20 January 2017

Books: The Paladin Caper (Rogues of the Republic #3) by Patrick Weekes (2015)

“Loch and her crew are determined to stop the ancients from returning to reclaim the world they once ruled, but a kidnapped friend throws their plans awry. When a desperate rescue turns into a shocking reunion, the ancients return and seize power. Determined to stop them, Loch and the crew look for a way to close the gate to the ancients’ world, but this time, they find themselves up against an enemy that has insinuated itself into the highest ranks of the Republic. Cruel, cunning, and connected, the ancients target the crew’s families and histories, threatening to tear friendships apart.If that weren’t bad enough, Loch must deal with her treacherous assassin sister, her turncoat ancient friend, and a daemon who has sworn to hunt her to the ends of the earth. In order to save the Republic and pull off her largest con ever, Loch will need her friends…and maybe her enemies too.”

In what could be (though I doubt) the final book in this series, author Patrick Weekes saves the best for last. Even though the book has a tendency to bounce around like ADD kid locked in a sugar factory, the story and the characters evolve. Of course, after three books, I might have finally just used to his style of writing. Still, I enjoyed the books, with its daring Indiana Jones adventures and snarky, sometimes self-aware heroes who are as flawed as much as they’re awful damn lucky and clever.

The overall arc of the series was well thought out –nothing seemed really out of place here. He dropped just enough hints and ideas that enabled the set pieces to flow without stopping the narrative to from falling into long, bloated info-dumping explanations.  

Once again I must note the diverse cast of characters Weekes has created here, something not seen in fantasy. And like the science fiction genre where modern problems are used in future settings, Weekes weaves a subtle commentary on racism. Also refreshing is the mutual respect of sexual relationships with the various characters. There is no slut shaming as well as no one batting an eye at any of the pairings, including the same sex ones. 

Even though I’ve grown to have a love/hate relationship with series novels, I do hope Weekes plans to continue writing about these characters. They’re fun to be around and this rag-tag group of thieves, former killers, and hooligans appear to be more interesting than anything Robert Jordan ever created.  

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