THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA (Gentleman Bastard #1)
Written by Scott Lynch
Published by Gollancz, February 1, 2007
My star rating – 5 stars!!!!!
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora … Find it on Goodreads
I never really thought the day would come where a book would take literally every element I love in fantasy and put it all into one. I also never thought that there was an author out there that could combine all the things I loved about them. But the day has come – and this is the book! Warning – this review may be the longest I’ve written but it was just so good and I need to get my thoughts out there!
I’ll admit that I struggled in the beginning and I thought that this was going to feel like wading through a swamp. Scott Lynch explains EVERYTHING. Right down to the tiniest of details. We are introduced to Locke when he’s a small child. Orphaned and alone, he finds himself in the care of a thieving group. He is to play a small part in a larger scheme to steal money and possessions. But he isn’t your typical child thief. He is a bloody genius! He takes everything to the next level and makes stealing a dramatic show. The things he could accomplish at the small age of 6 (?) was insane! Then we see him as a man and a part of the Gentleman Bastards, and we see what his mind can really accomplish. His plots and schemes, when put together with the other players of the Gentleman Bastards, were incredible. Every detail was thought of, they had a plan A, B, C, right through Z, and the depths they went to for a job……. I mean……. holy hell!!!
But the details of their schemes, and just what they went through for the job, was what made me think it was going to be a hard book to get through. To say their jobs were complicated is an understatement. In the beginning of the book we see all of these sides just so that we can understand how in depth they really are. It was a bit repetitive and I wondered at the time if it was really necessary. Now, I know that it was. You need to truly understand just how deep they’re willing to do and just how brilliant the Gentleman Bastards are! Trained by a master thief (and one of my favourite characters, Chains), they set their sights on a massive heist that seemed simple, yet throws them into the upper class politics. They needed to change their appearances, play different roles to different people, all while trying to steal money. But the politics come into play and it soon becomes a fight for their lives and not the money anymore.
Locke (and all the characters really, no matter how small the part), were nothing short of stellar! It’s been a while since I’ve read a book where I was SO INVESTED in each and every character! Locke, as I’ve mentioned a few times, was absolutely brilliant. He was cunning, sneaky, brutal, yet full of heart. He reminded me SO MUCH of Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows…… but even more intense and resourceful. Jean was the super intelligent and emotional muscle of the group. The twins were a bit of sneaky comic relief (think Weasley Twins, but without the magic). Bug was the sweet guy of the group that you had no choice but to root for. And then there’s the side characters…… I could go on forever!
The side characters were done in a very interesting and unique way. You think they play a small part. They’re all so different and unique, and find themselves in completely different situations, but are somehow all linked together by Locke and his crew. Because they’re so distinct and well written, you remember each and every one of them. Good thing too……… because no character plays a small part in this book! A person may seem small BUT, in the end, they come back and bite you in the ass. Every single person in this book is a plot twist! They come out of nowhere, blindside you, and send you reeling from the plot twists. This book is way larger than it appears!
Remember those fantasy elements I was talking about? Well, like I said, it was everything I wanted in a fantasy all rolled into one! There were heists, thief training, friend groups, deception, magic, magical animals, death, brutality, smart-assery, foul language….. everything! I need to mention the magical animals specifically. For some reason those really stuck out in my mind. We know that this is a dangerous place to live, but those animals set the tone for the world, the magic, and the brutality. There were sharks that would tear people apart if caught, and the city would make it a game. People would take them on for sport and it was a giant spectacle. There were devil fish that would tear people apart as soon as they smelled you….. see what I mean? They kind of set the tone!
I could keep talking but I’m sure you don’t want to read a novel sized review of a novel. Safe to say, this is one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE FANTASIES – EVER!!! This book blew away all of my expectations. Thanks to all of you who screamed at me to read this (Robin), and I can’t wait to continue! If I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s a thought: This book felt like Jay Kristoff and Brandon Sanderson got together and completely rewrote Six of Crows for adults and made it brutal and dirty……… just read it!!!
Until next time, happy reading!