The Lies of Locke Lamora
Author: Scott Lynch
Series: Gentlemen Bastards, #1
Genres/ subjects: Fantasy, heist
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…
“You’re one third bad intentions, one third pure avarice, and one eighth sawdust. What’s left, I’ll credit, must be brains.”
This is an epic fantasy that seems to be often compared to A Song of Ice and Fire, and I can see why – complex world-building, morally grey characters and bucket-loads of violence.
The plot is complicated and often loops around on itself. There are various unrelated interludes to develop the cities history, flashbacks to the characters childhood, not to mention about three different scams being played out at once. I really had to focus while reading this book, which isn’t a bad thing but I can see how this could be off-putting. I loved the depth Lynch gave the Camorr, it’s various power structures and the Gentleman Bastards themselves. I thought Locke was a charismatic leading man, his ego and slight craziness is balanced out by his dedication to his friends.
I’ve seen quite a few posts talk about the lack of female representation in the book and sadly, I’d have to agree. While the few women that could be classed as major characters are impressive either in power or personality, in sheer numbers they’re terrifically outnumbered. Of the truly main characters, there’s not a read single woman. The references to the mysterious Sabetha are tantalizing however and I’ve heard she’s amazing character but it’s a shame I’ll have to wait til the third book to meet her.
A fascinating world that really draws you in, and complicated characters with a balance of dark and light that makes them unexpectedly easy to root for.