Friday, September 13, 2013

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch | Book Review

I'm going back and forth on how on earth to tackle my thoughts of The Lies of Locke Lamora. There are actually many reasons a review like this one is hard to write, but the one I am struggling with the most right now is making sure I don't spoil anything. It can also be hard to put into words why I like something, but a lot of what I love about Locke Lamora is based on the subject matter and the events that take place so you are just going to have to take my word for it.

Book Description

The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a friend to the poor, a ghost that walks through walls.

Slightly built and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny. All of Locke's gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves. The Gentleman Bastards.

The capricious, colourful underworld of the ancient city of Camorr is the only home they have ever known. But now a clandestine war is threatening to tear it apart. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends are suddenly struggling just to stay alive...


The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first book in the Gentlemen Bastards series. The Gentlemen Bastards is a group of con artists that steal from the rich simply for the joys of stealing. I want so much to make references to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. If you loved that movie but also love really dark fantasy, please read The Lies of Locke Lamora. There is a lot of fun thieving going on, but I'm barely scratching the surface with my (undoubtedly awful) reference to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Obviously a group of thieves are going to be flawed and morally questionable, but the Gentlemen Bastards are also fiercely loyal.

As much as there is humor and adventure in The Lies of Locke Lamora, there is also a lot of darkness. There is so much more to Locke Lamora than a band of merry thieves. It's pretty epic and only the beginning. I just started reading the second book in this series, and I'm hard core loving it.

I cannot do this book any justice without giving away any plot points so just know that I really enjoyed it.

My only complaint about The Lies of Locke Lamora was the timeline. After each chapter there was an "Interlude" that took us back in time. These interludes showed a lot of Locke's and the Gentlemen Bastard's past. Something really exciting would happen and a chapter would end on a huge high and gah! Interlude. The Interludes did taper off before the end, but I'm not writing them any love letters.

The moment I finished reading Locke Lamora I googled to see if there were plans for a movie. Apparently Warner Bros. secured the movie rights right away but never produced the film. Seriously, this is probably the #1 book I would turn into a movie if I had the power to do so.

The only other thing I can say about The Lies of Locke Lamora is read it, read it, read it, and then let me know so I can talk about all the things with you.

8/10: Great Read


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  1. I still am uncertain about this book. I just can't get a firm handle on what it is about. But your enthusiasm for it and the point that it stands out as different than so many of the fiction out there is a good selling point for it. Thank you for sharing this review.

    1. Sorry, Rita! I almost didn't publish this review at all because my extreme anti-spoiler stance makes it so very hard to say why I love it. Just know that if you like your fantasy on the darker side and a band of thieves sound like a good time to you, this will be a rewarding read. :)

    2. I can only echo Jennifer - this book is fantastic, but to say much about the plot would spoil it. This book has to happen to you, but it's so good on so many different levels that you'd be hard pressed to be disappointed.

  2. This sounds interesting, I haven't heard of it yet. Great review! I see your read Neil Gaiman's The Ocean At The End of the Lane. I enjoyed that book, it's a quick read and very classic Neil Gaiman -- can't wait to see your review! Same with What's Left of Me -- it's a very interesting book :)

  3. It was definitely a good book. I think a lot of people's complaints have to do with the structure. It certainly takes some getting used to. I think even Scott Lynch had written in a post that if he could redo it, he would clean up the flashbacks a bit. But I enjoyed the flashbacks. It was just the other timeline that had little/nothing to do with Locke and crew (cultural references, etc.) that I felt took away from the story.

    Regardless, I agree that it was a great read. I was less enthralled with book 2. Not bad. But not as good as the first. I am eagerly waiting book 3 (October, I think?).

  4. This is my most favorite fantasy series, and you're right, it's tough to explain what the book is about without spoilers. I tell people it's a little like Ocean's Eleven in a fantastical Venice-esque world, and everything that could possibly go wrong does.

    Fair warning, the next two books in the series havethe back and forth jumps in time. And every damn chapter ends on a cliffhanger!

  5. I read this years ago and loved it! I was surprised by how dark it ultimately got. The next book has been languishing on my to-read list forever though. I need to get to it someday!

  6. I can definitely have a hard time with interludes as well. If they are done well they can be great - but like you they can just ruin the flow of the book for me.

    I have seen so many covers for this book now!


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