Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora 
Series: Gentleman Bastard #1 
Author: Scott Lynch 
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey 
Publication Date: June 26, 2003 (First published June 27, 2006)
Source: Bought

The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a ghost that walks through walls. Half the city believes him to be a legendary champion of the poor. The other half believe him to be a foolish myth. Nobody has it quite right.
Slightly built, unlucky in love, and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. He certainly didn't invite the rumors that swirl around his exploits, which are actually confidence games of the most intricate sort. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else, pray tell, would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny of it. All of Locke's gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards.
Locke and company are con artists in an age where con artistry, as we understand it, is a new and unknown style of crime. The less attention anyone pays to them, the better! But a deadly mystery has begun to haunt the ancient city of Camorr, and a clandestine war is threatening to tear the city's underworld, the only home the Gentlemen Bastards have ever known, to bloody shreds. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends will find both their loyalty and their ingenuity tested to the breaking point as they struggle to stay alive...

I genuinely don't even know where to start this review. I can't express how much I absolutely love it. Going into it, I had almost no expectations -- I picked it up because one of my good friends and my favorite buddy reader wanted to read it! She definitely reads more adult fantasy books than I do so, while I trust her reading tastes, I expected not to like it as much as I would have liked a YA fantasy. 


I was totally wrong. I freaking fell in love with this book so hard. From the very first page, I was completely wrapped up in the world Scott Lynch created and was enamored with his characters. Locke Lamora certainly is an excellent thief because he 100% stole my heart (ba dum pss). But honestly, learning about Locke's history and seeing the way he grew throughout the book was amazing. He felt like a little puzzle I was desperate to figure out. Plus, he was just such a unique main character. I'm so used to reading about main characters who are strong and amazing at fighting but that wasn't Locke. His strengths lay in his smarts and his wit. I loved that about him. He was so funny and so clever -- I found myself consistently surprised and shocked while reading -- Locke was an unpredictable character which added so much excitement to my reading experience. 

Honestly, Scott Lynch, in general, did an amazing job of keeping me on my toes as I read. Several times throughout the novel, I found myself with my jaw on the ground because I'd just been absolutely turned around by the twists in it. Lynch definitely does not coddle his characters and he does not go easy on them. I felt the numerous threats looming over them throughout the story and loved being kept on my toes like that. 

I have so much I want to talk about in this review -- the other characters, like Jean, Calo, Galdo, Bug, and Chains. What an awesome cast of unique and three-dimensional characters. Even those who weren't in the book as frequently as Locke and Jean were written in a way that made me feel as though I had spent all 500+ pages with them. Each one made a place for themselves in my heart. 

I also want to talk briefly about the world -- we only saw such a small slice of this in this first book of the series but wow, what we did see was so vivid in detail. I can't wait to see where else the next books will take us!

This review is such a gushing mess and I've only expressed a fraction of the love I feel for this book. If you have any interest at all in fantasy books, I'd highly recommend reading this book. It's easily my favorite fantasy novel. Everything about it completely won me over -- the writing style, the world building, the surprising twists, the humor, and, of course, the characters.

“What kind of knife is this?” Locke held a rounded buttering utensil up for Chains’ inspection. “It’s all wrong. You couldn’t kill anyone with this.” 

Five out of Five Teapots

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