What is this book about?

Loch is hell-bent on revenge and redemption after she was framed and imprisoned by the most powerful man in the republic who not only ruined her family, but stole her title, her inheritance, and smeared her name. Breaking out of a prison that’s never been escaped from is only the first step in her plans, though, and Loch immediately sets off to gather together an unlikely motley crew including, but certainly not limited to, a Death Priestess, a shape-shifting unicorn, an illusionist, and a seemingly useless and incompetent virgin on the run. Their target; the impenetrable floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire. With a ruthlessly honorable Justicar tasked with bringing her in, Loch and her crew have their work cut out for them. A series of close-calls, narrow-scrapes, and more crash-landings than ought to be necessary ensue mixed together with plenty of action, hilarious quips, and a lovable band of misfits that will grow on you as much as each other.

Why is it boring?

I wouldn’t describe this book as boring, but if you prefer a more detail-orientated fantasy that focuses on the world-building with an intricate, character-driven plot, then The Palace Job might not be to your tastes. The characters were like-able and plentiful, and very unique (There is a talking war-hammer and a shape-shifting unicorn who is… very horny…), but not all that individually developed. It’s redeeming qualities are it’s fast-paced action and hilarious one-liners, but otherwise it is of pretty simplistic in design as far as most fantasy novels go. While there were a few moments of suspense in regards to the fate of some characters, it wasn’t often edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, which is something I’d probably think more necessary in a heist-based novel.

Who would you recommend it to?

If you’re a fan of a good heist story or an ensemble cast of strange but like-able misfits begrudgingly pulled together by a common goal only to find themselves drawn into unlikely friendships, then this is definitely up your alley. It’s a fantasy with a strong female lead who is smart, cunning, strong, intelligent and likeable, plus an interesting range of supporting characters. It was light, easy to follow, and a simple story. Great if you’re looking for something funny and fast-paced, and you can rarely go wrong with a heist novel.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

It’s a fun ride and a light read. The bad guys get what’s coming to them and the good guys prevail and in that sense it is predictable and formulaic, but the colorful fantasy setting coupled with some equally colorful characters and funny, witty dialogue (and some great ‘your mum’ jokes) really set an enjoyable story that draws you in without smothering you in swathes of description and exhaustive world-building common with many fantasy settings. It wasn’t a stand-out or a favorite of mine by any stretch, but I definitely had a lot of fun.

Review written by Tharuka Fernando.

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Tharuka lives in Western Australia, gradually working her way through law school and life in general. When she isn’t procrastinating study or working, you can find her living off tea, biscuits, and the neighbourhood gossip as she makes her way through her ever-expanding personal library of sci-fi and fantasy.

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