Series: Gentleman Bastard #1
Published by Bantam Spectra, 2006
Buy this book through Amazon.
Synopsis: 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. (Adapted from Amazon.com)
There is little that I love more than a scheme: the plotting, the deception, and the high-stakes execution. Even better is a scheme that comes unhinged – one that threatens to peel itself apart in mid-flight, threatening lives and even world stability. Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch’s protagonist in his debut novel, is a schemer. And he’s a damn good one.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first chapter in a planned series of seven that will tell of Locke’s tumultuous life – his ascension from a childhood spent in poverty as an orphan as he becomes a leader among criminals, envied by his every peer and reviled as the elusive “The Thorn of Camorr” by those he targets. Lies is a wild, vulgar, pithy romp through a city reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. Locke and his gang of criminal brethren engage in successively larger heists, ever-confident and even arrogant in their abilities – until Locke’s plans begin to fail.
Scott Lynch, much like George R. R. Martin, has no qualms about killing off significant characters. Locke must overcome that grief as he fails again and again – the reader’s cringing surely growing more pained with each loss. I could advise, as I sometimes do with viewers of Game of Thrones, not to get too attached to any of the characters. But that would be an insult to the enthralling story penned by Mr. Lynch. So get attached, dear reader. Invest yourself in the lives of these characters. You, too, will come to know Locke’s rage when schemes do not go according to plan.