I’ve glanced at this book for a while, though scared away by the thickness of it (since I also has school to keep up with as well as reading).
“The Lies of Locke Lamora” is placed in the city of Camorr, a city of thieves. Here, the thieves steal from the common folk, who in turn get robbed by Capa Barsavi. There’s no way to avoid stealing, whether it may be the merchants, the thieves, the nobles or even the Duke himself who’s the robber. It is set in an environment resembling 16th century Italy imaginatively mixed with brutality of a city ruled by the mob. Our main character, Locke Lamora, is somewhat of a professional con artist, who specializes in stealing from nobles – not for the sake of money, but for the sake of stealing. He and his group of ‘Gentlemen Bastards’, a group of young men all nurtured to their current thievery by a man named Father Chains, who taught them the life of a classy thief, spend their time stealing from nobles with surprisingly cunning schemes.
The story vary between two plot lines: the current situation and the boys’ childhood while growing up with Father Chains. This gives the author a splendid reason, a reason hated by the reader, to end the current chapter with one hell of a cliffhanger. Though, these small breaks often serve to explain matters and consequently give the author hints to what will happen next. (However, I would love if someone could explain what that break with the ball game brought to the story, except perhaps a little humour).
I think Scott Lynch manage to string together a magnificent story that involves humour (partly resembling that of Terry Pratchett’s book while not being as crude as his might be), savagery, revenge, a slight steampunk feel, with the wit of a skilled con artist. While still having gruesome details (for instance, people being drowned in horse piss and heads being mauled by glass pieces) and several gory parts, it manages to keep the brutality to a tolerable level. It is not a simply story of violence and death. In fact, Locke himself avoids combat preferably, and doesn’t like to kill, a skill he’s neither fond of or proficient at.
Easily making its way to my top 10 most loved series list, “The Lies of Locke Lamora” is an excellent tale. I absolutely adored the prologue and its way of keeping the reader’s interest up. The story doesn’t develop until a few 100 pages into the book, but in the meantime it serves to expand the readers knowledge and make threads to later tie together, accordingly deepening the story. Being intriguing, amusing, mournful and even revolting at times, it captures the reader in a brilliant tale without basically any tiresome parts. Locke, who’s on neither side of the battle taking place in the city but still at both, gets thrown into the events of the city headfirst, endangering everything he holds dear, namely the Gentlemen Bastards themselves. While a fantasy book, magic is not the prominent feature. Rather, it’s the bonds between a group of orphans brought together by chance, or perhaps an old blind priest with hidden talents.