Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.

But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.

A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora … 

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My Thoughts

To us -richer and cleverer than everyone else!

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora has been one of my most sought-out fantasy novels to read after it being highly recommended by a handful of friends – and I am so glad they were right, and I did enjoy myself greatly while reading it. This has also been a very beloved book within the fantasy community, and as the author’s first published work, I am very impressed.

This book follows the tale of a small con-artist/thieving group named The Gentleman Bastards spearheaded by the genius Locke Lamora who operate in huge schemes targeting the noblemen in an Venetian-inspired island called Camorr.

Story-wise, the book started off a bit slow for me, especially with how things and events were being introduced. But after 100 pages or so, everything was already so easily placed and understandable that it had been an easy-paced read already with very smooth transitions, and even bigger and wilder twists along the way. While the slight “old school” type of prose and dialogue may hinder some readers, it eventually gets better and it just makes sense in the over-all scheme of the book. One of the things about the way the book was written was how the two timelines of the story (the main one and the interludes) were so out of place at first, but they all suddenly made sense towards the end. To have those events finally explain (and even hint at) what was going on with the book was so satisfying, and everything just makes so much more sense. Even the schemes and tricks Locke and the other Gentleman Bastards were doing just fell into place with ease, and it was super fun to watch it all unfold.

The world-building and atmosphere in this book were phenomenal. Everything was described really well – even down to the food and trinkets mentioned. It also helped me lot that this book has a heavy Venetian culture inspiration, so imagining things weren’t that difficult. If you want a very immersive book in terms of its setting and over-all atmosphere, this one is probably for you. It never shied away from both the opulence and luxury of the upper-class locations and the grunge and filth of those in the lower class sectors.

But of course my absolute most favorite thing about this book were the characters and their dynamics. The small troop that is the Gentleman Bastards have immediately caught my attention and heart the moment they were first plotting out their plans from the very first page. They’re just all so charismatic, smart, funny, and quirky that it is not hard to like them. While Locke Lamora’s brains and skills were put to the centerstage and I adored him as a character, the other members of the gang were just as equally charming with their own set of talents and skills. The relationship dynamics in the group is just so spot-on for me, and I really enjoyed them more as a group than alone. Even their dynamics with their peers, enemies, and victims were just as equally enjoyable to read.

Over-all, I was so satisfied with this book, and I am already eager to get on with the next book to see what the Gentleman Bastards have in store. 

 

My Rating

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About The Author

T.J. Klune (Author of The House in the Cerulean Sea)
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I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 2, 1978, the first of three brothers. I’ve lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area my entire life; currently, just across the border in Wisconsin, about half an hour east of the Twin Cities.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, my first novel, was bought by Simon Spanton at Orion Books in August, 2004. Prior to that I had just about every job you usually see in this sort of author bio– dishwasher, busboy, waiter, web designer, office manager, prep cook, and freelance writer. I trained in basic firefighting at Anoka Technical College in 2005, and became a volunteer firefighter in June of that year.

In 2007 The Lies of Locke Lamora was a World Fantasy Award finalist.

In 2008 I received the Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award from the British Fantasy Society.

In 2010, I lost a marriage but gained a cat, a charming ball of ego and fuzz known as Muse (Musicus Maximus Butthead Rex I).

My partner, the lovely and critically acclaimed SF/F writer Elizabeth Bear, lives in Massachusetts.

Website Twitter

6 thoughts on “Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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