The Prophecy Con
(Rogues of the Republic #2)
by Patrick Weekes
Rating: 5 Stars
‘Who would have thought a book of naughty poems by elves could mean the difference between war and peace? But if stealing the precious volume will keep the Republic and the Empire from tearing out each other’s throats, rogue soldier Isafesira de Lochenville – “Loch” to friends and foes alike – is willing to do the dishonest honours. With her motley crew of magic-makers, law-breakers, and a talking warhammer, she’ll match wits and weapons with dutiful dwarves, mercenary knights, golems, daemons, an arrogant elf, and a sorcerous princess.
But getting their hands on the prize – while keeping their heads attached to their necks – means Loch and company must battle their way from a booby-trapped museum to a monster-infested library, and from a temple full of furious monks to a speeding train besieged by assassins. And for what? Are a few pages of bawdy verse worth waging war over? Or does something far more sinister lurk between the lines?’
Please note that this book is the second in a series and as such there will be spoilers for The Palace Job – reviewed here.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley – what follows is my own opinion.
This is another thoroughly enjoyable romp through Weekes’ universe, complete with a handy character recap at the beginning. Since the group’s inglorious beginnings in the first novel, their circumstances have improved dramatically. Loche is now working on the right side of the law and the rest of the gang have settled into ‘everyday’ life more or less…
But all is not well behind the scenes. At the end of the day, though it may not have been their intention, the gang did fire an ancient superweapon and create a huge hole in the ground. Other nations are understandably fairly unsettled by the idea that their neighbour’s floating city could just bob over the border and reduce them to dust. Soon Loche and the gang are up to their necks in trouble again. In the end, someone has to be the scapegoat.
I love how Weekes begins this next adventure – the reasons for the gang getting themselves in trouble again are utterly plausible and I like how they fit in with the political climate we’re familiar with from the first novel. And yes, the puppet shows are still in evidence.
The only person we don’t see at the beginning is Dairy, he’s got himself in a bit of bother – he’s at a loose end now that his destiny as saviour of the world is over with and he’s fallen in with a bad crowd. I love that Weekes went down this path – I completely wasn’t expecting where he took Dairy’s story and it works so, so well.
We get to see a lot more of the world in this book, it’s certainly a novel that travels far and fast. There were also some great Bond illusions as well with the fight on the train and Loche ending up in a high-stakes card game at one point.
All in all it was another book full of fun and wacky antics, but by now you really feel attached to these characters and it seems to mean that much more when they succeed or fail. The transition from the first novel is smooth and completely believable – it doesn’t feel like Weekes’ decided he might feel like carrying on, rather it feels like a natural progression.