eowyn smacked down a witch-king with just a sword and her total lack of a Y chromosome...even you haven't topped that yet!) But I've never read about a SMARTER one! Loch approaches every challenge like a game of chess...one in which she's always at least a jillion moves ahead of her opponent.

KAIL - He has one strategy in a fight...insult his opponent's mother to throw them off their game and then take the advantage. I was afraid Kail would quickly become the weak link of the team with his one-note approach, but the sheer variety of mother jokes he comes up with (not to mention that he's even taken the time to learn them in every language) keeps it fresh. As Kail himself observes, why should he stop using that method considering it works every time?!?

ULULENIA - A shape-shifting unicorn whose lyrical prose and profound thoughts adds some much-needed depth to this band of fighters and thieves. While her teammates had me bursting out laughing with their endless supply of witticisms, Ululenia's beautiful outlook on everything had me almost bursting into tears instead!

TERN - Her mousy appearance and petite stature fool opponents into underestimating her, but this safecracker is actually tougher than the steel plating in her boots! While she's proficient with lockpicks and crossbows, the sharpest tool in her arsenal is her tongue, which she uses to verbally eviscerate opponents and allies alike!

ICY - A man of great nobility and moral fortitude (or at least as much as a professional thief can possess, anyway). Icy is the nice guy of the team, which may explain why when he's in a fight, he always finishes last!

DESIDORA - A death-priestess who takes on a ghostly pallor while wielding her arcane magic, she has a tendency to terrify anyone who sees her in action. However, when she's not being all death-priestessy, she's just so sweet and endearing!

GHYLSPWR - A talking warhammer that keeps repeating the same three phrases over and over, yet still manages to exhibit more personality than some books' main characters!

HESSLER - When he first meet him, he's being exiled from his magical academy for illegal practices...which makes it even more funny when he basically becomes the moral compass of the group! Hessler provided some of my biggest laughs just by how horried he always is by the actions of his teammates!

DAIRY - While Icy and Hessler have their own code of ethics, there's no denying that they're still really good at committing crimes. But Dairy...he's just so bad at being bad! Dairy's complete inability to lie or cheat anyone is equal parts hilarious and charming.

And keep in mind, these aren't even the only fascinating characters in the book! The man charged with arresting Loch (even as he finds himself falling for her) is just as charismatic as the people he's trying to catch, and the villains are dastardly enough to be interesting and capable enough to be threatening.

- Perfect blend of comedy and drama - Sometimes books that are found on the humor shelves don't have much more to offer than the laughs they provide, but here the author does a brilliant job balancing the heavier moments with the lighter ones. In between laughs, I found myself heartbroken upon learning about Ghylspwr's tragic backstory. And you'd have to be a robot not to be moved by Icy's growing infatuation with the blind girl he wants to save from the villain's clutches. Funnier than most comedies out there, yet also more powerful than many tearjerkers!

- Very smartly written - Some fantasy novels ask you to leave your brain at the door and just watch all the pretty battles. Rest assured, this is NOT one of those novels! The fact that Loch and her associates have to constantly outsmart and outmaneuver their opponents results in many twists and turns. Some novels spend most of their time building up to that one great "HOLY CRAP" moment...this book has at least one of those great moments in almost every chapter!


- Clunky world-building - My only complaint is that I sometimes had trouble following the history of the world these characters inhabit. While some backstory is peppered throughout (usually through a rather entertaining puppet-show that doubles as propaganda), it wasn't always clear what the larger mythology was. We're told about three different political parties and a war that recently took place, but the information is so fleeting that it's hard to really absorb it all. Still, when the foreground is so mesmerizing, I can't really complain too much about not enough happening in the background.

If you're in the mood for a fluffy read, then this would not be a good choice. But if you're looking for an exciting adventure that makes you laugh, gasp, and think all at once...enjoy! I know I did!
April 30, 2020
👀 Now You See Me Now You Don’t Buddy Rerereread with My MacHalos Daughters and Wives and Stuff (NYSMNYDBRwMMDaWaS™) 👀

Previous rating: 4 stars.
New rating: 5 stars. Because why the stinking fish not?

I've read this book too many a few times. And it never fails to make me feel like this:

And a little like this, too:

"Why," you ask? Because:

I want to be Loch when I grow up. Because reasons.

Kail's mother jokes never get old.

Nothing beats a shapeshifting unicorn with a, um, slight obsession for young, muscular virgins.

④ I lurves Nerdy Snarky Safecracking Tern's (NSST™) most wondrous shin-kicking abilities. Kinda sorta reminds me of my little nefarious self at a less ancient younger age. Ah, good kicking times.

Hessler is as beautifully clueless as my boyfriend Croaker when it comes to lovey-dovey crap.

⑥ I want to be a talking war hammer-wielding death priestess when I grow up. Because super cool and handy outfit/hair/skin color-altering abilities. Because growing skulls on wine glasses. Because zombies. And because spoiler spoiler spoiler.

Pyvic is yum. QED and stuff.

I want to adopt Icy. Because such a deliciously deadpan, supposedly non-violent acrobat/contortionist would provide endless hours of quality entertainment for my harem slaves boarders.

⑨ I now understand the logic behind Unicorn-Upgraded Dairy Lucky Charms (UUDLC™).

Ha Ha Bloody Shrimping HA.

And the moral of this particular rererereread is:

· Book 2: The Prophecy Con ★★★★
· Book 3: The Paladin Caper ★★★★★

BR with my MacHalo Freaks starting April 1, 2015.

You know what dear vultures? I'm exhausted. I don't have another review in me right now. And I first read and reviewed this only 4 months ago. So I'm on strike.

Yeah, I'm not a squid. I noticed. And your point is?

All you have to know about this book is:
I'm upgrading my rating from 4 to 5 stars because of Justine Eyre's fantastic narration. She is by far the best narrator I've ever listened to.
This is still the greatest gang of misfits that ever was.
This is still one of the greatest heists that ever was.
One day unicorns will rule the world.

See? I can do the short review thing when I want to.

We're the MacHalo Freaks. We put the fun in dysfunctional.

Original review (December 2014):

The Palace Job? Think Ocean's Eleven meets fantasy & adventure. There isn't much else to say really, besides the fact that this book is pure, unadulterated fun.

What makes this book so cool? First and foremost, the cast of characters. What a crew! Unique, colourful (to say the least), resourceful, hilarious and very lovable. Best gang of misfits ever!

Loch the very cool, badass ragtag leader.
Kail the faithful second in command with his hilarious lines about other people's mothers.
Tern the snarky safecracker.
Indomitable Courteous Fist aka Icy, the Imperial acrobat/contortionist with a weakness for damsels in distress.
Ululenia the shape-shifting unicorn with a taste for young muscular virgins. She's pretty good at messing with minds too.
Desidora the love priestess turned death priestess.
Ghylspwr the talking war hammer.
Hessler the cynical illusionist and university reject.
Dairy the designated young muscular virgin and Loch's clumsy lucky charm.

Now for the story itself. It's fantastic from beginning to end. This book is a non-stop action feast jam-packed with humour, great fight scenes, quite a few evil villains (yay!), cool character interactions and unpredictable developments. This is all you'll get from me. I won't even try to summarize the book because it's such a roller-coaster ride that I wouldn't know where to begin.

The twists in this book? Unbelievable. Totally unexpected. Yes people, this is me admitting I was unable to foresee what was going to happen next: Damn. That twist. Didn't see it coming. Double damn. Another twist. Got me again. Triple damn. Yet another twist. Where the hell is my inner Sherlock?! Mr Weekes you managed to surprise me. I'm amazed.

What next? A list of random awesomeness obviously!
A prison escape. Floating cities. A crazy heist. Justicar Pyvic. Power struggles. Orris. Illusions. Archvoyant Silestin. Satire. Wind-dameon powered airships. The Glimmering Folk. Puppet shows. A blind sister. The Voyancy. A hilarious zombie. The Republic. Ogres. All conversations with Ghyl the warhammer. And it goes on and on and on...

Fantasy. Adventure. Humour. Great characters. Fast-paced plot. Non-stop action. The Palace Job has it all. Read it.
Profile Image for carol..
1,575 reviews8,228 followers
December 12, 2016
Thanks to entirely mixed reviews among my friends, I ended up shelving this as do-not-read. However, when Amazon offered it as a daily deal, I forgot the details of why I didn't want to read it and decided to see for myself. Concerns included a personal peeve--multiple viewpoints--and a sense that racial issues, while included, are not handled particularly well. Still, a heist often makes for an intriguing and fun read.

“A lock-man, a second-storey operator, and somebody who can jigger with the crystals the Ancients used,” Loch said crisply, “plus anybody who can handle magic and isn’t insane, evil, or overly religious.”

Turns out that it's entirely fun. Weekes' biography states he works as a writer on fantasy games, and I think that explains much about the style, which seems to rely heavily on tropes and preconceived world-building with a jumpy, cut-scene narrative. The plot opens with Loch and Kail in prison and about to make their escape. After their sequence finishes, it cuts to Justice Pyvic, a law enforcement officer; a heist with Icy and Tern, then a scene where Loch and Kail are looking for Ululenia the unicorn, a scene of the priestess Desidora and her hammer at a temple card game, another scene with illlusionist Hessler being kicked out of university and a travel buddy and mutual jailbird, Dairy. Once I caught on to the idea that Loch and Kail are "putting the gang together" and that we were seeing future members of the gang in action, it started to make more sense; what remained was to see how their paths connected to Loch and Kail.

"You're... you're nothing but thieves!" Red-faced, he ran from the room, slamming the door shut behind him.
"Well... you don't set up a heist with non-thieves," Tern commented. "That doesn't work as well."

Plotting is typical heist and fairly predictable. In some parts, an attempt to tie in overarching political machinations was confusing, bogging down with the heist with a half-baked build of opposing political sides. Overall, the tone reminds me of Pratchett, with farcical elements such as unicorn who lusts after virgins and an innocent farm boy who seems virtually immune to corruption. Characters don't have much depth: Loch is devilishly smart, self-assured and fabulous, the George Clooney of Oceans Eleven, with an angle for all obstacles. The rest of the team mostly embody their roles without significant background or development. All that said, it was entertaining along the way.

“I have mixed news.”
“Like good and bad?” Kail asked, pouring himself a drink.
“Like bad, very bad, hell no, and maybe,” Tern clarified.

Do I agree with my friends' objections? In many ways, yes. It depends on what you read for and to what degree you are able to turn off the critical thinking part of your brain. As Carly noted, the heist premise itself usually requires a suspension of disbelief. I agree with her assessment that the more problematic is the build of race(s) in this story. So, if you can turn your brain off, it's fun, the kind of freewheeling found in the ride, not the destination. Think of it as a roller-coaster ride of reading, minus the $70 gate charge.

Three and a half stars
Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,797 followers
January 8, 2016
Who doesn’t love capers? Or maybe I mean shallots…I always mix those two up. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure I love either. Except for capers—that is, of the daring heist variety.

Enter The Palace Job. Lots of friends on GR are big fans of this book, and as I am big fans of them AND capers (of the daring heist variety; jury still out on the edible kind until I figure out exactly what they are), I figured I should probably read this book.

Let’s see how this book does on the caper necessity checklist:

Ringleader wronged by circumstance, seeking revenge? Check.

Second in command who is both a capable lieutenant and comic relief? Check.

A misfit band of rogues recruited one by one for their particular sets of skills? Check. (Sadly, Liam Neeson was not among them.)

Equal parts meticulous planning and comical exchanges leading up to the heist? Check.

A heist job that goes awry when it turns out there is more than meets the eye with respect to the target of revenge and the job itself? Check.

A racially, ethnically, and sexually diverse (unicorns who dig human virgins count as sexually diverse, right?) cast of characters? Check (though that’s not really standard for this sort of tale, it was a nice feature).

So, it had all the necessary elements. It takes place in a fantasy setting. It has sharp, witty dialogue. It’s caperiffic.

And, yet…something held it back. I made an effort when I started reading this to refrain from comparing it to The Lies of Locke Lamora despite the fact that they’re both fantasy caper books of similar vintage. That worked while I was reading, for the most part, but when it comes to assessing how I feel about The Palace Job, inevitably, I find my thoughts straying to Locke by way of contextualization. And, side by side, Locke Lamora is, to me, the better book. The writing is crisper, the characters more fully realized, the emotional investment deeper, the one-liners a little sharper…it’s not a perfect book, no, but in almost all phases—except for diversity of cast and horny unicorn cherry poppers—Locke Lamora is at least a little bit better.

That’s not a knock on The Palace Job, which is an entertaining and well-executed book (even if it drags a little here and there, and if some of the characters are a little flat). It’s just my way of trying to distinguish between two books that, because I’ve only got 5 stars to choose from, look the same from a rating standpoint. Locke Lamora is a 4.4-star book (just shy of the mark that would round it up to 5); this book is a 3.5-star book. So, both come out to 4 stars when all is said and done, but not equivalently 4 stars, if that makes sense, which it probably doesn’t, because when have I ever said anything that made sense?

Carp tarp lingering major fun sticks.

See? Completely unintelligible.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
February 26, 2015
Also reviewed for Addicted2Heroines.

The first thing you should know is that I suck when it comes to writing a glowing review. I wish I was one of those people who can eloquently describe how a book made them feel, and then suck you into their review with all those long flowing words. Alas, I guess it's just not meant to be.


Have you ever read a book that just made you grin like an idiot?
If not, you seriously need to find some better stuff to read...
Well, for me, The Palace Job was one of those amazing stories.
Imagine George Clooney in his Ocean's Eleven role. Ok, now imagine he's a bad-ass black chick. And instead of Brad Pitt, you've got a unicorn.
I know, right?!
The other characters include a master safe-cracker and her partner who is some kind of an acrobat/kung fu master, a Death priestess and her talking hammer, a mage who can conjure amazing illusions, an innocent boy named Dairy, and Loch's long-time partner Kail.
Each of them has their own reason for joining Loch's team, and none of them (with the exception of poor Dairy) have any qualms about doing something shady to reach their goal. However, as the story plays out, you can see that underneath it all they are basically good. And I'm a total sucker for bad guys with a heart of gold, you know?
Although, not too good...'cause where's the fun in that?!

One of my first book-boyfriends was Robin Hood, and I never really outgrew my crush. What? Archers are hot. Don't judge me!
I even bought one of those little green felt hats with the feather in it... and left it in the bedroom.
*wink wink, nudge nudge*
Sadly, it didn't go down the way I had hoped. My husband thought it was a totally different kind of hint, and surprised me with an anniversary trip to a Renaissance Festival.
There's a possibility I'm making this story up.
Worse, there's a possibility that it's true...

Alrighty, back to the review.
Is there any way to tell you what happens without giving spoilers?
Not really. But I'm gonna try anyway.
It's a twisty heist caper set in an interesting world filled with fantasy and magic. I was totally impressed with the author's ability to mirror some of our societal problems, as well. Only not in a pushy obnoxious way, 'cause I'm not a fan of stuff that crams things like ethics and morals down my throat.
What? I'm a deep person...just in a really shallow kind of way.

Loch and her longtime partner Kail have been wrongfully imprisoned by a deliciously eeevil villain.
But not for long. They execute a well-orchestrated prison break, and then Loch begins to gather a top-notch crew around them to exact her revenge.
The addition of each member to the team is a new adventure added to the story. And since none of them are easy to find...or in some cases don't necessarily want to be found, all of these little layers make the book fairly thick. But I honestly never once felt like it was too much or too overwhelming. In fact, I had to make myself put it down just so I wouldn't fly through it too quickly.

The entire thing felt like a fast-paced heist movie, and no matter what happened I just knew that all of these characters were going to make it out alive. I wasn't worried at all. Seriously!
Ok. Fine. I was chewing my nails towards the end.
So did the good guys win?!
Did they make it out of there alive?!
Pshht. Like I'm gonna tell you that.

It's fun. Read it.

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
November 10, 2016
Editorial comment: I wrote half of this review late at night a couple of days ago, and then my iPad ate it while I was off in another screen looking for just the right warhammer pic. iPads can be really stupid and unforgiving that way. I was so frustrated that I grabbed my husband and went off to bed, which pleased him and at least made me feel better about something. So here's my second take at this review, even though it feels like there were some inspired thoughts in my first review that are now forever lost, out there floating in the ether somewhere. Maybe they'll float back and whack me on the head sometime, like Ghylspwr the hammer.

Anyway. Two prisoners in a flying city, Loch and Kail, condemned to a life sentence of performing the dangerous job of cleaning the magical rocks that keep the city afloat:


But Loch, a former military captain and a great kickass protagonist, claims that she's been framed, and she plans to escape, steal a priceless elvish manuscript from the guy who framed her, and get her revenge. For this complicated burglary job she needs the help of a team of talented and somewhat less than completely law-abiding characters.


Gradually Loch and Kail find the right team members, which include a wizard who's been kicked out of wizard school, a shapeshifting unicorn who loves hunky young male virgins, a somewhat clueless young male virgin who has an interesting birthmark, Desidora the death priestess, and so forth. It all gets a little bewildering for a while, so you know what? Let's just talk about my favorite character:

Ghylspwr the Warhammer:

Ghylspwr is courageous and sentient and talks! (The soul of an ancient king was bound to the warhammer.) Unfortunately Ghylspwr's vocabulary is (a) limited to three phrases and (b) incomprehensible to most people, but it makes up for it with its great enthusiasm.
“Alive, please,” the auburn-haired woman murmured.

“Kun-kabynalti osu fuir’is,” the warhammer said grudgingly, and swung down and then up in a massive arc that actually pulled the slight woman off the ground. The head of the hammer caught the light in a silvery glow as it crashed down upon Cordagar’s head. Bertrus had seen men die in battle, and he knew how it looked. He averted his eyes to avoid the sight. When he finally looked, however, Cordagar was unconscious but alive. This was odd, considering that he had been driven waist-deep through the floorboards.

“Nicely done,” Desidora said, returning the warhammer to her belt.

“Besyn larveth’is,” it said in evident satisfaction.
So this motley crew, including Ghylspwr--who despite its limited vocabulary manages to convince Loch that it's entitled to a full share of the loot--plans their great crime caper with all the finesse and fun of the Ocean's Eleven team. There's a lot of humor and some pretty good zingers:
“Would you by any chance be interested in a cup of kahva?” He finally met her stare and grinned. “I like my kahva the way I like my women… hot and black.”

“I like my kahva the way I like my men,” she replied, her eyes half-lidded. “Ground up into tiny pieces and stored in a bag.”
The natural thing for me to do here is to compare it to The Lies of Locke Lamora, another fantasy about a bunch of thieves running a con (though this book has less con and more burglary). Locke Lamora is a more complex and, I think, deeper book; Palace Job is a more straightforward, humorous story. On the plus side, for me, Palace Job is also much less grim, bloody and foul-mouthed. It's a more light-hearted novel.

There are also strong similarities to the Discworld fantasy series, with loads of tongue-in-cheek humor in a fantasy world. The humor in The Palace Job is maybe just a little toned down from Pratchett's level, but I thought the plot of this book was more compelling and kept my interest better. Granted, I've only read a couple of the Discworld books--but I still preferred this one.

Looking forward to further crimes and misdemeanors adventures with Loch and her crew!

Besyn larveth’is!
Profile Image for Milda Page Runner.
300 reviews234 followers
June 20, 2018
Well, this was so bad it was almost funny. Err.. I mean - It did not work for me.

This book has plenty of good reviews and quite a few of my friends liked it - so I gave it a fair chance. Despite the urge to drop it at 30% - I've pushed myself to finish it. And nope. I have not found a one redeeming quality. But let's be constructive:

POVs - more than 10 in the first quarter of the book. Every good guy bad guy and their brother get their own perspective. Povs swap as often as twice in one page at times. Confusing, distracting, allows little (or non to be honest)character depth, makes the storyline jumpy. Somebody called it an A.D.D. person's dream - I have to agree.

Characters - too many, too flat. There are 9 main characters (good guys), 5 villains, and some random neutral players. There is little effort to create any character depth, more convincing personality or motivation. Every main character possesses either superpower or unbelievably amazing skill and along with flamboyant dialogues and no insight to their inner thoughts they appear somewhat caricature. Like cartoon characters at best.

Humour - the cause of my biggest disappointment. All of the above might have worked if it was a parody. Unfortunately it just wasn't funny enough for that. I was hoping to get something alike Lies of Locke Lamora just lighter. Not even close. It doesn't have the intelligence, the subtlety, the wit. What you get mostly is very basic and a bit immature humour of: kicking someone in the balls, insulting one's mother, or sexual innuendoes like: 'he came too quickly' with hastily added 'outside'. I won't even mention the glowing satyr's "horn". Ooops! Did I?

Romance - what romance? Roughly half way through the book author decided to spice things up with romance. And all of the sudden everyone started pairing up. Everyone! No chemistry, no preamble, 5 sentences exchanged and pooof! they are jumping at each others robes. Right.

Plot - a generic heist plot with a predictable ending. Lots of twists and betrayals lose their shock value very soon. Too many times characters appear to be loosing just to trick the opponent and to turn situation around. Lots of action, fight scenes, but lacks the atmosphere, emotional impact. Too often situation appears to be overly convenient, when the characters have just the right skill or tool to overcome the new obstacle. 'What about a mechanical device/robot capable of carrying the warhammer through a magical defence field? - Yes, I have the parts in my pockets. Just need a minute to assemble it!' Right. Sure. Why not? 'Perhaps a TV and an inflatable couch from the other pockets whilst you're at it?'

There are other things: the quality of writing, racial stereotypes, but to be honest this review is already longer than the book deserves it. So I'll just leave it at that. Clearly I did not like it at all and I can not recommend it to anyone.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,957 followers
February 27, 2022
4.5 Stars

Omg! I finally got to this book. If I love the next two (even though I own the kindle editions) I might just have to try to cram some space for the paperbacks 😬

I love these characters so much!!!

And there is a shapeshifting unicorn! That made my day!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
July 29, 2023
The Palace Job? Think Ocean's Eleven meets fantasy & adventure. There isn't much else to say really, besides the fact that this book is pure, unadulterated fun.

What makes this book so cool? First and foremost, the cast of characters. What a crew! Unique, colourful (to say the least), resourceful, hilarious and very lovable. Best gang of misfits ever!

Loch the very cool, badass ragtag leader.
Kail the faithful second in command with his hilarious lines about other people's mothers.
Tern the snarky safecracker.
Indomitable Courteous Fist aka Icy, the Imperial acrobat/contortionist with a weakness for damsels in distress.
Ululenia the shape-shifting unicorn with a taste for young muscular virgins. She's pretty good at messing with minds too.
Desidora the love priestess turned death priestess.
Ghylspwr the talking warhammer.
Hessler the cynical illusionist and university reject.
Dairy the designated young muscular virgin and Loch's clumsy lucky charm.

Now for the story itself. It's fantastic from beginning to end. This book is a non-stop action feast jam-packed with humour, great fight scenes, quite a few evil villains (yay!), cool character interactions and unpredictable developments. This is all you'll get from me. I won't even try to summarize the book because it's such a roller-coaster ride that I wouldn't know where to begin.

The twists in this book? Unbelievable. Totally unexpected. Yes people, this is me admitting I was unable to foresee what was going to happen next: Damn. That twist. Didn't see it coming. Double damn. Another twist. Got me again. Triple damn. Yet another twist. Where the hell is my inner Sherlock?! Mr Weekes you managed to surprise me. I'm amazed.

What next? A list of random awesomeness obviously!
A prison escape. Floating cities. A crazy heist. Justicar Pyvic. Power struggles. Orris. Illusions. Archvoyant Silestin. Satire. Wind-dameon powered airships. The Glimmering Folk. Puppet shows. A blind sister. The Voyancy. A hilarious zombie. The Republic. Ogres. All conversations with Ghyl the warhammer. And it goes on and on and on...

Fantasy. Adventure. Humour. Great characters. Fast-paced plot. Non-stop action. The Palace Job has it all. Read it.

· Book 2: The Prophecy Con ★★★★
· Book 3: The Paladin Caper ★★★★★
Profile Image for TS Chan.
719 reviews884 followers
May 8, 2017
I have termed the The Lies of Locke Lamora as a blend of Ocean’s Eleven and The Godfather in a fantasy setting. That’s not entirely wrong but I think that I’ve found another book which suited the Ocean’s Eleven tagging even more aptly and that is The Palace Job.

For one, the motley crew here was much bigger – all nine of them - and consisted of a truly diverse group of individuals of varying skills and expertise, one of which was actually a non-living item that has a personality of its own. I’ll not to go into any details about these characters for this first book review as I believe that a new reader should have the joy of discovering the individuals that the Rogues of the Republic are composed of.

The world was not exactly medieval, not really steampunk but an unusual amalgamation of familiar ones which come together to make a pretty unique setting. It's a straightforward story with a main theme around the heist plot of seeking revenge, as the main protagonist, Loch, assembled this team to perfectly execute an almost impossible job to take back what was rightfully hers.

A couple of things did affect my overall reading enjoyment. Firstly, it was written in a third person perspective which seemed 'more omniscient' than usual. Coupled with the large cast of key characters and it becomes a surefire recipe for detachment. As such, it took me quite awhile to really get invested into the plot and the characters. Secondly, the writing was a bit patchy, especially in the first half of the book.

Notwithstanding, somewhere after one-third of the book, the seemingly random blocks start to fit together and when the big heist started, the unraveling of the plot became so exciting and fun that it was getting hard to leave the book down for long. By then I also begun to like and feel more attached to this rag tag crew of misfits, which added to the tension I felt during the more critical moments. What I appreciated was that the story was fast-paced, had some neat twists and revelations, and was nicely wrapped up by the end of the book without any cliffhangers or significant hanging threads such that one can pretty much enjoy this on its own.

It's a recommended read if you are looking for something fun and fairly quick to read, and particularly if you enjoy heist plots and ensemble casts of interesting characters.

This review can also be found at Booknest
Profile Image for Mike.
502 reviews378 followers
December 26, 2022
December 2022 re-read: Yup, still a delightful, light, swashbuckling heist book with plenty of humor, heart, magic, and adventure. Really hope we one day get more books form this world.


I considered reviewing the first three books in the Rogues of the Republic individually, but in retrospect these books aren't so much discrete books but parts of one overarching story (and in no way related to the fact I took so long to get around to reviewing them I had forgotten some details of them). While there are distinct heists in each of the books there is one plot line that winds its way through each book. I would recommend anyone reading this series to read them consecutively, I think that method really enhances the experience and helps keep all the many characters fresh in your memory.

So everyone and their mother has described this series as high fantasy meets Oceans Eleven (the George Clooney one, not the Frank Sinatra one). And.. well.. they are all right. In classic heist fashion the ring leader along with her (in this case) right hand man spend the first part of the story collecting professionals with very specific skills needed for "The Job". Of course, being high fantasy, the requisite professionals are a bit different. Mainly more magic users needed and each with a special skill. Naturally things don't go as planned, there are some unexpected twists and turns, and things unfold a bit differently from "The Plan".

One aspect of Weekes's writing I liked was the great care he showed in his world building. Magic systems and rules were introduced to advance and explain the plot at appropriate times, avoiding any cumbersome data dumps. Further, the world itself was only shown in so far as it related to the plot. Once again no major data dumps explaining the history of this world or its politics, only things that are applicable to the events at hand. Weekes does drop some little nuggets in one book that are elaborated on in later books. He keeps his narrative powder dry and his plots move along briskly for it.

Probably the most important part of a heist story-line, even more so than "The Job" itself, is the character chemistry. If the characters and/or their motivations are weak the entire story will fall apart. Weekes, in my estimation, hit it out of the park with the characters. I won't go through them (since there are a lot) but I will say they all stood out in their own way. He made the bold (and correct choice) to not try to develop all the characters at once. He had different characters have different prominence throughout the books leaving some backstories unexplained for a while. In this way we didn't suffer any narrative drag by shoehorning in backstories that didn't need to be told yet. It let some characters retain an air of mystery and shine at just the right moment. Also, independent of that, the chemistry between the characters was fantastic and developed naturally over the course of the books.

But this isn't just a heist story, it is also a high fantasy story and in this department Weekes once again does smashingly. Even though this world has all the traditional fixings (humans, ogres, dragons, dwarves, elves, ancient races) Weekes looks beyond the their traditional characteristics and gives them a twist unique to his world. For instance: crystals are an integral part of magic in this world. An ancient race basically engineered elves to be very in tune with crystals to the point that their presence turned elves into extreme savants. Now that elves are free they have completely forbidden crystals from entering their lands and they avoid traveling to human lands because of the widespread use of crystals there. This is neat world building that Weekes is able to fold into the larger narrative. This is but one example of his additions to common high fantasy themes that make his world both recognizable and unique.

I devoured these books. Heck, due to the time change on my flight to Hawaii (yes, it is just as amazing as you have been led to believe) according to Goodreads I finished the second book the day before I started it. They are fast, but engaging reads, with great, intricate plots, an expansive story, and amazing characters (my favorite part of the books). I cannot recommend this highly enough to folks who enjoy fantasy or heist stories (and definitely recommended for people who like both!).

And thanks to Goodreads being part of the Amazon collective I just linked my highlighted passages from the kindle to my Goodreads account for you, gentle reader, to feast upon (though I have no idea what happened with book number two's quotes, I was sure I had more :-/)

One final note: these books had a refreshingly fresh take on sex. Namely no slut shaming, healthy, mutually respectful sexual relations between various characters, and not an eye batted at same sex relationships.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,643 reviews1,512 followers
August 2, 2016
The entire series is on sale for $2.00 each today 8/2/16 Here

3.5 This is an A.D.D. person's dream book stars

I am not A.D.D. in fact I have a hard time moving onto a new task or train of thought until I’ve amply concluded the one I’m currently having. And that was my struggle with this book and why I didn’t like it nearly as much as all of my friends who gave it 4.5-5 stars. I still very much enjoyed it entire book but it took me until the 40% mark to even get a feel for who all the players in the book are.

① Loch - She is the main organizer of this crew of miscreants and magical beings. Former Captain in the Republic Army she now needs to steal a manuscript back from the man who took over her Barony and adopted her sister while she was presumed dead. She is tricky and sly and has plans hidden within plans, under rocks of other shattered plans.

In my mind she is a little like Xena the Warrior princess. Strong with many skills and even more tricks up her sleeve. She also has a way with men that can’t be denied.
“Would you by any chance be interested in a cup of kahva?” He finally met her stare and grinned. “I like my kahva the way I like my women… hot and black.”
“I like my kahva the way I like my men,” she replied, her eyes half-lidded. “Ground up into tiny pieces and stored in a bag.”

② Kail - Loch’s long term companion on her way back from beyond the grave he has been through a lot with his captain and is totally ready for this new Job that should make him incredibly rich. Kail has a way with words and seems to end up in more scuffles than most….could have something to do with all the talk about other peoples mothers. In fact he can insult your mother and allude to sexual acts being performed with her in every language imaginable.
“Hey, come on!” Kail pushed into the hallway and saw an ascetic-looking man whose lapitect robes had some little stars on the collar. “We’re trying to work, here! Do I go down to where your mother works and push the sailors out of her bed?”

③ Desidora and Ghluspwr – well that is a mouthful. She is a Death Priestess and Ghyl is her magical Warhammer who very much likes to kill people but can be reined in. I liked her character the most. Not only is she fantastic at theft, viewing auras and changing magical glyphs but when she channels magic her entire body changes and things around her morph into black with skulls and spiders and other creepy crawly things. She is possibly one spell away from turning almost evil and destructive ready to kill anyone.
“You’re a death priestess?” the man asked. His urge to have sex with her had diminished greatly, though not entirely. “Like, sacrificing babies and devouring souls to gain the power of daemons and all that?”

④ Tern and Icy - Are a lockpicking safe cracking duo. Icy from the inside of the safe and Tern from the outside. Tern is the semi geeky girl with engineering and dohicky skills galore. Icy is a cross between a contortionist and a pacifist samurai. He has some sort of magical power and fighting ability but is not allowed to harm another living soul. In other words he can only kick inanimate ass

⑤ Hessler – a wizard thrown out of wizarding school on a technicality of sorts who just happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. He is a man of illusions and weave shadow into reality of sorts. He also seems to be the main attraction for at least one of the girls to pine after.

⑥ Ululenia- a unicorn….Well this is something you don’t see in most stories. She is a unicorn but apparently among having a hankering for virgins and projecting jargon into mortal minds, she can also shapeshift into various creatures including a human woman. Totally an interesting and different way to look at Unicorns especially the part about the vigins.

⑦ Dairy - Ululenia’s current virgin and bot with a touch of destiny about him. Seems that the big bad guy called the glimmering man makes him feel tingly inside….you take that however you want to.

⑧ Pyvic - the honorable Justicar that has been pulled along into this tangled mess to try and find Loch and Kail before they are able to pull off the job of the century. It seems that things might not be exactly what he thinks and Loch might be his trickiest opponent yet.

So there are most of the characters and that isn’t even counting the bad guys. Like I said a lot of PoVs and they shift multiple times in the same chapter. However, once I got a better handle of the characters the way the story is presented added a little bit to the drama and flow of the story.

Other notes of interest - A palace in the sky, demonic creatures bent on stealing souls, magical armor, elves, a sexified satyr (you don’t want to know where his horn is), a prophecy that could lead to the end of the world and much much more.

My only downfall to the story besides the A.D.D.ness of the character jumping was just that I really enjoy when the clues are laid out and then I can try and solve the puzzle myself. There is no way to ever solve this puzzle ahead of time, it is really just all too random. So when you read it just be ready to let it all go and jump in for the wild crazy and at times ridiculous ride.
Profile Image for Kaora.
585 reviews282 followers
October 30, 2014
Well that was fun!

The Palace Con is about Isafesira de Lochenville (also known as Loch), who is serving her time in prison, set up by a man who stole her inheritance. But when she escapes, she begins to assemble a crack team involving a unicorn, a young thief, a death priestess and a wizard in order to get back what was taken from her.

This book reminds me slightly as a cross between Ocean's Eleven and Gentlemen Bastards. It is witty, and while the humor is not on the same level as Scott Lynch (who is really difficult to beat), it had me giggling more than once.

What I really like about this book though is the characters. I found Gentlemen Bastard's protagonist Locke witty but slightly whiney (see scenes regarding Sabetha). Loch is the former, and not at all the latter! She is motivated, she is smart and she will kick your ass.

Did I mention she also takes no shit from anyone?

He met her stare and grinned. "I liked my kahva the way I like my women... hot and black."
"I like my kahva the way I like my men," she replied, her eyes half-lidded. "Ground up into tiny pieces and stored in a bag."

Throw in some interesting insults (frog-eyed Republic lickspittle), great supporting characters, your mom jokes (in multiple languages!), a floating city and a couple of surprising twists, and you have a book with a wonderful new world that will hook you from beginning to end.

Cross posted at Kaora's Corner.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,103 followers
October 15, 2015
In my estimation, Heist novels never get old. I love the feel of outsmarting wicked, pompous, and the ideologically Wrong. The constant jabs and Republicans were very funny. I never once forgot that this was a fantasy novel, but I was constantly reminded of how idiotic certain IDEAS are. I giggled, chortled, and even guffawed a few times. Heist novels area always about upsetting the status-quo. That means we need an extremely clear world to be built in order to break it. The Palace Job delivers on all counts.

It gets even better when the novel studded with shiningly clear characters borrowing from and defined perfectly by a long list of fantasy tropes. They don't sit still, either, developing nicely by non-standard trope reactions between each other and all the oddball situations they get themselves in, making a solid team to take on such a huge job. Remember, it's a Heist novel. Teamwork and conflicts within the team are bread and butter, as are reversals, reversals, reversals, and we get all of that here. Very fun stuff.

Fantasy, like SF, need a lot more novels taking on the Heist. Sure, there are already a lot out there, but it speaks to something within us all. Something fundamental and gleeful always seems to alight within us. Maybe it's just the boredom of our stolid lives that need a good shaking up, and maybe it's pointing a searchlight in the eyes of all the people who annoy the shit out of us. Fortunately for us, both the Fantasy and SF fields excel in showing us ourselves in their own right, and so this turns into a seriously relaxing and fun romp.

Did I say there were reversals? Oh yes.

The plan is solid. What in the world could go wrong?

It's just a magical incantation written into a song. It's the original! It's my birthright!

We're just hiring a death priestess for a bit of muscle. Her sentient Maul can only help us.

He's just a kid! Do NOT leave him alone with that pervy unicorn!

It was a funny novel. I'm putting this mostly in the category of mind-candy and light reading, but serious events do happen in the world and in my growing concern for it. Everyone might begin as a cardboard cut-out, including the land, but it doesn't stay that way. I like that a lot. It reminds me that this is also a solid fantasy. I'm really looking forward to the next in the series. :)
Profile Image for Terence.
1,117 reviews352 followers
October 4, 2017
While trapped behind enemy lines, Loch's inheritance was stolen from her. Loch plans to steal the most valuable part of the inheritance back, a priceless elven manuscript. In order to do that Loch along with her trusted friend Kail assemble a colorful team to get the job done.

The Palace Job was quite different than I anticipated. The description makes the book sound like it's funny, but I doubt I laughed at anything that happened or was said. I did smile a few times such as when Kail described what he did to people's mothers.

Much of The Palace Job was just ok. I wasn't particularly interested in the formation of the team for the job or the early going. It all felt too familiar. It was very much like a fantasy Ocean's 11 with Loch and Kail as versions of George Clooney and Brad Pitt's characters. Loch was the typical brilliant mastermind with countless contingencies to ensure success.

As the book progressed the tale took on very different tropes. Rather than a simple heist story, prophetic and save the city tropes emerged. The shift was a welcome one as I don't particular care for heist tales.

Revealing characters motivations sooner is one small change that would have vastly improved my reading experience. Revealing two characters motivations in particular would have significantly altered and improved the story. Those characters are Loch and Archvoyant Silestin. When Loch is putting together a team to complete the heist it seems as though her only motivation is to improve her financial circumstances. As the tale moves forward Loch has much more poignant and heartfelt motivations for her actions. Archvoyant Silestin seemed like the normal pompous politician. Not someone particularly worthy of being robbed. As the tale continues it's revealed that Silestin is much different than he's displayed in the early going.

The Palace Job is a heroic tale masquerading as a common heist story. Unfortunately it waited until almost the end to reveal it's true nature.
Profile Image for Jaya.
440 reviews223 followers
November 26, 2016
3.75-updated-to-4-solid entertaining-heist-caper stars

What's not to like? A motley crew of a kick ass leader, her lieutenant (with classic one-liners), a shapeshifter (who is actually a unicorn with a penchant for seducing young male virgins), a death priestess (who has a talking warhammer), a wizard and duo of thieves and a clueless innocent boy set out to seek revenge from a mean evil villain. Chased by and an honorable (and handsome) person of justice (with his mixed feelings towards the lady thief) .

An engaging, clever and exciting read with plenty of hilarious moments and dialogues. Plus points for those awesome action and fight sequences. I did have some problems with the world building in the initial 15% of the story and the style of writing does take some time to get used to but still, it was such a fun ride.

Having said that, my verdict would be, if you want to read an heist/caper, go for this book!
I will be reading the sequels for sure. So definitely recommended.

Oh and the political commentary done through puppets who talk about the society, racism and ongoing politics was a very clever (& intelligent) touch!
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,073 reviews2,634 followers
May 11, 2015
Update: This was an old review, and so I wanted to say that as far as I know the Kindle version has since been corrected and is now free of the formatting errors and typos. The publisher even contacted me after see this review and was awesome enough to replace my old copy with the fixed one! Plus I'm aware that this book also just got "re-released" so I'm sure everything should be perfect now! Go read it, it's a fun book!

A band of thieves plot to pull off the greatest heist ever -- fantasy style! What an awesome book this was -- though, I would like to give a couple heads-ups beforehand:

1) If you are planning to read this on the Kindle, be forewarned that there are quite a few formatting errors and typos in that version, which the author explained to me over Twitter were introduced by the publisher's scanning software. Ultimately these errors weren't too bad, just mildly distracting, and I certainly can't fault Weekes for those. I was told the Kindle version will be fixed in the near future. (Edit: See my update above)

2) However, I also found the writing to be a bit rough, though this might be attributed to the author's own unique style. Patrick Weekes is perhaps best known for his writing work for the video game company BioWare and their popular Mass Effect series, and perhaps not surprisingly, often when I was reading this book it almost felt like Weekes was describing a scene from a movie or cinematic sequence, one that only he can see in his head. There were parts where I found descriptions to be lacking; for example, there were a few scenes with lots of conversation bouncing between multiple characters. These were especially tough on me, since they work well on a big screen when the audience can follow the speakers visually, but they don't fly so well on the written page. And in a book like this, there certainly were a lot of characters to keep track of.

Those were the two main obstacles I had to overcome, but apart from them I have to say this book was very enjoyable. I was sucked in completely somewhere between the first couple of chapters -- after prisoners Loch and Kail escape their sentences and start planning their heist by recruiting other thieves and other talented individuals to their cause. No shocker that this book has been described as Ocean's Eleven meets fantasy, as that's pretty much the whole story, with a magical twist.

The first quarter of the novel was probably my favorite part, as it comprised all the character introductions. We have two ex-soldiers-turned-thieves, a tinkerer/lock picker extraordinaire, one talented acrobat, a shape-shifting unicorn, a death priestess and her magical talking hammer, a wizard, and his young friend with a big secret. It's a colorful group of players, and like I said before, lots of characters to keep track of. With such a huge cast, I wasn't expecting much terms of character development which under these circumstances would be understandable, but I should have had more faith. I ended up being very impressed, especially given the restraints the author had to work with, and I liked how each of the characters were unique, provided an interesting background and an important role to play. Surprisingly, though? My favorite character was not one of the thieves. Instead, that honor belonged to the justicar Pyvic, the "inspector" in this story who is tasked to track them.

One other thing I want to mention about the characters: I find "group" heist stories and their casts are often male-dominated (I mean, look at Ocean's Eleven, Reservoir Dogs, etc.) so I have to say I feel like giving Patrick Weekes a big kudos for writing a book featuring an ensemble which includes quite a few women -- women who aren't solely there for token purposes or just to be romantic interests, I might add! In fact, not counting the talking warhammer, half the team is female. Anyway, this observation did strike me as different as well as a welcome change, so I just thought I'd throw that out there.

As I was saying, I realize a big cast necessitates taking away from character development somewhat, but I also want to note that it might have taken away from the world-building as well. Though don't get me wrong, what we are given about the setting and its background is adequate and more than enough to follow the book, but I wouldn't have minded a little more description. I gathered that we have a world here which is populated by humans, dwarves and elves. The humans are comprised of different races, defined by geography and history. There's an established political system in place. Multiple tongues are spoken by the people, but at some point one of the characters also spoke French, which was referred as an ancient language. I love it all, and Weekes obviously put a lot of thought into this world. It's just a shame he didn't get a chance to fully flesh it out, but then again, I understand there's a story to be told and that takes full priority.

And that is what drives everything in the end, after all. The story. Full of political intrigue, twists and turns, double crosses and hidden agendas, it's actually quite amazing to me how the author managed to cram all that goodness into this average-length book. It definitely makes up for everything else.

Bottom line: this book is clever, humorous and a lot of fun. If you're looking for a light read with a good action-filled and fast-paced story, you won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,510 reviews855 followers
February 7, 2017
I would have liked to have given this another star but it was really too patchy overall. I liked the humour, I liked the crew. Reviews of the next two in the series are better and I think this is probably because the reader has got familiar with the style of writing and the characters. This was entertaining- very funny in places, a bawdy fantasy crime caper.
Profile Image for Jokoloyo.
449 reviews273 followers
October 5, 2017
I read this entertaining action-packed book when I was having rough days, and it was effectively kept me from stress too much. And as I had mentioned in several previous reviews, I am a sucker of a good rag-tag-team trope, so it was natural that I was tempted to rate as 5 star.

From what I perceived when reading this book, I like the voices of characters. They are distinctive for some characters.

As other reviews had mentioned, this is a heist novel, and a high fantasy novel. The author delivered the story by combining tricks-versus-tricks with pretty hard magic system in good balance. That's it. I wish with a little assurance, you can try to read this book yourself.

If you wonder why the rate of this book is not so high (when I write this review, the average rating is 3.81), my guesses are:
- the plots are fun and pretty unpredictable sometimes, but I believe you could guess most of the plot twists. Maybe if you haven't read many heist stories yet, you could get surprised more frequently.
- Almost no growing character.
- The cut scenes are so much like comic books/tv series aiming for highest thrill. But after so many similar scene cuts, the thrilling/surprises were waning.

A good entertaining read, and I was reading it at a right time when I need entertainment. But if you are seeking the best fantasy series ever, don't read this series.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,595 followers
November 28, 2015
*** 4.25 ***

Buddy read with my wonderful MacHalo Freaks!

What a fun ride!!! Fast paced, wildly entertaining and hilariously tender!!! Picture a gang of miscreants, among which we find a master safe-cracker, an acrobat/marshal arts creature or foreigner, whichever fits better, a Death priestess, a sentient talking hammer, an illusory creating mage, an innocent virginal boy called Dairy, coveting that virginal boy Unicorn, Loch, who is a black army kick-ass chick, and Loch's long-time army buddy Kail. Now picture this mismatched gang plan and execute a heist in a Fantasy world, full of magic, legends, flying demons and cities, as well as puppeteers... I know it might seem a bit too much, but it really works when you throw it all together and mix it all up, including the secret ingredient of Patrick Weekes's talent!!!

The banter is wonderful and witty, and the book is full of quotable moments. We all have our favorites, and here are couple of mine:

“Would you by any chance be interested in a cup of kahva?” He finally met her stare and grinned. “I like my kahva the way I like my women… hot and black.”

“I like my kahva the way I like my men,” she replied, her eyes half-lidded. “Ground up into tiny pieces and stored in a bag.”


"When you are a hammer, every obstacle becomes a nail!"

I know the kahva one is most ladies favorite, but it is a jam, I could not not quote it!!

So, I would recommend this to fans of light, fun and actionny Fantasy and heists. Looking foreword to the next book:)
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 150 books37.5k followers
December 16, 2016
Former scout captain Loch (described as a woman of color; I picture her like Zoe Washburn from FIREFLY) and her buddy Kail go out to gather a crew in order to steal a manuscript from the most power, and corrupt, figure in the Republic, who rules from a castle in an airborne city.

Secrets and powers fly around like lightning and thunder as the story unfolds at breakneck pace.The voice is terrific, vivid and funny, the heroes awesome; they are painted in somewhat broad strokes, and I was confused between them once or twice, but the pace simply swept me along.

If you're tired of grimdark but like jet-paced action, this is a book to grab.
Profile Image for TL .
1,879 reviews53 followers
September 27, 2016
Dear Mister Weekes,

I did not expect to fall in love with this book but you have me ensared... these characters wormed their way into my heart fairly quickly and would not let go. Each one of them is BookFamily to me now :)

The world building in here is gorgeous and rich, it's easy to sink in and walk the streets... to believe in the magical aspects of the whole thing and to root for the characters (and curse the villains ;-))


Despicable man but truly believing in what he was doing... still want to send Hulk after him.

All gushing aside, this is truly a wonderful novel. if I could have gotten away with it, I would played hooky from work just to keep going with it in one sitting.

There is humor to balance out all the action and drama happening (though it never gets super dark) with some hints of romance (so adorable). Plus, a few unexpected surprises that weren't too surprising once you look back on them, for me anyway.

Would highly recommend!
Profile Image for Stevie Kincade.
153 reviews103 followers
November 11, 2016
(Audiobook) This was tons of fun. Narrator Justine Eyre was outstanding. Should you read it? YES
(Testing out my short form review steez.)
Profile Image for Lea.
147 reviews86 followers
April 7, 2015
Buddy Read with my wonderful MacHalo Girls

This book is glorious . How could it not ? It features:

-An ancient talking warhammer.

-A death priestess who used to be a love priestess.

-A woman of color as the commandant.

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-One of the most amazing male/female friendships I've seen in a long time.

And really, any book featuring a horny unicorn is bound to be a fucking winner.

Profile Image for Alexandra.
1,309 reviews3 followers
Shelved as 'didnt-finish'
April 25, 2017
Ok peeps, I've read two chapters and this seems to be a mess, all sorts of odd things just thrown in. And it lost me with the shapeshifting unicorn who wants to deflower virgins. I'll admit it's a clever twist on the unicorn/virgin myth - but also a very sickening and disturbing one.

Sorry, I just don't think this kind of thing is funny. I am really, really over the whole men putting a premium on virginity like women are simply commodities thing. Really. Over. It. And this *twist* is giving me pedophilia and rape vibes.

IMO the whole lusting after virgins thing fits in a dark or serious Fantasy, showing ugly situations and attitudes, but that's not what I've been lead to believe this story is.

And give me a unicorn character, and I'm personally going to expect one that's actually likeable and decent. I hold unicorns to a higher standard than average folk.

Two chapters and so far this book isn't funny, or particularly clever. Bounces around so much I don't know enough about any of the characters to know if they're likable, except the randy unicorn who I already dislike immensely.

I hear it gets better, and I'm disappointed because based on the glowing reviews I snagged the first three books in this series. And Weekes happens to have been a writer on one of the best video games with awesome, well-developed, characters, IMO.

Might try again later, but ugh, so disgusted.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
November 30, 2018
Pretty good audio!

The Palace Job was a pretty fast paced audio, from start to finish. Now I love a good heist book every now and then.. but some things in this book either happened way too quickly for my taste.. or kind of seem far-fetched? Maybe in a way? idk, I'm weird but I feel like certain evil things shouldn't have been killed too easily - could just be me though.

Other than that, Loch and Kail were enjoyable.. well, they made the book enjoyable. Especially when they were escaping out of a prison.. that was like.. IN THE EFFING SKY! First off, whenever that becomes a thing.. I will be scared shitless. Now besides some of the cool heist crap in this book, some things were kind of funny. I mean, the people in this heist gang were just laughable at times. It kind of reminded me of those ocean movies - like the characters with special skill or something. The unicorn shapeshifter, aka Ululenia, and the magician, Hessler, were my favs out of everything. Especially when we met Hessler in jail - hilarious!

Overall, it was a pretty interesting book about a great heist. I can't wait to dive into the next one!
Profile Image for Eric.
895 reviews79 followers
July 11, 2014
This book was just so much fun that it was easy to overlook a few clunkily written passages. I will paraphrase a sentiment I frequently saw in other reviews -- this is Ocean's Eleven meets Dungeons & Dragons. And what else could that be besides fun?

First of all, every novel's opening should be as exciting as the jailbreak that gets this party started. Talk about getting the reader's attention. And it doesn't let up there. The plot speeds right along, collecting the rogues gallery that will attempt the titular "palace job" heist. And despite having nine characters in this ensemble -- former soldiers Loche and Kail, a rogue illusionist, two safe crackers, a shape-shifting unicorn, a death priestess, her talking warhammer, and a rather dull, clumsy lad named Dairy -- the characters personalities are varied enough that there is no trouble following the cast and their exploits.

Which is good, because once they are all together, it's right off to the city in the sky, where their talents and skills are put to the test in every imaginable way. I won't go further with the plot for fear of spoilers, but I will say that the author thumbs his nose at politics, classism, and racism. The breakneck speed of the plot and the lightness of tone allowed this commentary to slip in without bogging the story down in any allegorically philosophical quagmires. Also, the trope of farm boy turned Chosen One is absolutely turned on its head in this book to great effect. Kudos to that, with apologies to David Eddings.

Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Carly.
456 reviews185 followers
October 19, 2015

I love heists. I can't really explain why. It probably has something to do with the planning involved in the exploit, and the large cast of colorful characters, and the delicious twists within twists. Honestly, I have a hard time defining their magic, since one of the most ubiquitous aspects of heist stories--namely, that you can't actually think about the sequence of events without realizing that the whole thing is a haphazard heap of Refrigerator Logic tenuously upheld by unrealistic events--goes against all of my normal book instincts. The Palace Job has all of the lighthearted fun--and failures--of a heist story, all told within the framework of an entertaining fantasy world.

Speaking of the worldbuilding, Weeks was clearly hugely inspired by Discworld. The magic of Weekes' world tend to humorously reference our world, such as magical locks whose dependence upon "two very large prime numbers" means that they can't be broken without stealing the "encryption crystals." The plot, two is reminiscent of Pratchett, particularly Men At Arms. Put it this way: one of the characters is an honest ingenue orphan boy with a mysterious birthmark and a food item name. (Gee, I wonder what will end up happening to him?) There's also a character named Icy Fist, short for Indomitable Courteous Fist, which isn't remotely like Constable Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets. The dialogue, too, occasionally reminded me of a Discworld book--and I consider that a high compliment. A few of my favourites:
"Fortune favors the bold, though statistics favor the cautious."
"I like my kahva the way I like my women… hot and black."
"I like my kahva the way I like my men," she replied, her eyes half-lidded. "Ground up into tiny pieces and stored in a bag."

However, there's one pretty big distinction between Pratchett and Weekes: Pratchett's books function on multiple levels, and shine brightest as satire. While Weekes involves quite a few references to our world--don't get me started on the politics--I don't think it's actually satire. For one thing, there isn't really a driving point. For another, there's my main complaint of the book: its handling of race. Superficially, it seems to work: two of the protagonists are part Urujar, subject to prejudice and stereotyping because of their skin color. The book tries hard to explore prejudice through the guise of the Urujar. However, to me, the oversimplification of racial issues in the world is a truly egregious problem. For one thing, I'm sick of fantasy authors having a dark-skinned slave race. It suggests that dominance by whites and prejudice by race are so inevitable that they're effectively universal. Worse still, in Weekes' world, the terms "Urujar" and "black" are used synonymously, both by outsiders and by the Urujar themselves. Given how closely Weekes appears to be trying to mirror our world--his characters talk about "being able to pass for white" and "hair that had the tight Urujar curls"--I find having an entire culture coded only by skin colour to be extremely offensive. In our world, part of the offensiveness of racial stereotyping is the way that a rich multiplicity of cultures and backgrounds are flattened into a single stereotyped list of ill-considered biases. Trying to play around with prejudice while actually utilizing that type of prejudice leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Authors, if you decide to try to explore racism in your books, can you either move it farther from home or grant it its due complexity?

While the plot was a lot of fun, it seemed to have difficulty deciding whether or not it wanted to go for suspense or comedy. Most of the book reads like a spoof, but Weekes uses the "character-appears-to-die" cliffhanger at least five times. It's the type of thing that I believe should be used at most once. Also, despite the half-female cast, the book comes perilously close to failing the Bechdel test, not because the women don't talk to one another, but because their conversations so rarely involve something other than the men. And I'm not even going to get started on the "Imperial" character who comes off as a clumsily-magic-ized version of a Jackie Chan movie. I really did enjoy reading this--it was just that I couldn't stop my mind from thinking about the book as an attempt as satire and analysing it accordingly. You'll definitely appreciate the book more if you just sit back and enjoy the comedy.

Overall, The Palace Job makes for a cute, lighthearted read. Like most heists, you can't think about the plot too closely, and in this case, a lot of the superficiality extends to the worldbuilding as well. However, if you're in the mood for a humorous heist, The Palace Job is definitely worth a look.

~~I received this book through Netgalley from the publisher, 47 North, in exchange for my honest review.~~
Profile Image for Camly Nguyen.
250 reviews42 followers
June 16, 2015
Dnf 50%
Ok, now before any of you kill me, I tried to like this guys. I really did.

So in this world there are a group of superior people and a group of slaves. Loch is a slave. She escapes for that world and is now temporarily free. So she recruits a bunch of people to work with her to find an ancient book that belonged to her family and is worth lots of money but the judiscar Pelvis is trying to stop her because it's his duty to stop escapees. Bleh:/

I can see many people liking this book however, it just isn't right for me. I mean who doesn't like horny shapeshifting unicorns that crave for virgins right?

Um characters are very original I'll give you that, but there were WAY TOO MANY of them. I was at 22% and Loch has still not finished recruiting people. In the end, I barely even remembered their names. Nothing was going on. Plot=a big fat 0. (Ok, now I'm exaggerating. It would probably be a two on ten for the action-ish start.) Damn I'm surprised I even continued to half the book. World building is just not very original, it felt very rehashed with the "society of nobles and slaves". Writing and plot doesn't make you want to read it any further either.

Nothing stood out in this book. It was just very plain and disappointing.

I wouldn't recommend.
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