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The Lies of Locke Lamora: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Book One (Gentleman Bastards 1) Kindle Edition
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Trying not to give away too many spoilers we get to see the formation of the Gentlemen Bastards, a gang of young men devoted to the gentle art of thievery in a fantasy analogue of Venice. Through inserted backstory interludes we see them as starveling orphans being gradually educated and moulded into a five-man gang so close-mouthed that even the other thieves in the city (and the Capa who rules them all) don't know what they get up to.
Locke is a cocky child, too clever for his own good, who grows up into a cocky Gentleman Bastard devising elaborate scams to part the rich from their money. The balance of power changes with the arrival of the Grey King and his powerful bondmage, a challenge to the Capa Barsavi and his stable rule of the underworld, and an even bigger challenge to Locke and his gang who, as it turns out, are still too clever for their own good.
This builds from Locke's success through setback upon setback. There are penalties and consequences for everyone, but a very satisfying conclusion kept me up reading way later than I should.
There are at least two more Gentleman Bastard books and I'll be seeking them out immediately to add to my 2014 to-read list. I'm hoping that some story droplets not mopped up in the first book will soak into the pages of the next two.
I was left feeling as though the action would never come. I didn't feel engrossed in the world Lynch painstakingly painted, as much as I felt overwhelmed by it. I went in to this as I'm sure many will hoping for The Palace Job, or The Realm of the Elderlings stylings, however the narrative was slow with superfluous detail... The exact opposite I would hope for a roguish adventure.
It's got it's gasps, laughs and fun however it's wedged between 70% of slow, heavy-handed, derivative world building.
The midpoint plot twist/reveal was well executed and I did not see it coming. It actually made me well up a tad.
Overall this book had everything it needed to make it a great and in just the right amounts. 5/5 stars is to low.
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