Updated: Dec 11, 2021
What do you do when a dangerous enemy finds out your greatest secret?
When they use that secret to manipulate you into a position that leaves you open and venerable to losing everything. And they take it all.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is a thrilling tell of a group of thieves known as the Gentleman Bastards and their cons to steel from the rich of the rich. The story is told mostly from the viewpoint of Locke Lamora.
It begins when Locke is merely a boy, the only survivor of the plague island, being sold to a man known as Father Chains. The book jumps back and forth between Locke’s past as a young boy learning to be a master thief from Father Chains and his future as the leader of the Gentleman Bastards. Though the majority of the story is set in the future where Locke leads his fellow Bastards in a con to steal what equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars from Don Lorenzo Salvara.
This con is interrupted midway through the book by the arrival of a very dangerous enemy. An enemy who’s goals will drastically change the lives of the Gentleman Bastards forever. An enemy who may even bring about a complete demise of the gang if they’re not careful.
I absolutely love this book!
At least I do now after I finished the entire thing. Early on there were points that got weighed down by scenes that seemed unimportant or were unconnected to the overall plot. Also the jumping back and forth between the future and past, though I never felt it was hard to follow, was a bit annoying at times. Especially during the flashbacks that I felt were completely unnecessary for the development of the story or characters.
But oh my God the world building in this book is phenomenal! Probably the best world building I’ve ever seen.
The amount of culture, hierarchal structure, and history put into this story is almost overwhelming. And the worldbuilding only just beats out the character development for the best part of the book.
The characters are all so multifaceted and well designed. Even the villains. Though I suppose everyone could be considered a bad guy in this. The Gentleman Bastards just happen to have a stronger moral code to root for.
My biggest and really only true compliant of the book was that Locke doesn’t seem to have a goal diving his life choices. He just does what he does because that’s what he’s always done. Which I believe may have been one of Lynch’s points but, it still made a good portion of the book rather aimless and hard to get through.