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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora (edition 2006)

by Scott Lynch (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,577307879 (4.23)3 / 544
Title:The Lies of Locke Lamora
Authors:Scott Lynch (Author)
Info:Spectra (2006), Edition: 1st, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  1. 204
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English (298)  German (3)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (306)
Showing 1-5 of 298 (next | show all)
Really wonderful fantasy tale with great characters. The first half is a bit slow but the characters kept me reading. I even shed a tear or two for a few of them as the story starts to turn grim. I'm excited to read the next one in the series. ( )
  alexezell | Nov 14, 2018 |
This was ultimately a very satisfying fantasy heist revenge mystery antihero vs villain story. It is a bit of a bumpy ride, however. Like Lamora and his plans, the book is elaborate, clever, but not smart. Details are rich, often too rich; explanations are somewhat spoon-fed. It is a good book, but I do prefer a bit more unsaid, so I can feel smart by filling in the details.

Lynch constructs a living, breathing, vividly described city in exquisite fine detail, from the buildings through the inhabitants. their daily lives and gruesome revels. Camorr is a medieval port city teeming with trade, merchants and thieves. The rich part of the city is ruled by Duke Nicovante; the underbelly by Capa Barsavi. The Secret Peace keeps the arrangement stabile and convenient for noblemen and thieves alike.

Lynch spends a lot of time developing the character of the major actors as well; plenty of dialogue, descriptions of surroundings, objects, background stories and scenes to establish character abound. The bond between our gang of little thieves is strong and nurtured via common upbringing and training. This is scattered through the book, interspersed with current events, and serves to explain and emphasize them.

The story starts out cleverly, with our thieves constructing an elaborate scheme to trick Don Salvara out of his money. They have everything organized, plenty of money, disguises, good meals, happy camaraderie. I was getting a bit bored - it felt like a medieval Lifetime version of Ocean's 11. Then the villain shows up and things go south very quickly. From that point it is a revenge on the revenger type of bloody game of outsmarting the madman.

I was a bit annoyed at the beginning, not knowing where the story was going. I did not feel that the dialogue was appropriate for the medieval feel of the city. Clever, but not smart was my feeling throughout. Locke had elaborate plans but no backup plans. Seemed out of character. The villain was flat - he was your cliche madman bent on revenge. It worked, it is a good cliche, but felt lazy. The cursing as a sustitute for character development also felt lazy.

Overall I enjoyed it and I will be looking forward to reading the sequels! ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 298 (next | show all)
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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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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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Haiku summary
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)

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