Friday Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Locke Lamora is a thief. He has always been a thief, but while his skills are many, he lacked direction. Until he was sold to Father Chains, the con-man priest who headed the Gentlemen Bastards. Under Chains direction, Locke’s skills as a con artist supreme flourished. After Chains’ death, Locke and the other Bastards use their talents to run cons on the wealthy nobility of Camorr. Until a new threat shows its hand, and Locke and the other Bastards are pulled into the Grey King’s scheme to take over the underworld of the city. When the coup threatens the people and things Locke holds dearest is his mercenary life, he vows to defeat the Grey King, even if it means his own life.

And that’s just the bare bones of the story. I don’t want to give too much away because this is one of the best heist tales I have read in a long time. It’s part Ocean’s Eleven, part Oliver Twist, and a whole lot Locke Lamora. Every time I thought the storylines were coming together and beginning to weave into a whole, something else drops in to add a deeper twist.

The city of Camorr is one of the best fantasy settings ever conceived- it’s an island city connected by canals reminiscent of Venice. Populated by the upper class nobility, who live in tall towers made of Elderglass, a substance that makes up a large part of the city, and which was manufactured and used by the original mysterious inhabitants of the city who are now long gone. There is also a thriving criminal element that exists under the control of the capas, who are rather like mob godfathers, and which thrives under a secret agreement with the city’s police. It’s a fascinating, complex, and well-developed world.

The characters are also quite well done. Locke is one of those wonderfully likeable rogues- he’s a thief and a con man, but he’s also smart, witty, and charming. The other Bastards are just as appealing. Other characters are never stiff or undeveloped, whether major or not. But beware- Lynch, like another rather famous writer, is not beyond doing away with a favorite, so don’t get too attached to anyone! The story is interesting, if long (the paperback is over 700 pages), and does some back and forth between present day and flashbacks to Locke’s training. There are a few infodumps, but they are handled well and are few enough that they don’t take away from the action. The action itself is nicely paced and heart-pounding in spots. There is some brutality, but it is a natural part of the story and not there just for shock value. I suppose it is fair to give a language warning, as well, but really, Locke and his fellows take cursing to a new height. Humor is woven throughout the story in subtle ways, mostly through Locke’s character.

When this book was first published, it was praised just about everywhere in the fantasy world. Having finally gotten around to reading it, I can say it was well-deserved. The Lies of Locke Lamora is a wonderful book.

View all my reviews

=============================================

Available now:

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

 

 

 

Feedmypeople-thumb

In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

five-and-daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor.  Learn more here

YoYo#2Thumb

Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s