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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent romp in a wonderfully realised city.
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...
Published on 2 Jun 2012 by The Hatchet Bunny

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2.0 out of 5 stars Unliterary Locke
"The Lies of Locke Lamora" is an excellent idea for a story but one which fails to meet its potential. The story is set in a fantasy city that has more than a passing similarity to Renaissance Venice. The main character is a professional thief and confidence man, a likeable rogue and anti-hero.

Unfortunately the setting is ruined by the insistence of...
Published 9 months ago by Neil Lennon


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it...you will be rewarded!, 24 Nov 2011
By 
H. Ellis (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Like some of the other reviewers of The Lies of Locke Lamora I nearly gave up on this book within the first few pages, but I have only ever abandoned a book before finishing it once and so decided to persevere. I'm glad I did.

This is a book that definitely improves as it goes along. As others have said, it's as if the author was finding his feet at the beginning but most definitely got into his stride after the first few chapters. The use of the flashback "interludes" becomes clearer the further into the book you get.

I WILL be reading the sequel Red Seas Under Red Skies (GollanczF.) although I see there are mixed reviews of that. I hope that at some point we learn about the Locke/Sabetha love story that was only alluded to in The Lies of Locke Lamora and also, of course, Locke's real name, behind which I'm sure lies a tale.

I have given this book 4 stars instead of 5 because, as some other reviewers have mentioned, I too found the swearing to be OTT and almost anachronistic. Having said that, I think that substituting "gadzooks" or similar for the eff words would also have been "wrong"...it would have been preferable, from my own point of view, had the author been able to "invent" alternative curses...he obviously has a vivid imagination and I'm sure this would be possible!

Overall, a gripping and jolly good read! I would love to see this book made into a film. Robert Carlyle to play Locke Lamora?!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, funny and clever, 29 Jun 2010
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is a book I took a gamble on. At the time of purchase I'd never heard of the author or anything about the series. I saw it in the new releases section of the SFF bit of my local bookshop, read the back cover and bought it. Now, a few years later, I'm very glad I did because Scott Lynch is one of the most interesting new fantasy authors I've read in a long time.

The Lies of Locke Lamora takes place in a Venice-like city, called Camorr, in what has been described as an analogue of 19th century Italy. It's a fair shorthand assessment, but it also doesn't tell you anything about some of the incredibly creative ideas crammed into this book which I'll come on to. For a debut book it surprised me, not only at how different it was, but also how accomplished. Lynch, like some of his fantasy brethren, is a long time fan of the genre, a self confessed gamer, role-player and geek. He has created a setting without monsters, inhuman races or any familiar fantasy tropes, and if not for some of the magic and alchemy found in the story, it could almost be a historical novel taking place in some weird parallel world. His style is not overly descriptive, but where he has introduced something new he takes the time to give you just enough detail to frame it in your mind without it being a burden. Later in the story he might revisit such a piece of technology or monument in the city and add a few more flourishes, but an air of mystery always remains which kept me intrigued. In particular were the Elderglass towers and objects. Camorr was essentially built on the ruins of an older city, one created by a race of people long dead and forgotten in the annuls of history and the only thing left behind are buildings and sometimes small items that cannot be fathomed or copied. The story is not about the mystery of this forgotten race, it focuses very much on the characters living in the present, but it does add an interesting touch to the landscape. For all the accomplishments by magi and alchemists in the story, who appear to be some of the most powerful, respected and feared people in society, it is a reminder to everyone that they are still inferior in their knowledge to those who came before them. It is a very interesting backdrop. They are standing on the shoulders of giants and they are lacking.

Locke is an orphan and the story begins where he is taken in by a kindly old man who looks after street urchins. Comparisons to Oliver Twist at this point are fair as the old man is very much like Fagin, someone who is not doing it out of the kindness of his heart. The Thiefmaker, as he is known, expects the children to steal in return for a roof over their head and food. Despite being very young, Locke is an exceptional thief, so much so that he steals from the wrong people and gets the Thiefmaker in trouble, more than he can deal with in fact. Unable to control Locke the Thiefmaker sells him to Chains, a priest of the nameless Thirteenth God, who runs a temple. In fact, the temple is a front and Chains is a master thief who takes in exceptional children and trains them to become con-artists and masters of confidence games who will steal from the rich and keep the spoils for themselves. Chains calls them the Gentleman Bastards, and they truly are, because this is not a story about Robin Hood wannabes who give to the poor. They are the poor, or they would be, if they didn't help themselves to gold from the rich.

The story moves between the past, where we see some of Locke's exploits as a boy, and the present where he is an adult and running his own crew to rob the aristocracy. These are people who Locke has grown up and together they are a peculiar family unit. They all have their strengths and they play to them in order to confound and steal money out from under the noses of those with plenty of gold but little sense. As a fantasy novel version of the TV show Leverage, or Hustle, it could have been enough to sustain the book for one or maybe two novels, but after the first couple of stories it would have become something very episodic, and therefore easy to put down. The larger part story that adds real texture to the novel is not only that of Locke's life, gradually moving forward as a boy as we explore his history and relationships, but also one of political intrigue and underworld wrangling. The story is about the evolution of the characters and also how their actions, direct and otherwise, change the landscape of the city and the course of their lives.

As Locke and his team start working on a new elaborate con, a mysterious figure called the Grey King turns up in Camorr and starts killing senior figures in the criminal underworld. This disrupts the status quo, throwing the criminals into disarray but also upsetting Locke and his plans to rob the rich of all their gold. What follows is an unpredictable tale of him getting pulled into the crisis and being forced to put all of his skills as a con artist and manipulator to get him and his friends out of a tangled net of blackmail and deception. It is not nearly as easy as it sounds and the title of the book itself tells you something about the main character. There are some touches of magic, but those who wield it are few and far between and they are feared. The rise and fall of people in this book is mostly by the sword, or rather, a dagger in the back as the story involves thieves and street gangs.

With this debut Scott Lynch created something unique, an interesting story about the criminal underworld in a fantasy setting that was well crafted and original. Since then, and as mentioned in an earlier review, I have come across other underworld fantasy books with a criminal as the main protagonist, but so far I have not seen any quite the same as this. This is not a story about a grey character setting out to find redemption for all his previous sins, nor is it about a broody miserable murderer who is just misunderstood. For all the darkness, murder and mayhem in the book it's a fun action romp with real heart.

Two other great strengths of Lynch worth mentioning are his characters and the sense of humour found throughout the story. At times Lies, is an incredibly dark story, with some horrible moments, but with all of the conning, trickery and scheming, sometimes it is very funny. Not slapstick humour or forced humour where every character in the room laughs for some reason that isn't obvious and isn't actually funny. This book made me laugh out loud and at other times I was very worried for the characters because I was emotionally invested in their future. Locke and his team are very well rounded people and over the course of each book you find out a little bit more about them with the flashback sequences. You want them to succeed and beat their enemies, but I was also very aware of their line of work and that in the brutal and harsh world, not everyone is likely to make it out alive.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first of seven planned books in the series about the Gentleman Bastards. The second book, Red Seas Under Red Skies is a radical departure from the first, but it does feature some of the same characters, and while it builds on the first novel it is a standalone story like the first. The first two books came out fairly quickly and they were exceptionally well received and with very good reason. Critically acclaimed is a phrase thrown around quite often nowadays, but in my opinion it is well deserved in this case as I have not read anything like it within the fantasy genre since.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much hussle, not enough bussle., 18 Mar 2010
I'd never read Scott Lynch before, was just looking for something 'different' so gave this one a try. It's not that it's badly written it just didn't draw me in. The plot jumps all over the place, trying to be too clever by half. The 'marks' would of had to of been braindead not to realize they were being taken for mugs. To me the world just didn't feel 'real', you can't populate a fantasy world just by bombarding the reader with place names that have no bearing on the story. It seemed that the plot, and action was being explained to me, rather than actually taking place.
I won't be following the story with book 2, i found Camorr a snore. The book made my eyes ache.
If you're after gritty fantasy, go read Joe Abercrombies books. Sure there's swearing, it's violent, and the characters are erm...troubled, but they are great fun. His dialogue and character interaction is fantastic, at times equally hilarious and moving.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic an original, 21 April 2009
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I have read a lot of fantasy, and the story about a young man saving the world from a all-mighty evil, has gotten old. Locke Lamora is a new type of hero that you cant help liking. It is so original, I cant think of one single book to compare it with. Recomended to everyone!
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 17 Nov 2006
this is what books should be like. it was fun! that is not available in enough books. there was not a single point in the book where i found myself looking at my watch or checking how many pages where left. i finished disappointed only that it was not twice as long. definitely a book where my "name" does not apply.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
loved this
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have at you....dog, 30 May 2009
Loved this I have been avoiding fantasy for about ten years as had got so tedious and predictable,but this is a gem ,beautifully painted world with characters portrayed realisticly.If you hav,nt read it then please do I cannot recomend it highly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, 14 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Good read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fantasy book - must read, 16 May 2008
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Both my wife and I have read this and really enjoyed it.
I'd say it's one of those "must read" books.

The second book in the Gentleman Bastards sequence is on order, and we'll see who gets to read it first !!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and imagery, 26 Mar 2008
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Brilliant book, this is unputdownable, i do read a lot of different novels in all genres, i am not an expert on fantasy books, but this was funny and memorable, Highly recommended
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