The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch – Review

By Andy Wright

Locke-Lamora-UKFirst off, I feel it should be noted that all of the reviews we have written so far have been ones of glowing praise. The simple reason for this is that we have chosen to start the reviews with our favourite books, both of our recent reads and of all time. On top of this it is much more enjoyable for us to write about books we love. That being said, here is another novel that I adore.

I did a rare thing recently: I reread a book. I know, I know, it’s crazy. Here I sit, with thousands of great stories, magical worlds and fascinating characters a few clicks away and yet I pick up a book I have already read. But hopefully you will curtail your angry tirade when I tell you that the book was the ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’; the story of a master thief and his gang, who are the most gentlemanly of bastards.

One thing I found surprising in my research for this article was that several reviews on Goodreads mention feeling bogged down at the start. Now, I am no stranger to this feeling, in fact, on a couple of occasions I have even put down a book part-way through because I just couldn’t get into it (I know, I’m sorry. Please stop throwing things). This was categorically not the case with The Lies of Locke Lamora. Throughout both reads I never felt anything but fully immersed in this incredible world and the pages flew by like few books I have ever read.

Scott Lynch is a fantastic writer. It is not an easy thing to weave intricate and engaging plots from a yarn of wit and creative swearing. It is the wit that stayed with me the most and was my main reason for going back, the sharp and pithy dialogue of Locke and his gentleman bastards in their quest to be “richer and cleverer than everyone else,” a feat they achieve with decidedly mixed success.

The story is told in two time lines and in a lesser author’s hands these flashbacks could distract from the action and detract from the story. I never found this to be the case with Lies and always looked forward to the clever thief’s childhood mischief. I felt involved with the characters; part of their little gang who had managed to fool the world. And what a world it is; a world of thievery and murder, of subtle hints of magic and genuine history. There are distinct and varied cultures that mesh and collide, customs and languages from near and far all adding to the realistic feel of a world which, even at its darkest, feels full of colour.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a must read for any fan of fantasy and the low key nature of the magical aspects means people who don’t read much fantasy will likely love it as well.

If you enjoyed this review then why not explore our review page, which features, amongst others, Messrs Pratchett, Lawrence, Rothfuss, and Abercrombie.

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