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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
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The Lies of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Gentleman Bastard (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,538305881 (4.22)3 / 543
  1. 204
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (MyriadBooks, Anonymous user)
  2. 130
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (fyrefly98, souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although the authors have different writing styles, both are epic fantasy books with a caper/heist/team of thieves at their centre
  3. 80
    Jhereg by Steven Brust (thegryph)
  4. 70
    The Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: I'm convinced that "Fafhrd and Grey Mouser" books from Fritz Leiber are one of Lynch's sources of inspiration for Locke Lamora.
  5. 40
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (majkia)
    majkia: outsiders, thieves, heists, pirates
  6. 40
    The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (simon211175)
  7. 30
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (ajwseven)
  8. 20
    The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells (F_Urquhart)
  9. 31
    Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung (majkia)
    majkia: Although completely different settings, still the same lighthearted thievery going on.
  10. 10
    The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan (2seven)
  11. 10
    Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick (Melfice)
    Melfice: Each of these books delve into a world of thieves
  12. 10
    A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (foggidawn)
  13. 21
    Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover (nsblumenfeld)
  14. 10
    Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks (mbdyer)
    mbdyer: Urban heroic fantasy with a touch of caper novel.
  15. 10
    Mélusine by Sarah Monette (Enyonam)
  16. 00
    The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron (SockMonkeyGirl)
  17. 22
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (MinaKelly)
  18. 00
    The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes (Luisali)
  19. 01
    The Legend of Nightfall by Mickey Zucker Reichert (wisemetis)
  20. 04
    Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein (enrique_molinero)

(see all 21 recommendations)

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English (296)  German (3)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (304)
Showing 1-5 of 296 (next | show all)
As soon as I finished The Lies of Locke Lamora, I wanted to dig out my old Steven Brust and Roger Zelazny novels, because those were the books that originally gave me a taste for humorous fantasy antiheroes. However, both Vlad Taltos and Merlin were much more self-mocking than Locke Lamora. Locke is self-confident to an extreme - it is his only acknowledged character flaw. This confidence man is clever, bold, courageous in the face of physical danger, quick witted, and even self-sacrificing when the mood strikes. He's perilously close to too perfect.

But you know what? It works for him.

Locke Lamora's world is very intriguing - and intrigue-ridden. I thoroughly enjoyed what has been shown of it so far: a Renaissance (Faire)-style society living among the ruins of a futuristic, perhaps alien, race. There's definitely room to explore in future novels -- but for those readers who dislike incomplete series, this book does work as a stand-alone story, even where ground is laid for a sequel (particularly in the area of the off-page, unseen-by-readers love interest).

The abrupt switches between present time and backstory did not work for me, but I suppose they began to grow on me towards the end. It's not that the character's history was unnecessary or that it failed to inform the current action, because it did add quite a bit. Without the backstory, I'm not sure Locke would have been a sympathetic character at all. Entertaining, yes, but not sympathetic. No, the problem was that the inter-cut chapters of past and present tended to end on cliff-hangers, on the moment before the big revelation, and that quickly became annoying. I would much rather have read straight through Locke's formative years all of a piece.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is devious, swashbuckling, and entertaining. And a bit fluffy, despite the inventively crude language and occasional gory death. The readers are in on Locke's cons, which leaves the intrigues easy to see through, and the bad guys are downright bad and totally unsympathetic.

In other words, it's a perfect summer read. ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
Well, damn. I can see why this is as highly regarded as it is. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Sep 29, 2018 |
So I have mixed feelings about this book.

On the positive side, the world-building is amazing. I love Camorr, I love the Venetian influence, I love how seamless the author makes his setting--it all makes sense, it's all fascinating, it's a wonderful mix of history and fantasy and I was intrigued from the get-go.

I also really enjoyed the political structure--the gangs, the capas, the nobility, the merchants--it was all handled very well and everyone acted in ways that, again, made sense. Even the Gentlemen Bastards were portrayed as existing so far outside the norm that it became their greatest strength. By establishing firm rules for the way the city of Camorr worked, the author was then able to let the Bastards break those rules in interesting and hilarious ways.

And the writing was very good. The scene where Locke is trying to procure a set of fancy clothes is a literal masterpiece of humor, tension, farce, and brilliance.

On the negative side, however, I had some issues with the characters and the plotting.

The author seemed to have introduced characters only for them to be used as fuel to fire the actions of other characters. They were underdeveloped and then when they were removed from the playing field the impact never felt believable. You see characters mourning, enraged, plotting revenge but it all seems hollow because their relationships weren't given the sort of depth necessary to explain those emotions. You can say "these characters are really super good friends" but if you don't show it in the text, it becomes meaningless.

The plotting was...weird. You'd think that it was trying to be a Russian nesting doll, yes? Plots within plots within plots. But it really wasn't...instead it was plots adjacent to other plots that all intersected in a fashion that was somewhat rushed and messy. I feel like the author had all these things he wanted to do but instead of connecting them, he just sort of threw them all out there and tenuously strung them together afterwards. Then toward the very last...15% of the book suddenly all these motivations become exposed and it's too rushed to mean much, which robs the writing of some of its impact.

Overall I think this is a wonderful book in terms of how it establishes its setting. The way the author builds the city of Camorr is a masterclass in how to create your own worlds. But I don't know if I'm going to read the next book in the series to be honest because I just never bought the relationships between the characters and that's supposed to be at the heart of this book and it just...wasn't. ( )
  ElleGato | Sep 27, 2018 |
Locke Lamora is an orphan living in the city of Camorr, an old city built on the even older ruins of an alien race's city. As an orphan, he's almost fortunate to get taken into the Thief Maker's gang, be taught the skills of a street thief, and subsequently be sold to Father Chains. Chains teaches his carefully selected family of orphans to be highly skilled con men--the Gentleman Bastards.

As an adult, leader of the Gentleman Bastards after the death of Chains, Locke enjoys both his "work" and his position as the leader of a small but reasonably well trusted gang in the criminal underworld ruled by Capa Barsavi. Then other gang leaders, of more powerful gangs, start turning up dead in unlikely and unpleasant ways. Someone has declared war on Barsavi, and Barsavi calls on Locke to help him deal with the problem.

With a major con game under way, the duke's intelligence chief finally on his trail, and Barsavi dangling marriage to his daughter as an inducement to Locke, he's got an awful lot to juggle, and he and his friends are soon struggling to keep all the balls in the air.

Then Locke discovers that the mysterious enemy, who calls himself the Gray King, has something far more evil than just taking control of the Camorr's criminal underworld.

This is a complex, detailed, lived-in world. Locke, his friends, and his principal enemies are well-developed characters with strengths and weaknesses, and even the most minor characters are more than just placeholders. The plot is nicely developed and quite intriguing.

Recommended.

I bought this book. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I feel like this book was a cross between The Goonies and The Princess Bride...if The Goonies were adults and masters of disguise. ( )
  Firehair_Wildling | Sep 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 296 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Lynchprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abercrombie, JoeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dociu, DanielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martini, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Een fris, origineel en fascinerend verhaal van een opwindend nieuw geluid in het fantasygenre.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
I'm Locke Lamora,
Gentleman Bastard. Can I
Have your money, please?
(passion4reading)

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.

» see all 9 descriptions

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