The Palace Job has been recommended by a friend a couple of times, and I happened to catch lowercasecee’s review just before I started reading it. It is like a magical Ocean’s Eleven, but lighter on the testosterone and heavier on the diversity. It’s a great heist novel with daring escapes, a bringing together of the crew, setbacks and secret identities.
My non-Cannonballing friend sold it to me as the start of an adventurous series with great characters and engaging writing. One book in and I have to agree. I loved that Weekes tells his story and leaves the reader to figure things out. Of course, he tells his story well enough through action that there doesn’t need to be an information dump about every little thing. The world Weekes builds is complicated with class divisions, racial, species, and national prejudices and political machinations.
Often in books like this, the antagonist is more plot device than character. Archvoyant Silestin and Bi’ul, the main bad guys, are only as developed as they need to be, but they are formidable. During the heist, the crosses, double crosses, and triple crosses I had to put the book down to break the tension.
The protagonists are slowly revealed as they join forces and plan the heist. The reader gets to know them as they get to know each other.
“Are you a good wizard?”
Hessler was not given to long conversations unless he had someone interesting to argue with. “Do you mean good as in ethical or good as in capable, Dairy?”
“Er… is there a difference, Mister Hessler?”
As Hessler turned, mouth open to deliver a truly blistering retort, he looked directly into Dairy’s sky-blue eyes.
“I mean, wouldn’t a wizard who wanted to do good be better at using magic than a wizard who wanted to do evil?”
Hessler couldn’t quite bring himself to say it. “Sure, lad,” he said quietly, shifting in the saddle to stretch his already-sore legs. “Yes, I’m a good wizard.”
There’s plenty of character exploration left to do in the next two books, but I did feel like each character had its own fingerprint.
I’m looking forward to The Prophecy Con. It’s sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to finish this review.