Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentlemen Bastard #1)

Author: Scott Lynch

Publication: September 18th, 2008

Publisher: Orion

Format: Kindle Edition, 573 pages

Genre: Adult, High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Read: January 2016

Scott Lynch β€” Goodreads

 

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
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 . . .

Trigger warning for graphic violence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plotΒ  is really intricate and super intense. It was so much more complicated than I was expecting it to be but it was exciting all the same. There’s violence, blood and stealing but also friendship, love and intelligence and personal growth. Honestly, there were like various different plot lines going on that managed to intertwined in the coolest of ways and I was really impressed.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my biggest issue in this book because of one thing: the world building. I was so confused the entire time I was reading and it was a huge bummer. There wasn’t enough explanation though it still managed to be detailed, descriptive, intricate and thorough. The story moves between the past and the present and it’s really intense and also really graphic, so watch out if you’re squeamish.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Never in my life did I think I would get so incredibly attached to the characters in this book but here we are. They are so precious to me in their little deceitful and crass way. Locke is such a shit but in the best way possible. We get to know him as an adult and as a kid and we see how he grows up. He’s street smart, cunning and kind of cocky. He’s really good at what he does and he’s kind of the brains of the operation. But he’s also a really sucky fighter and he gets caught in this worst situations ever. He’s kind of desperate towards the end of the books and really hurt and torn over what to do. I liked seeing his progression as a person and also how he interacted with the rest of the crew. They are amazing as well! Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this series is seeing the dynamic of these gentlemen bastards. Their friendship is so honest and real and they care about each other, but in that dude way where you like give each other shit for stupid stuff that you do, it’s so awesome. They’re hilarious and loyal and one of them is the most adorable thing to live on the page and it just made my reading experience so much better. Jean is Locke’s closest, maybe even best friend, and their bromance was amazing. They look out for each other, they care for each other and they just want to steal and live life to the fullest together and gosh, I love them.

Emotionally

I was really excited to read this book since I’ve heard so many great things about it and while I loved it, the world was so confusing haha.

The plot is complicated. We follow Locke, an orphan bought and taken in by a man pretending to be a priest who teaches him how to be a refined thief. Together with his friends, the Gentlemen Bastards, they steal from the rich until a threat to their game comes to town. I had such high expectations for this book. A lot of the people that I enjoy watching on Booktube and some blogger friends have recommended it for a really long time and have been praising it forever, so I was coming into it expecting to be completely blown away. First off, I really enjoyed reading it. The plot was really exciting and interesting. There’s various plot lines happening at the same time and they all manage to connect and become a part of each other in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Besides that, the story also moves between the past and the present. So we get to see how the Gentlemen Bastards became a crew and how their relationships grew and developed as well as their adult dynamics and seeing how all the lessons in the past help them now in the present and that was really awesome. The back and forth worked to keep me entertained and anxious at the same time. The way the chapters were arranged made both story lines exciting and action packed that every time that I had to change from one to the other, it made me anxious and super engages so that was pretty awesome. However, my biggest problem was the world building but because I have two different opinions about it. I read this on my Kindle and there was no map that explained the way the world is like which was a huge freaking problem because I was confused the entire time! You get immediately thrown into this world that has various kingdoms or countries with different kinds of people and languages but they don’t really explain where they come from or how they are where they are. I commend the author for creating such an intricate and thorough world to have this amazing story but like I was so confused guys, it did not help me. That’s my biggest complaint, that while I was super impressed with the way the author created the world, I did not understand it the majority of the time.

Locke is freaking cool. He’s really smart and a natural thief. He’s unapologetic about who he is which makes him really cocky and self-assured. However, he’s a really sucky fighter and he gets pulled into really awful situations and has to scramble to get his shit together in time. These characters aren’t the greatest people ever because they’re thieves and while they take money from rich people, they’re not like Robin Hood where they give it to the poor, nope, they just keep it haha. But I liked seeing how flawed they are as characters even though I am rooting for them to pull of their shitty decisions like stealing from people. It’s not a good thing to do, but we get to see so much of them that I still want Locke to be able to pull off everything that he’s trying to do and make sure he doesn’t get caught in the crossfire. I really want to see more growth from him though.

Something I want to mention about the characters in general and I don’t really know where else to mention it. The Gentlemen Bastards reside in Camorr which is one of the countries in this world I guess and they are all described with “olive skin” which makes me think that the majority of this cast of characters is made up of POC characters. However, olive skin is really ambiguous and can be considered as if it’s someone white with a tan but I think that the characters, at least the ones from this particular place, are all POC, which if it’s true, is pretty freaking cool. Just wanted to mention that. I’m gonna talk about the rest of the side characters just a little bit because of reasons. Jean is one of my absolute favorites. I think he’s such an amazing person and the most loyal friend like ever. He’s really book smart which compliments Locke’s street smarts really well and their bromance is intense and powerful. The bromance is enough to make up for the fact that I’m a girl who likes romance and there’s none in this book. Bug is adorable and a cinnamon roll. Caldo and Galdo are incredibly awesome. It was really interesting to see their dynamic as twins as well as within the entire crew.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m so looking forward to continuing the series. The plot is really entertaining and intricate. I wish the world building would’ve been explained more because while it was really well thought out and complex but I didn’t understand it at all and it was really confusing. I loved the characters and they are now embedded in my heart for life now. They are now cinnamon rolls and I want them happy and safe and doing what they love: stealing money from rich people.

So that’s it for this post! I really want to know who has also read this book because I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about this and my love for it yet. (Yes, I know I say that all the time.) Let me know when I should continue the series and if it’s worth it to commit since they’ll be seven freaking books in it. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!

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10 thoughts on “Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  1. I’m so glad you liked this one! The bromance sounds absolutely amazinggg to read, and Locke and the rest of the Gentleman Bastards sound like great characters to read about. Hopefully the world-building picks up in the later books though. Otherwise, this one sounds awesome and vivid and full of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great in-depth review, I read this a few years ago and absolutely loved this book and I agree, Locke is freaking awesome! πŸ™‚ I haven’t read the others in the series, partly due to time and other series but also down to getting the ending of the second book spoilt for me and then feeling no need to read the book, ggrr spoilers! 😦 I think both the second and third are both decent books though from what I’ve read and heard but fail to live up to the brilliance of Lies.

    Danielle at Books, Tea and Vertigo also recently read this book and loved it to. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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