Monday, February 19, 2007

The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Published by Bantam Books 07/06
Rating: 9, 499 pages

To start off The Lies Of Locke Lamora is probably the most impressive debut novel that I've stumbled across in awhile. I'd been hearing some buzz about this book before it was published, but the cover blurb by George R.R. Martin is what eventually caught my eye. And so I picked it up & was very pleasantly surprised & very happy that I did.

Lynch has done what so many Fantasy writers in the post Harry Potter/ Lord Of the Rings Movies landscape have failed to do, created a living, breathing world in which to tell his stories in. And he's also created a wonderful new character in Locke Lamora.

The best description I seen for this book rings very true. One reviewer stated that Lies read like a "fantasy" Ocean's Eleven.
And I totally agree.

The book follows the main character of Locke Lamora and his "family", The Gentleman Bastards. The Gentleman Bastards are a group of thieves that steal from the wealthy nobles of Camorr simply for the challenge & fun of it. Lynch paints them as slightly "Robin Hood" like.

The book flashes back & forth in time. The stories set in the past tell how Locke Lamora, an orphan, is raised by a master thief named Chains. Chains manages to teach Locke the ways of thieving even though Locke is severely a pain in the ass & very head-strong. The main story focuses on Locke & his band all grown up & planning their "ultimate" con.
However the balance of power among the thieves in Camorr is starting to shift. The local "Godfather", Capa Barsavi, is feeling his crime empire threatened by a mysterious figure known as the Gray King. The Gray King is slowly killing Capa's most trusted men.
Locke & his Gentleman Bastards find themselves caught in the middle of a massive gang war, with the Gray King using them as unwilling pawns in his plan to take over the criminal underworld of Camorr.

The story unfolds at a swashbuckling pace. Lynch manages to mix adventure & humor together in very fine fashion. And the "flashback" chapters are as well done as the main story. Lynch also shapes the world around Locke convincingly. Bringing Camorr to life in my mind's eye as I followed the story.

Overall is Lies is a very enjoyable read & a solid debut from an author that I'm looking forward to reading new things from in the future. Throughout the book Lynch develops a few story threads that go unanswered. Deftly setting up future books set in Locke's world. (Red Seas Under Red Skies, the follow-up is slated for a late July release in hardcover. While Lies comes out in paperback in June.)

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