For one, the motley crew here was much bigger – all nine of them - and consisted of a truly diverse group of individuals of varying skills and expertise, one of which was actually a non-living item that has a personality of its own. I’ll not to go into any details about these characters for this first book review as I believe that a new reader should have the joy of discovering the individuals that the Rogues of the Republic are composed of.
The world was not exactly medieval, not really steampunk but an unusual amalgamation of familiar ones which come together to make a pretty unique setting. It's a straightforward story with a main theme around the heist plot of seeking revenge, as the main protagonist, Loch, assembled this team to perfectly execute an almost impossible job to take back what was rightfully hers.
A couple of things did affect my overall reading enjoyment. Firstly, it was written in a third person perspective which seemed 'more omniscient' than usual. Coupled with the large cast of key characters and it becomes a surefire recipe for detachment. As such, it took me quite awhile to really get invested into the plot and the characters. Secondly, the writing was a bit patchy, especially in the first half of the book.
Notwithstanding, somewhere after one-third of the book, the seemingly random blocks start to fit together and when the big heist started, the unraveling of the plot became so exciting and fun that it was getting hard to leave the book down for long. By then I also begun to like and feel more attached to this rag tag crew of misfits, which added to the tension I felt during the more critical moments. What I appreciated was that the story was fast-paced, had some neat twists and revelations, and was nicely wrapped up by the end of the book without any cliffhangers or significant hanging threads such that one can pretty much enjoy this on its own.
While it's not what I call a masterpiece, it is entertaining if you are looking for something fun and fairly quick to read, and particularly if you enjoy heist plots and ensemble casts of interesting characters.