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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora (edition 2007)

by Scott Lynch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,256268842 (4.24)3 / 479
Title:The Lies of Locke Lamora
Authors:Scott Lynch
Info:Spectra (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 736 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks
Tags:audiobook, fantasy, series

Work details

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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English (258)  French (3)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (266)
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
This was my second time reading Scott Lynch’s fantasy heist novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. This time around, I was reading it as part of a group read, which was one of the first times I’ve read a book in weekly increments over the span of a month.

When Locke Lamora was a young orphan, he ended up in the hands of Father Chains – a conman who focused his energy on training up a group of orphan thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards. Years later and Locke and the Gentlemen Bastards are raking in a fortune, right under the nose of both the nobility’s secret police and the overlord of the city’s criminals. Yet everything changes when a man known as the Grey King begins battling for power within the criminal underworld.

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.”

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I adore heist plots and con-artist protagonists. I’m a sucker for those sorts of stories. Add in my favorite genre (fantasy), and you’re guaranteed to have a book that will draw my attention. And in this case, I was absolutely riveted, even in a reread. It’s got good writing, fantastic world building, and plenty of witty dialog. Even though it’s actually pretty dark – there’s torture and death and all sorts of horrible things going on – it doesn’t feel as grimdark as many recent entries to the fantasy genre, perhaps due to the humor.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is set entirely within Camorr, a city of canals with a culture reminiscent of Italy. Camorr is just such a well crafted setting. I’ve talked before about how the best fantasy settings have a sense of vividness that makes them feel like they could come right off the page. Camorr has this in spades. It’s got a distinct culture and society that’s realized down to details like the food and monthly festivals and traditional, shark-killing female gladiators. Camorr completely avoids the “generic fantasy” feel.

While I really love The Lies of Locke Lamora, it wasn’t entirely perfect. During the group read, we talked a lot about women in the book (or lack thereof) and their position in Camorr. The good news is that a lot of the background characters of all sorts are female, from guards to alchemists. There are also a couple of reoccurring but more minor female characters who are well developed and do end up effecting the plot. However, among the Gentlemen Bastards themselves, there are no women. I wasn’t super bothered, perhaps due to the scale of the story. The Lies of Locke Lamora isn’t an epic fantasy novel, and it’s more focused on the fates of a small group of characters (the Gentlemen Bastards) than even the fate of the city as a whole. I still notice the lack though. There’s also a female character who’s death could be considered fridging (although given everything else that happens, I don’t really know how she could have come out of it alive). It still merits noting.

The book’s other flaw is that at times the extensive use of split time lines, flashbacks, and interludes throw off the pacing. For most of the book, the timeline carries between Locke as a boy, learning from Chains and becoming one of the Gentlemen Bastards, and the present day where he’s pulling off a con on a nobleman. Then there’s various other interludes as well. On one hand, I did like how these sections interrelated to the present timeline, and many of them were engaging. However, I think near the end especially they threw off the pacing of the book. Where they all really necessary? Could some have been cut, condensed, or moved earlier?

The Lies of Locke Lamora is able to go from light hearted scenes that make me laugh to shocking and painful twists. If there’s one thing I’ve taken from this reread, it’s that The Lies of Locke Lamora is a book about the cycle of revenge. Yet it’s a continual joy to follow Locke as he so magnificently gets himself into and out of trouble. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy heists.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
1 vote pwaites | May 11, 2016 |
Best damn book I've read in a while. Of any genre. ( )
  thefamousmoe | May 1, 2016 |
Debatiendome entre 3 y 4 estrellas.

Por un lado el mundo es increible, muy creible y detallado, religion, sociedad, etc.
Por otro lado aunque al principio son interesantes despues de un libro entero los interludios entre capitulos se hacen muy pesados.
Ademas Locke tira mas a tonto que a listo por mucho que se diga de el. Se equivoca muchisimo y eso es practicamente lo que hace avanzar el drama y conflicto. En cambio Jean lo hace todo perfecto, no se por que Locke es el jefe. ( )
  trusmis | Apr 30, 2016 |
What could be more endearing than a group of thieves calling themselves the Gentleman Bastards? Probably not quite what I was expecting, and it's probably not quite as 'fantasy' as I was led to believe, but it was still bloody (tongue anyone?) good and I intend to keep on with the series. Nice job Mr Lynch! ( )
  BookFrivolity | Apr 23, 2016 |
Really enjoyed this one. Very detailed world and characters. Especially enjoyed the way the backstory was placed at the most critical moments of the current story. ( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Lynchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dociu, DanielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martini, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Een fris, origineel en fascinerend verhaal van een opwindend nieuw geluid in het fantasygenre.
For Jenny, this little world that was blessed
to have you peeking over my shoulder
while it took shape--
Love Always.
First words
At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-Seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.
We don't believe in hard work when a false face and a good line of bullshit can do so much more.
Locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. But the four most fatal words in the Therin language are 'Locke would appreciate it.'
Rivaled only by 'Locke taught me a new trick'.
Catbridges were another legacy of the Eldren who’d ruled before the coming of men: narrow glass arches no wider than an ordinary man’s hips, arranged in pairs over most of Camorr’s canals and at several places along the Angevine River. Although they looked smooth, their glimmering surfaces were as rough as shark’s-hide leather; for those with a reasonable measure of agility and confidence, they provided the only convenient means of crossing water at many points. Traffic was always one-directional over each catbridge; ducal decree clearly stated that anyone going the wrong direction could be shoved off by those with the right-of-way.
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I'm Locke Lamora,
Gentleman Bastard. Can I
Have your money, please?

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055358894X, Mass Market Paperback)

In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part Robin Hood, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling.…

An orphan’s life is harsh–and often short–in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains–a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans–a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful–and more ambitious–than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men–and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game–or die trying.…

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Vowing to bring down the crime boss running the city, a group of Gentlemen Bastards, led by Locke Lamora, sets out to beat the Capa at his own game, taking on other thieves, murderers, beggars, prostitutes, and thugs in the process.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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