The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch, Bantam, ISBN 978-0-553-58894-1, $7.99, 722 pgs.

I picked up this book because I had received word back through the ether that it might match what I had been searching for, which was a book with characters who were sarcastic, smart, challenged by their environment, and operating in a system where some would die before the final pages. The ether was mostly right although there were some bugs in the execution.

In the fantasy world of Camorr, Locke Lamora is an orphan who ends up being sold to a con artist who is running a religion. Lamora’s path to the con artist is a somewhat arduous one and we learn about a lot of it after the fact, through flash backs. I’ve never been a fan of flashbacks as they jerk me out of the story more than anything. Still, I thought they were well done and they did provide information that was good to have in order to understand character development.  I’m just a linear kind of reader.

Soon enough Lamora finds himself in charge of a group of thieves and con men calling themselves the Gentlemen Bastards. He’s so good that he’s fooling everyone, including the ruler of the underworld, the secret police, and pretty much everyone else. But then, one day, everything changes. A new presence enters the city, one connected with sorcery and evil intent. A presence that no one sees coming and, apparently, no one can do anything about. Within a very short time the Gentlemen Bastards are destroyed, Locke nearly loses his life, the ruler of the underworld is killed along with many of his followers, and a new order is established.  Even the rulers of the city of Camorr will find themselves threatened with destruction.

It all comes down to Locke Lamora and his willpower to seek revenge on both a personal and professional level.

This is a long book at 722 pages. It would have benefited from some editorial tightening. Having said that it is still a very engaging story that moves along fairly quickly and involves a number of different storylines. The book could probably have been broken into a trilogy without much effort. I found that Lynch did a good job with the creation of the universe (the city) within which the characters moved. He kept his focus on the characters, using the surroundings as an fascinating backdrop to their actions without getting into a descriptive travelogue. The City of Camorr is certainly an interesting place and well suited to the setting of any number of adventures.

If you enjoy your fiction cut with a dash of humor and horror, and if you find cunning plots to be of interest then you will enjoy this book. I do recommend it.

You can get the book here:


About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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