Okay, I am generally not that fond of high fantasy books, but this was an incredibly fun romp. The story alternates between the childhood of Locke Lamora as he learns many skills in the service of robbing the rich blind and present day when Locke is head of the Gentleman Bastards, a chosen family of skilled orphans. Together they develop long cons to swindle the highest born of Camorr. Unfortunately for Locke, several forces are individually working to complicate his life for various reasons. He’s got to keep his little family safe and strong, but it isn’t easy.
The Lies of Locke Lamora was 500 pages long and it’s a testament to Lynch’s skill that I hardly felt the length. I’m always complaining about long books needing to be edited down. Not this time. I felt engaged all the way through the story and Lynch kept things interesting even when switching between Locke’s childhood and present day. The world building was good, but the real draw is the character work. I think he managed to make me care about every single main and secondary character, which isn’t an easy feat.
My only real complaint about the book is the dearth of female characters. There’s a few here or there, but so many dudes. Dudes everywhere. One thing I will say is that Lynch didn’t do that thing of mirroring our world’s history of female oppression into his magical world building, which I can’t stand. It’s clear that the city of Camorr allows women the same freedom as the men, I just wish we could’ve interacted with them a bit more.