» » The Lies of Locke Lamora

Download The Lies of Locke Lamora epub

by Scott Lynch

In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence 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 island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains–a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans–a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.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.…
Download The Lies of Locke Lamora epub
ISBN: 0553804677
ISBN13: 978-0553804676
Category: Fantasy
Subcategory: Fantasy
Author: Scott Lynch
Language: English
Publisher: Spectra; 1st edition (June 27, 2006)
Pages: 512 pages
ePUB size: 1218 kb
FB2 size: 1726 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 898
Other Formats: lrf txt docx lit

I left this unread on my Kindle for about 2 years. I had started it but lost interest after the first few pages and read other stuff. Nothing significant in my abandon, it was cheap and am not that into fantasy in general. Too much re-Tolkien and not enough innovation.

I recently decided to give it another go, read it all through and bought the 2nd in the series right away.

First of all, it is very well written, plenty of subtle wit. The characters are quite well developed and you can see that the author has a lot of backstory about them. Locke is a bit perfect for my taste, but he is entertaining enough that I let it pass. And... he is a massive fail at combat, which is a nice twist and keeps him from being another cardboard hero.

The second bit is how atmospheric and well-described the world is. Camorr is a Venice-built-on-alien-ruins and Lynch totally runs with it. Its descriptions tease you and intrigue you, but do not overwhelm the story*. The somewhat Italian Renaissance names and society fit in perfectly and things are easy to visualize.

Set in a modern day crime novel, the plot would have enough twists and turns to keep you riveted. The Gentleman Bastards are confidence tricksters, grifters and con-men. Schemes meet counter-scams and you're almost expecting a Nigerian prince 419 phishing email to come along. Every so often, I would come to a point where I would think "but what about X? it makes no sense that...". You know, typical big gaping plot holes in silly books. And, every time, it turned out that what I thought was an oversight was actually built into it and made sense.

Finally, unlike many writers who believe that a good plot needs to be confusing, Lynch has kept it very simple and focused. At least after each twist.

In a low-magic medieval setting, with bloody, luscious, combat scenes**? This story rocks.

Last, how can one resist a novel with 'contrarequialla', scantily-clad women gladiators who fight in arenas against sharks? Where this makes sense, rather than being just "jumping the shark"? That's only 2 or 3, glorious, pages' worth, but it shows how well-thought out even minor bits of the story can be because you have two setup scenes before the main combat one with the requalias.

(two warnings)

* I liked the descriptions myself, but they could be a bit much if you're not into descriptive novels. I'm on the fence - descriptions annoy me sometimes. These worked for me, but they're a biiiiiig part of the book.

** And... it's a very grim book at times, quite amoral and graphic in its violence.
i downloaded the sample of this book and absolutely loved it. as far as opening chapters go, this might be one of the funniest and most clever ones i've ever read. the conversation between the thiefmaker and father chains is just hilarious, and hearing about locke lamora before actually meeting him is great way to set up the central themes of the book. so then i bought the book and kept reading, and was i faced with my first problem: the first chapter deals with locke as a child, but chapter two takes place years later when locke is already an adult. the book goes back and forth, telling interludes from his youth in between chapters of the main storyline, which is kind of annoying.

but i'm willing to overlook that because the writing is so good, the setting so vivid and detailed, and the characters so entertaining. locke lamora and his crew of thieves are all great characters, and most of the supporting cast like father chains and capa barsavi and brilliant as well. they're all unique and memorable, and even minor characters are given enough personality to make them interesting. the dialogue is great, its fast and witty and consistently funny, but doesn't get in the way of the narrative.

my main problem with the book (and why i'm doing 4 stars instead of 5) is that the tone of the book changes quite drastically right in the middle of the story. the first half of the book is basically a light-hearted caper comedy; locke and his crew are trying to rob a rich nobleman without their crime lord finding out about it. however, the middle of the book introduces some serious violence and death to the story, characters start getting killed off left and right, and the whole tone shifts from "caper comedy" to "brutal revenge plot." it was kind of jarring and i didn't really like it, even though the book was still great as it raced toward its action-packed conclusion. it's not that i don't like violent revenge novels, but the change in tone was just too surprising and left a bad taste in my mouth. i will admit that from a character standpoint, its really well done and forces locke to make sacrifices and admit that he's had it easy for far too long. but seriously, so many people get killed off so violently that it almost makes the game of thrones seem tame by comparison.