Friday, January 15, 2010 | |

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I must confess that this isn't my first time through this book, it's more like my third. I can't seem to avoid reading this book every year or so, just for the sheer pleasure I get from it. It really is a wonderful book. All right, enough fan boyism, time to get to the actual meat of the review.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a fantasy book by Scott Lynch. It's part of a series of a planned 7 books called The Gentleman Bastard Sequence. The novel tells the story of Locke Lamora, moving back and forth between his childhood upbringing and his current situation, namely that of a Garrista, a boss of a gang in the city of Camorr. Locke and his group of thieves are planning a massive heist of cash from a rich Don and Dona of Camorr. Robbing nobles is strictly prohibited by the Secret Peace, a sort of don't ask don't tell agreement between the nobility and the Mob boss of Camorr. They devise a clever plan to rid the Don of his wealth while at the same time keeping it secret from the Duke's police as well as the Mob boss. Things take a turn for the worst when Locke and his crew get wrapped up in the revenge of The Grey King, a clever man planning the overthrow of the underworld of Camorr.

The book is a wonderful lesson in giving just enough information that you can have a fully realized world, without spending chapter after chapter describing everything in sight. The city lives and breathes around you as you read. Lynch does get a bit verbose at times, and there were some parts that could have been removed altogether, but overall he does a wonderful job of giving just enough to keep you in the scene while at the same time making the world around you come alive.

If you're a fan of capers (Think Oceans 11) then I highly recommend this book to you. It's got a plot that I love, and shows how clever the writer and the characters are throughout. I also love the dialogue in this book. WARNING: This book does present a somewhat frequent use of the F Word, so if you absolutely can't overlook that, it might spoil the whole thing for you.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (9/10) is one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. The world is great, the characters are wonderful, and you're left heartbroken where you should be and rooting for the protagonist all the time. For a first book, this is very polished. In terms of the overall novel, I would rank this book above The Name of the Wind. Rothfuss manages to be a little bit better storyteller than Lynch, but you honestly couldn't have gone wrong with either in the year they came out, and you still can't go wrong with them now.


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