The Lies of Locke Lamora

Having heard so much about The Lies of Locke Lamora—the most hyped fantasy book of 2006—I was reluctant to give it a try. If people like Matt Stover and George R.R. Martin (highly) recommend a book, it does build up one’s expectations.

So I waited until the mass market paperback came out, and then read it twice in two months. The book is good!

The Gentlemen Bastards are a gang of thieves: they rob the rich, and well… don’t do much else. They haven’t yet figured out what to do with all the loot—and since there’s a sort-of secret truce where the city’s rulers pretty much let the thieves a free hand as long as they don’t rob any of the nobles, whom the Gentlemen Bastards exclusively target—they have to hide from their fellow criminals as well. They have to keep up a charade of being a small-scale gang, if they want to keep their lives.

The story is told with flashbacks in alternate chapters; so we can see Locke is ‘adopted’ into the gang, and how he grows to be the leader. More and more backstory is filled in as the main plot progresses—a trick very well performed by the author.

Scott Lynch seems to be having a lot of fun telling the tale. Amazing really, all sorts of trouble Locke manages to get into; some of the stunts he pulls off are just a sheer delight to read! Still, things start getting more and more serious near the end—which just draws the reader more into the tale.

I’m looking forward to reading what Locke does next… The second book, Red Skies under Red Seas, is out but I’m trying to wait till the cheaper editions are available before buying it. Lets see if I can resist.