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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review:The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

"I'm not as reckless as I use to be. You know when I was little."
Author: Scott Lynch
Mass Market Paperback: 736 pages
Publisher: Spectra (June 26, 2007)
Format:Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook

       The best way to describe The Lies of Locke Lamora is to envision a peaceful walk through a meadow, where everything is going well and there are clear blue skies. What am I saying; The Lies of Locke Lamora is a heart pounding thriller that will tug on your heart strings. If you did not have heart problems before reading this novel, you will afterwards.

       The novel takes place in Camorr, a parallel version of Italy, and follows the escapades of the thief, Locke Lamora. Locke has been described, by his friends and enemies, as cunning, arrogant and an all around bastard, a Gentleman’s Bastard to be exact. The Gentleman’s Bastards is a small group of thieves who amass a ridiculous sum of money by stealing from the oblivious nobles of Camorr. Of course Locke, being the arrogant thief he is, decides to steal the largest amount of money he has ever stolen. This decision leads to many dangerous run-ins with the Capa Barsavi (imagine a mafia boss) and the mysterious magical rebel, the Gray King.       

         The Lies of Locke Lamora’s story is wonderfully told, brimming with intrigue, plot twists and all around entertaining good fun. You will always be eager to see how the Gentleman Bastards will escape from their dangerous situations. 

            Even though the story of The Lies of Locke Lamora is a great one, the true star, or should I say stars, of the novel are the members of the Gentleman’s Bastards: Locke, Jean, Calo, Galdo and Bug. Locke is a slap in the face to all other typical fantasy protagonists, he is not handsome, good with a sword or tall, but he is cunning. Jean is the son of a merchant and has a frightful temper. The twins Calo and Galdo are the jack of all trades of the organization. Bug brings up the rear as the youngest Gentleman Bastard whose goal is to prove his worth to his fellows. Taken as individuals they sound interesting enough, but as a group there friendly banter, close friendship and hilarious one liners will make even the grumpiest person smile.

            Though I have heaped a truckload of praise onto The Lies of Locke Lamora, it is not without faults. Scott Lynch occasionally will go on long tangents about the history and geography of Camorr and it does not add much to over arching plot and some of Locke’s plans rely on luck more than his cunning. Of course these are rather small gripes and should not prevent you from reading this novel.

            Since this is a dark fantasy I have quite a few warnings for those interested in this novel. I am sure everyone has heard the phrase “curse like a sailor” it should be changed to “curse like a Gentleman Bastard” because they curse, a lot. The cursing in the novel is complimented by the violence that the characters participate in. The violence can range from a scuffle in the streets of Camorr, to someone being drowned in horse piss (yes this actually occurs).If you are looking for a light, happy fantasy, look elsewhere.

            Like the characters in the novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora will steal your precious sleeping hours and leave you with a smile as you eagerly await to see how they will top it next time. This is a truly wonderful tale.

The Lies of Locke Lamora review score: 39/50    

World Building-7/10


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