Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1)" by Scott Lynch

I finally finished this book. I've tried reading this twice before in the two years I've owned it, and it was on my list of the 5 books I hoped to read in 2015, so I have to say it's a relief to finally know what exactly people are talking about when they mention The Lies of Locke Lamora.

The pacing on this book takes a bit of patience on the part of the reader. At some parts of the book I was utterly riveted. At others, I was zoning out, thinking of all my nefarious ancestors and their own misdeeds, rather than actually reading. I must say this was well worth finally finishing, but it isn't as quick and easy to devour as some other books.

The Plot: (As Seen on Goodreads)
'In this stunning debut, Scott Lynch delivers the thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his tightly knit band of 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 mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld's most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly.
'Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game--or die trying....'

The strengths of The Lies of Locke Lamora lie mostly in the worldbuilding and characters. I was continually amazed at the amount of detail going into the world, either via magics, gods, or structures (not made by man). The characters are what kept me reading, even when I was a bit bored with the plot. Locke, Jean, Calo, Galdo, and Bug are a dynamic team of personalities that (mostly) follow Locke's lead.

The plot suffered from over-segmentation. I like little things- I have a Dorkie who is half the size of my cat, but I don't like minced stories with so many little vignettes. Every time I saw a double space with a number between it I grimaced, because I knew it was either A) unnecessary or B) another scene that I'd have to adapt to, before being flung into the next little mincemeat pie of paragraphs. It annoyed me to no end. You'd think with little chunks of chapters, this book would be fast-paced, but to me it came off as choppy.

The Lies of Locke Lamora reminds me of a serialized Victorian story- there are a lot of little sections of text within each chapter. This style might appeal to other people, but not me. Although this book is certainly excellent, it would have been more palatable to me to have a few of those little segments strewn together to make it more cohesive. Nonetheless, I recommend The Lies of Locke Lamora to those who love stories about orphan thieves stuck in a fascinating fantasy land.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for an excellent fantasy that was a little too minced for my taste.


Content: Ages 16+ for violence, swearing (like a den of thieves), and brief sexual content.


Page Count: 719 pages in my mass market paperback edition

I read-a-long with the Snowflakes and Spider Silk's Gentleman Bastards (Re)Readalong, but alas, I finished early due to other commitments.

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