Loch and her crew, the rogues of the Republic, saved the world in The Palace Job. Unfortunately, doing so meant opening the way for the legendary Ancients to return, and they mean to come back and to rule, with no concern over who is destroyed in the process. By The Paladin Caper, they have laid their plans very carefully and figured out just which key figures they need to control to get their way. This leaves the rogues facing their final adversary, a well-prepared, well-armed foe that has counters to the tactics they have used before.
The group cobbles together a plan based on cunning, cheating, and a lot of luck. They are hampered by the fact that, unlike previous opponents, the Ancients know all about them. The team is not at its best, either. Desidora is feeling lost without Ghylspwr, her sentient hammer and former friend turned betrayer. Ululenia is having trouble not losing her sanity after killing and thus absorbing another Faerie creature. Loch is still being hunted by demons who are after her personally.
Patrick Weekes works a hefty amount of suspense through The Paladin Caper as the group dodges their enemies, tries to figure out precisely what is planned, and attempts to gather allies. It is an exciting read, and it’s good to see the crew working together. He does use some odd point of view shifts to maintain that suspense, which can be frustrating as, looking back, it seems that the characters would have communicated some of these details to one another and thus to the reader. Some of the pieces thus have a rabbit-out-of-a-hat feel. Still, it is an overall enjoyable read and Weekes works in some more world building that explains some of the odder bits of the land—and that feels planned and well-prepared for.
The Paladin Caper is a fitting conclusion to the Rogues of the Republic series, a fast-moving, light on its feet story of party teamwork against overwhelming odds.
The Paladin Caper is out now.
The previous two books in the series: