The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The life of an orphan is harsh, and sometimes quite short, on the island city of Camorr.

Locke Lamora, however, is determined to defy the odds. Gifted with a quick wit and talent for thieving, Locke escapes a life of slavery and its subsequent death to find himself in the employ of a blind priest named Chains – a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

Chains is a con artist of incredible talent – a talent he passes down to his “family” of orphans. Under his tutelage they are the Gentlemen Bastards and in time Locke becomes their leader. He becomes the Thorn of Camorr, more myth than man; fooling everyone from the most wealthy nobles to the criminal underworld’s most feared.

Soon though, Locke learns of a new player in the criminal game – a man calling himself The Gray King. Powerful and ruthless, The Gray King seems determined to rule Camorr’s criminal underworld and isn’t above using Locke as a pawn to do it.

I found The Lies of Locke Lamora an incredibly entertaining read. Certainly not for the squeamish or faint of heart, it brings to mind epic fantasies such as Game of Thrones or tales of revenge like The Godfather.

Richly detailed in both characters and world, Lynch has penned an enthralling tale. The characters themselves are very realistic and it is easy to cheer (and cry) with them as the story goes on.

If I have one complaint, it would be how Lynch didn’t quite successfully juggle the two main plot lines. He spent a great deal of time building up the con game plot line that Locke and his Gentlemen Bastards were play only to leave it dangling to concentrate on the Gray King thread. The con game is left almost forgotten, only to be brought back at the end of the book for a kind of resolution.

Aside from that one tiny quibble, I rather enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora. It seems to be the first in a series and it one I shall definitely be looking in to. Readers who enjoy a good fantasy with a healthy dollop of violence are likely to enjoy this one too.

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