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Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

Lies of Locke Lamora

  • Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora
  • Author: Scott Lynch
  • Series: Gentleman Bastards
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: February 1st, 2007
  • Publishing Co.: Gollancz
  • Length: 544 Pages
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback, Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
  • Acquired: My sister let me borrow her paperback copy
  • Amazon Link: The Lies of Locke Lamora

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…

First Chapter Challenge:

In this first chapter (which was actually the prologue), it took a bit for me to get in it. The prologue was LONG and there were a LOT of worldbuilding elements that I was simply thrown into. It starts off with two men–thief trainers–talking to each other, and debating the sale of a young boy. At first, I am not really interested. However, as the seller begins his tale of Locke and the trouble that this young boy has already gotten into, my interest piqued. I had to know more about this intelligent little scoundrel!

Final Judgment: 5 Stars out of 5

Trigger Warning: Adult language, graphic violence, some sexual content

A Game of Thrones tale, but rather than the high and mighty fighting over a throne, instead, it is the seedy underbelly of the city of Camorr thieving and killing for dominance. Locke and his friends, dubbed the Gentlemen Bastards, the smallest thief unit in Camorr, are out for money. And a whole hell of a lot of it. They have been training their entire lives with their former master for this lifestyle–styling from the rich. However, the head Capa–ruler over all the thieves–has brokered a “Secret Peace” with the Duke of Camorr. Basically, the rich are off-limits for ALL thieves. Breaking of this Peace means a slow, agonizing death, as with any crossing of the Capa. Good thing Locke and his friends are too good to be caught. At least, that’s what they thought…

After about 2 chapters in, when the world was fleshed out and the characters were practically vibrating off of the page, I was HOOKED. I could not stop reading. I would go to work in the morning, and impatiently pace around in a daze all day until I could get home and pick it back up again.

The characters are witty, intelligent, and oh-so ballsy. They felt like real people, and I cried real tears when things got ugly. Because yes, they get UGLY. Remember Game of Thrones? Be prepared to have your heart wrenched out and then stomped on. And then stabbed eight times with a dagger just for funsies.

The plot is ridiculously amazing and intricate. Something that I never in my fourteen lifetimes would have conjured up. I never knew what was going to happen next, or how Locke was going to get himself out of his current pickle–and he was ALWAYS in a pickle. Throughout the novel, there are about four different nefarious plots and shenanigans interweaving together in a nice ring of juggling balls so that you never know what to expect. Or what is going to make one of those balls drop. Prepare thyself for some tense chapters. Lynch is also great at leaving a chapter on a cliffhanger, then moving to a completely different arc for the next two or three. Talk about a nail biter.

The writing is absolutely phenomenal. Witty, charming, horrifying, you name it. Lynch weaves both current events and past events (interlogues) within the story to further build his characters and their world. It is also a clever plot device, as he inserts the interlogues right when the current events are getting to be just a bit too dicey or heartbreaking. It is both a relief as well as a frustration tactic. Furthering my need to continue reading well past my bedtime.

The story is a dark one, but full of ingenuity and comedy. The Gentlemen Bastards are a troupe of genuine friends–family, really–and the reader immediately feels the need to root for them against all odds. Overall, this is definitely a book that I would recommend to ANYONE, regardless of their genre of preference. However, it is a bit of a monster in size–as well as the sucker-punch it’ll throw at your heart–and it is just the beginning of a series. Even so, ABSOLUTELY worth the read. I have already lined my shopping cart with the next 2 books in the series. AND the fourth book is supposedly set to be released in 2021! Talk about perfect timing!

Have you read the Gentlemen Bastards? What’d you think? Let me know in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

Add yours

  1. Huge fan of the book, I consumed it through Audible and me and the bro enjoyed it on the long road trip through Sweden. Great page, love to see someone with a passion for reading sharing it in such a fun and insightful way. Keep up the good work and I will be sure to check in more often.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! I haven’t started the second book yet, but I’m excited to continue the journey. I’m trying to make a dent in my TBR pile of books already on my bookshelf, but I’ll probably break pretty soon and go ahead and buy the rest of the Gentlemen Bastards series…

      Liked by 1 person

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