THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA (Gentleman Bastard #1)
Author: Scott Lynch
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Published Date: July 27th 2006
(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)
In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood”, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling…
An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.
A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.
Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.
Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying…
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet one of my new all-time favorite books…I must say that I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did when I first started it. That is because the world-building is so immaculately done that when I was suddenly dropped in such a new world I found myself confused. That’s only for a while though, because soon enough I was immersed deep into the dark, twisty world of Camorra and I found myself so attached to the characters that I feel as though they will never leave me. Add in the rich detailed writing, the unique humor, the seat-gripping suspense, the violence, the awfully clever heists – all intricately woven- and you have A LITERAL MASTERPIECE.
I’m kinda lost for words so I’ll just summarize my feels:
THE SETTING IN FEW WORDS:
Dark Venice-like city, water-borne monsters, Fantasy world set after the extinction of an older magical race, GANGS, criminal underground, mafia-like feels, BLOOD AND GORE, VIOLENCE that makes you squeamish, a bit of sorcery.
LOCKE LAMORA AND THE GENTLEMEN BASTARDS:
The Gentlemen bastards, considered the lowest of the lowest criminal gangs in Camorra, are actually the best thieves there are. They are orphans brought together since a young age and trained in the art of deception and trickery by Chains, one of the first con-artists in Camorra who is eager to pass on his legacy. They are a smart bunch who plan and execute the most intricate lies to rob nobles of their coins- and boy do they succeed… Locke is no doubt the cleverest charters I’ve ever stumbled upon. He is also one of the funniest and most loyal. Also, there’s no one who loves stealing as much as him.
“If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing. He…steals too much.”
The gentlemen bastards as a whole have the best friendship ever. You can feel just how close they are and how deeply they care for each other. The novel has plenty flashbacks to the past and that help you see just how their friendship developed and how each character came to be what they are in the present, which is a smart way to get you attached to the characters and their relationship.
SO MUCH FUCK-UPPERY
“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
The books starts slow at first and it could be a bit hard to get into, but I’m so glad I kept on reading. It picks up somewhere along the way and before you know it you are clutching the edge of your seat and holding on with your dear life. The trouble these characters get into…Lord Jesus…One moment they are their devious thieving selves and the next they are jumping from one disaster to another, barely dodging the bullet.
Some of the trouble they get into… you’re thinking there’s no way they would get through this limbs intact but they actually find such a clever way to save their asses (mostly due to Locke’s scheming)- something so clever that this is all you could do:
HUMOR & A LOT OF CURSING
“Get serious about telling me where that money is,” said Conté, “or I’ll kick your ass so hard every piece of shit that falls out of it for the rest of your life will have my gods-damned heel print on it.”
PLOT IN FEW WORDS (because it’s so complicated):
Heists, revenge, violence, TWISTS (lord…so many twists) and most importantly: LOCKE BEING A CONNIVING SMART-ASS AND INVITING A WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE.
“Bug,” Calo said, “Locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. But the four most fatal words in the Therin language are ‘Locke would appreciate it.'”
“Rivaled only by ‘Locke taught me a new trick,'” added Galo.
“The only person who gets away with Locke Lamora games …”
“… is Locke …”
“… because we think the gods are saving him up for a really big death. Something with knives and hot irons …”
“… and fifty thousand cheering spectators.”
I am not done gushing about this book so I’ll be posting a quote page and a discussion page where I get all spoilery.
The Lies of Locke Lamora, my first novel, was bought by Simon Spanton at Orion Books in August, 2004. Prior to that I had just about every job you usually see in this sort of author bio– dishwasher, busboy, waiter, web designer, office manager, prep cook, and freelance writer. I trained in basic firefighting at Anoka Technical College in 2005, and became a volunteer firefighter in June of that year.
Find Author: http://www.scottlynch.us/index.html