Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how I missed out on this book when it came out a few years ago. I love me a good heist plot, and an epic fantasy setting to boot? What’s not to like? (Warning for some: the language. It’s R-rated, which is probably enough to cross the book off some people’s lists.)

Maybe some of what turned me off was the title, as stupid as that might sound. It made me think it was some romantic tale about a place in Scotland. Yes, that’s how my mind works. In actuality, Locke Lamora is the main character’s name. He lies a lot. ‘Nuff said.

As with most heist plots, it’s really best if you don’t know much going into the plot. There are twists, there are turns, there are fun characters, there are bad guys. What made this book stand out particularly for me? For one thing, the world it takes place in is very fully-realized. Setting details were just fantastic, and it had a sense of history throughout the novel that helped give it that extra oomph. The bulk of the novel takes place in a city with a rather elaborate underworld. The city itself was built by beings long since forgotten, and humanity is basically just using the buildings that existed when they found them. So you’ve got old wonders that are now used for palaces or dens of infamy. If Goodreads let me use half stars, I’d probably give this one 4.5 instead of 5 stars. Some of the magic system seemed a tad too unexplained and nebulous, but I’m willing to overlook that. (It’s not like my own magic systems are terribly concrete, after all).

Lynch does a fantastic job establishing the weight of actions in this world. Consequences are very real, and this book is far from a caper, if you get my drift. It did take a little bit for me to be fully engrossed in the work, but once I was, it was a wild ride to the finish.

Highly recommended.

Anyone else out there already have a chance to check it out?

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