The Paladin Caper by Patrick Weekes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
And the third one's the charm.
I loved this. I thought I loved the second novel, but this one pulls me by my heart strings just as much as it pulled my absolute gushing love of plot and twist. It turned out to be much less of a heist novel than the previous two, but that's okay because what we've got instead is a truly evolving team up against a truly, magnificently difficult enemy.
The best part is how all of it ties so very tightly to the previous two novels. From the spoiler spoiler spoiler in the first novel, to the spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler in the second novel, to how each and every one of those wonderful bits and pieces wove together to make spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler, when even a fantastic Now/Then sidebar that illustrates exactly how the spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler worked out, and even then, I still can't figure out if Loch's plan worked because she's just that good or that she's relying on only a hella-huge pool of luck and goodwill.
I could give you a breakdown of all those spoiler bits, but I'm not. It's not fair to any of you sitting on the fence about picking up these novels, because YOU really NEED to READ them. You'll know exactly what I mean and be just as fucking delighted as I was.
The writing is damn fine. Everything is super crystal. The action scenes are absolutely fantastic, quick, colorful, and always in the service to the story. Even the character development twists flow like water, both contrary and obvious in retrospect.
And while I'm on about that: Having a love/death priestess on the team IS really and truly a GOOD REASON why there's so many damn hookups happening all over the place. It was never overboard, but it was definitely delightful and so damn necessary to the plot. My heart jumped into my throat, damn it. There were way too many serious reversals for our loveable heroes, even ones that I couldn't quite stomach. (I couldn't stomach one just because I loved his character too much.) Still, keep reading, because I'll tell you now that it is a cry-worthy ending.
Saying that this novel is satisfying just isn't cutting it. It's more of a fist-pumping gushfest of an ending that remains, even now, so bittersweet that I think I want to go lay down and cry.
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