CBR Bingo – Old Series
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is the first book in the Gentleman Bastards series, first written in 2006. I did not find it an easy read at first. Not because it isn’t well written. Lynch writes with great detail and imagination. Initially the book covers the escapades of the thieving Gentleman Bastards, rather than character studies or relationships. The shenanigans are great fun and cleverly crafted, but the characterization was a bit thin. The first half of the book was a haul for me as a result, but boy it kicked in halfway through!
Locke Lamora is a master thief and conman who was brought into the life by an older, more experienced thief when he was a boy. His mentor teaches Locke all the ways to deceive, steal, and bamboozle people, including the head of all criminal enterprises in the city to whom they must pay a generous cut of all proceeds. When he becomes a young man, Locke takes over where his mentor left off when he died. He pulls cunning jobs and amazing feats just when it looks like he’s beaten.
Over time, the city—and Locke particularly—are stalked by a mysterious, malevolent figure called the Grey King. The tension heightens as the Grey King seems to have Locke trapped into doing his bidding. The fallout from a particular encounter sets the pace for the second half of the book. Adventure meets strong characterization. My favorite!
I’ve only recently started reading fantasy, though I did read all the Song of Ice and Fire books, which I really liked. There is so much world building and detail in fantasy that I got a little lost at times. But I came around, and there is no question Lynch is an excellent—and humorous—writer. The second half of the book was a fantastic ride.