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The Lies of Locke Lamora (GollanczF.) [Paperback]

Scott Lynch
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 2006 GollanczF.

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich - they're the only ones worth stealing from - but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it's a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.

But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa's power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.

A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora . . .

Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Export ed edition (1 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575078022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575078024
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Lynch was born in 1978 in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he still lives now. In addition to being a freelance writer for various role playing game companies he has done all the usual jobs writers put in their bios: dishwasher, waiter, web designer, marketing writer, office manager and short-order cook.

Product Description


Exports the wit and suspense of a cleverly constructed crime novel into an exotic realm of fantasy and the result is engagingly entertaining. A remarkably stylish debut. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

Like an episode of the BBC's 'Hustle' on speed, The Lies of Locke Lamora layers a series of daring scams, one on top of the other, in a complex and highly entertaining mix of magic, manipulation and mayhem. Great stuff. (Sandy Auden SFX)

¿Like Locke Lamora himself, Scott Lynch¿s novel oozes charm, ability, guile, flair, courage, cheek, humour, brevity and bravery in equal measure. It¿s an awesome debut, powerful and dangerous, romantic and relentless and it absolutely lives up to the hype. The Lies of Locke Lamora is a novel you¿ll have to work very hard not to be utterly blown away by.¿ (John Berllyne SF Revu)

A richly developed fantasy novel, with a nice line in earthy dialogue and many instances of grotesque violence. Lies of Locke Lamora is just like it's anti-hero - bold, witty and likely to catch you off guard. (DREAMWATCH)

Excellent fantasy about young grifters known as the Gentleman Bastards, out only for themselves. (ABTA magazine)

Grabs you by the nethers and tears through a ride of intrigue, deceit and daring deeds. In short, a ripping yarn from a major new fantasy-writing talent. (THE LINCOLNSHIRE ECHO)

Lynch is a virtuoso plotter, who plays fair with us and keeps us bemused at every turn. For once deserving every bit of the praise heaped on it. (Roz Kaveney TIME OUT)

"A surprisingly skillful swashbuckling debut signals the next big thing in fantasy writing. The Lies of Locke Lamora stands up to the hype." (EDGE magazine)

Book Description

Introducing Locke Lamora, the fantasy genre's next cult hero. A brilliant debut fantasy from a 26-year-old author.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The Thorn of Camorr is a legendary master swordsman, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. He is also a complete fabrication. Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn and whilst adept at stealing from the rich - after all only they have anything worth stealing, he never really got to grips with the giving to the poor bit. When it comes to swordplay, he's only a danger to himself. He does have enough wit and cunning to make up for his lack of physical prowess and his companion Jean Tannen is more than handy with a blade if trouble comes calling.

Whilst in the middle of an elaborate confidence scam, Locke is dragged into a bloody power struggle within the Camarr underworld. Capa Barsavi wants Locke to accompany him to a meeting in order to kill a shadowy rival, the Grey King. Unfortunately the Grey King has discovered Locke's talent for dissembling and wants Locke to impersonate him for a meeting with the Capa...

The Lies Of Locke Lamora is the debut novel of Scott Lynch, but from the quality of the writing you'd be hard pressed to tell. The opening with the Thieftaker and Chains in masterfully done, brilliantly setting the tone for what follows. The story is told with great economy and skill, fair rattling along at a good pace with a minimum of exposition.

The unfolding plot is interwoven with interludes to Locke's formative years, deftly illustrating his rise from cocky street urchin under the thumb of the thieftaker to become the leader of the Gentleman Bastards. These interludes also lay the foundations for his enduring friendships and flesh out the other members of his gang quite admirably.

If you like the Hustle tv show, don't mind a bucketload of swearing and enjoy a fast-paced action packed romp through a beautifully rendered city, you'll love this. The Lies Of Locke Lamora (*****) is well worth checking out, but probably a bit too sweary for your maiden aunt.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 31 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book. While it's a fantasy, set in a Venice-a-like mediaeval city but with added "alchemy" serving for basic science, a very small amount of very powerful magic, and a Mysterious Elder Race, it is consistent and believable. In this it is helped by there being lots of squalor, filth and fear - mediaeval life was thoroughly squalid and life was awful for almost everyone. The one place where the scene-setting falls down is a very minor one that most people won't notice, that a city of 88,000 can support 3,000 full-time professional criminals. While 3.5% of the population being criminals is believable, having them at it full time is not. But never mind, it's a tiny point, and it is necessary for the drama. This is fiction, not economics, so I'll let it be.

Most of the city's background is filled in in flashbacks, a device that can be intensely irritating, but in this case it works well, because most of the flashbacks are strictly relevant to the part of the main line of the story that immediately precedes them, and they are well-told little stories in themselves. I'd not be surprised if some of them had earlier been published as stand-alone short stories. Almost all of the main characters' development as people happens in these flashbacks too, and they really are people.

The main story has two strands, starting with the eponymous hero plotting and carrying out an outrageous advance fee fraud. Over time, another strand comes in, of the city's capo di capi having a rival, of the tussle between them, and Lamora's involvement in their fight. Both are portrayed realistically and are skilfully woven together to meet at the climax. And while this is the first in a series of planned books, it stands up very well on its own.

I very strongly recommend this book. It is a masterpiece of construction and story-telling, of balance between light and dark and between humour and deadly-seriousness. And most importantly, it's great fun.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it 4 May 2013
By pipin
Format:Kindle Edition
I absolutley love this book and have read it several times.It is just the right length and the main characters are rogues but you really warm to them very quickly.A brill read if you like fantasy without any dragons,magic etc.
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86 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Fantasy Book 2007 25 April 2007
By himilne
I'll keep this simple. Buy this book. This is a fantastic romp that really does make you read it at any opportunity you can get. I could hear it calling me when I was at work. I couldn't sleep until I'd just read one more chapter ... I can't recommend it enough - it's the best book I've read in years (probably since Julian May's The Many Coloured Land). It's not classic fantasy but that really does not matter. Just buy it, take a day or two off work and enjoy. I don't need to go into the plot, the characters or the writing. If you're interested enough to be reading this review then just take my word for it. You really will get to laugh, cry, plot, plan and be amazed by Locke Lamora and the Gentlemen Bastards ...

I always like to know what other authors people read when I am checking a review so to help you, my taste in books runs from SF authors such as Peter Hamilton, Iain Banks, Alastair Reynolds, Richard Morgan, fantasy writers including Raymond Feist, R Scott Bakker, Julian May, Steven Erikson, George RR Martin, Tad Williams, Dan Simmons and other good storytellers such as Christopher Brookmyre, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Fowler, Matthew Reilly, Clive Barker, Michael Crichton.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts slowly, but keep at it 11 April 2008
I suspect a fair number of readers will give up on this in the first few chapters: you can tell this is a debut novel and the writer is sort of settling into his own voice as he goes. The first impression was of a sort of sub-Jack Vance, which is a hard act to follow.

It's worth persisting though - the language becomes less florid and the plot more fascinating: I really liked the setting. At first I didn't warm to the characters, but after a while I started to get attached to them. Be warned though, if you are the kind of reader that finds violence and death to sympathetic characters in fiction hard to read, you may not like this.

Several reviewers have referred to this novel as fantasy: it's set in a renaissance culture in the ruins of an alien culture, which to my mind makes it sci fi, but perhaps sci fi is less in the public eye just now.

I am definitely looking forward to reading the next one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic story, thoroughly enjoyable throughout, can be treated ...
Epic story, thoroughly enjoyable throughout, can be treated as a stand alone title if you do not wish to commit to a trilogy.
Published 3 days ago by Alcoegg
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read
I loved the main characters and the strange dark setting. The twists and turns of the plot captivated me. I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
Published 12 days ago by von Gron
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and enjoyable crime/fantasy tale
In the interminable wait between George RR Martin books I was pleased to see George recommend young alternatives in the Genre that were offering equally gripping tales in engaging... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Rhaegar Cauthon
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great storyline & great characters.
I love the idea of this book, for some reason ever since I was a kid I've loved a "thief's tale" and this one didn't disappoint. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Gaz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I really liked Lies of Locke Lamora. A story of con men in a fantasy setting.The banter between the characters drives the story along well and the cons that the group run are great... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cutie
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL through-and-through
I did not realise how quickly this story would take off when I started it and although initially the idea of thieves as a fantasy world was interesting and different, it wasn't... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kitty
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic first novel
Unique Italian setting and fantastic fast-paced action from start to finish. Excellent twists and turns, I'm looking forward to the next book.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a competent fantasy that isn't a Tolkien clone
Firstly, let me say that I am not criticising "high fantasy" stories, I simply have found that fantasy fiction gets a little stale when the elves are all bow loving tree huggers,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joshua Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Rothfuss meets Abercrombie
A break from the usual sword and sorcery fantasy. Starts slow but soon turns into ripping yarn then goes all grim dark for its finale.
Published 1 month ago by yngmik
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by a friend.
He couldn't have been more right, awesome read and I can't wait to get into the rest of the series.

Delivered fast and in perfect condition. Highly recommend.
Published 2 months ago by John Castle
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