I finally got around to reading The Lies of Locke Lamora after hearing a lot of good things about this debut novel by Scott Lynch. At first, I was afraid it wasn’t going to live up to all the good things I had heard about it since I found it a little hard to get into in the beginning, but I ended up absolutely loving this book.
This is definitely not a book to read if you are looking to read something thought-provoking and insightful. However, it is something to read if you are looking for something entertaining. It’s a very dialogue heavy book, and a lot of the dialogue is clever and witty. Toward the beginning of the book, I thought it seemed like the dialogue was a bit forced and the author was trying too hard to make it seem clever, but it got better as the book went on.
One thing that some may find annoying is that the entire book switches back and forth between the past and the present. It isn’t confusing since the past parts are referred to as interludes (with the exception of the prologue, which goes between the past and further past without as much warning as to when it’s changed times). After the prologue, it smoothed out and I ended up enjoying the brief looks into the past.
The characters are wonderful. If you’re tired of goody-two-shoes characters who can do no wrong, this might be the book for you. The main character Locke Lamora is a priest of the Benefactor, a god of thievery, and a master of disguise. He and his friends in the priesthood are con men who make schemes to take some money of the hands of the rich noblemen in the city of Camorr, which seems to be modeled after an Italian city. Locke isn’t really an evil character, but he’s certainly not good either. If you’re familiar with D&D alignments, I’d call him some sort of neutral (but definitely not lawful neutral). Also, he’s actually a fantasy book main character who is not good at fighting at all – he’s much better at using his brain. (And, just to be clear, he’s not a mage of any sort either – just a clever rogue.)
I could not put this book down, and I thought it was a fairly unique fantasy book. It did have it’s flaws early on and it’s not what I’d call a masterpiece of literature, but I had so much fun with it and found it different enough from normal fantasy literature that I have to give it a pretty good score. It was the most entertaining book I’d read in quite a while.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first book in The Gentleman Bastards series (but don’t worry, there is no cliffhanger ending and the book is a complete story by itself). The next book in the series Red Seas Under Red Skies will be available on July 31 of this year. I can’t wait – it’s on my Amazon wish list already!