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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy's appealing "dark side.", Feb. 15 2008
By 
S. Peters (Calgary, AB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
Scott Lynch has a way with words reminiscent of George R.R. Martin; he creates a gritty world full of colorful and multifaceted characters. The plot is centralized in one city, a location fraught with intrigue and enough history to fill volumes with. There's an underbelly to the city, of course, which we are thrust into as we follow the cunning Locke Lamora's rise to infamy and his ultimate quest for revenge.

One of the charms of this book is the way in which Lynch tells the story; this is anything but a straight forward narrative. Throughout the "main plot" we are told intermittently about the history of Locke Lamora, his admittance into the criminal organization known as "The Gentlemen Bastards", and his training in the art of theft. Each of the characters presented is beautifully fleshed out, with their own histories, agendas and motivations, making for a believable and engrossing novel.

If you're a fan of grittier fantasy - gods, thieves, plot and intrigue, and (of course) fantastic story telling - then this is the novel for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story; disappointing ending, Sept. 21 2009
By 
S. Lavigne (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
Even if his name appears on the front page of this book, I'll try not to mention George R.R. Martin in my review (oops! too late). Associating new authors with well known and established fantasy authors no doubt helps in selling books, but I find that this business practice is usually misleading such as in the present case.

The world created by the author is inspired by Italian city-states of the late Middle-Age. If it was not of the involvement of a mage, this novel could have easily been categorized as a fiction instead of a fantasy novel. This book can be read as a stand alone novel, and its story follows a single storyline.

The main character, Locke Lamora, is a con artist. The story focuses on the cleverness of Lamora and his ability to conceive bold plans and to improvise his way out of trouble. What is really interesting is that the reader is not left in the black with regard to Lamora's plans and motivations. As such, as a reader you feel like you are being part of his plans instead of only being a spectator of their outcome.

I however find that the ending was rather disappointing. This book shines because of the personality of its characters, and the events in the end are triggered by actions that were rather out of character (this is especially true for the mage mentioned above, but also for Lamora). Despite the ending, this novel is an 'absolute must read' for its entertainment value, and as such I give it five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it tons !, March 11 2014
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can't wait for more from this guy ! one of the best I have read in years.
couldn't put it down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story., May 9 2013
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I absolutely loved this book. Every time I thought the story was starting to wind down a bit there was another plot twist; another major conplication. And each time the characters dealt with it in a logical and exciting way. I wish there had been a map to reference, but oh well, can't have everything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy thieves, Feb. 9 2010
By 
Brian Ashe "Fantast" (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
A welcome addition to the "Rough Fantasy" genre, along with the likes of Esslemont and Erikson, or Martin. Fewer main characters (basically the Gentleman Bastards) and a slightly less fully developed world. Still, very entertaining, good character development, and a very nice treatment of alchemy/biochemistry. I am waiting for the next instalment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best fantasy books ever!!!, Jan. 24 2011
This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
Scott Lynch, and therefore his characters, are extremely clever. His plot is intricate but not needlessly difficult to follow or convoluted. This book will appeal to fans of Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher), it is fast paced, has violent action and fighting, but is not gory or sadistic, and the characters are interesting and loveable. This book does not try to make some grand message about life or humanity, which I think has been done to death and I am not a fan of. It is just an action packed, fast paced roller coaster thrill ride, I cannot wait to read the next 3 in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A splash of objectivity, Aug. 2 2010
This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
Before writing my own review, I was compelled to read the others, and I was quite surprised at the different opinions expressed regarding this book. In light of this, I thought it might perhaps be useful to offer some of my own thoughts on this matter. I do agree with one review, a map would have been helpful, strictly for visualization of course; I was not terribly worried about it though. As was noted in other reviews, the geographical area covered by the book is quite small, but more importantly; this was not a story about the city, but about its interesting and varied denizens. I also thought the use of profanity was both cunning and humorous, especially when the author used it to display the contrast between Locke's breed and the noble elite. One thing that was not mentioned in the other reviews that I think deserves some notice was the use of metaphor by the author; they were quite colourful, and I found myself laughing out loud on more than a couple occasions. I only had two problems with this story from beginning to end. The first, somewhere in the middle of the story; the main character made some very silly mistakes that did not suit his demonstrated abilities at other points in the story. At these points, the facade dropped a little, exposing the steel girders holding the story up, a little anticlimactic. My other main problem was that I spent most of my spare moments for two days reading that bloody book when I should have been getting my own work done. Over all it was an excellent story with very little in the way of defects; I would recommend it to anyone who likes good fiction, regardless of the genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most exciting fantasy novel I've read for years!, Aug. 29 2009
By 
Paul Weiss (Dundas, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
To fans of Charles Dickens' timeless classic "Oliver Twist", at least the opening scenes of Scott Lynch's ground-breaking epic debut novel will seem familiar. Locke Lamora, an impoverished, hungry orphan on a distant world reminiscent of medieval Venice, is captured off the streets and sold into servitude to the Eyeless Priest, a thief and con who, like Fagin, feeds and houses his crew of urchins while teaching them to live off the avails of thievery.

Lamora's precociousness, his easy-going flamboyance, his skill and intelligence, his artistry and imaginative ability to craft rock solid confidence games, his audacity and cock-sure bravado combined with his obvious love of life ensure that when the Eyeless Priest passes on, he falls naturally into the role of leadership of a group of best friends and clever cons who style themselves "The Gentlemen Bastards".

Lamora's plans to fleece the nobility out of their wealth put him into a difficult conflict with "the secret peace", an unwritten truce that exists between the Duke of Camorr and Capa Raza, the de facto ruler of all of the gangs including, of course, "The Gentlemen Bastards". Basically, crime is accepted and the local constabulary looks the other way provided, of course, the crime is directed at only the common people and the nobility are left alone.

When a shadowy character known only as "The Grey King" assassinates Capa Raza and usurps his position as the local crime boss, Lamora and the rest of his gang find themselves truly between a rock and a hard place. Now they are hunted by both the Duke's secret police, The Midnighters, and the Grey King's relentless enforcers that include, among other things, a powerful mage and an all-seeing fierce pet falcon with poisoned claws!

It is difficult to say enough good things about this incredible novel without appearing to actually froth at the mouth!

Characterization is positively brilliant and every character seems to be developed to such an astonishing degree as to actually leap off the page and into reality in the minds of the reader. I won't spoil the story by saying who dies, but when a couple of the good guys meet their nemesis, the characters have been so firmly built in the psyche of the reader that the effect is positively devastating!

Dialogue also deserves a full set of superlative compliments! Ranging from hilarious, comical strings of vulgar, medieval profanities that would make a longshoreman blush to upper crust court-speak that would be the envy of a Shakespeare in full blossom, Lynch's dialogue shows he is a master of conveying his story through conversation as well as descriptive narrative. And his descriptive abilities, by the bye, are not exactly low key either. Camorr is brought fully to life and Lynch's readers will have no trouble at all picturing a fully-realized jam-packed setting as his characters move from place to place in this fast-paced story.

Hie thee to the purveyor of fine books which is closest to thy hand and, with all due haste, read "The Lies of Locke Lamora", a picaresque fantasy of epic proportions in a gorgeous medieval setting. It's not mere hyperbole to suggest that this is the most exciting book I've read for a few years.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A+ for "Lies of Locke Lamora", June 16 2008
By 
Zafri M. "Khaldun" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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A+ for "Lies of Locke Lamora"

The twists and turns of this story are well thought out, the pacing is great, and the main character is a thoroughly interesting anti-hero. Although at some points I felt like the author was throwing in a few extra swear words or sexual references to appeal to George RR Martin fans, this book was still a fantastic read and I look forward to reading the second one in the series.

If you enjoy George RR Martin and like gritty fantasy, this is a tremendously fun caper with a great twist on "the con."
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy series with great potential... but overused and often unwarranted profanity lessen it's quality,, May 2 2008
By 
R. Nicholson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lies of Locke Lamora (Paperback)
A great fantasy read! (with some reservations)

I must say, overall, that I enjoyed this book very much; the story held my interest the same way that the novels of George R.R. Martin (Series of Ice and Fire) and Steven Erikson (The Malazan Book of the Fallen) do.

As with most fantasy there were elements of magic, deceit, betrayals, unexpected friendships and a smattering of romance; and in this book, there were a few areas that were witty and humorous. The story was well written and proceeded with a good pace. There was very little 'down time' in this story; something was always happening or about to happen that really held your interest...you had to read 'one more chapter'.

However, there were two areas of concern...one minor (1), the other (2) more serious.

1.)There was no map. Although the story takes place in the fairly small geographic area of Camorr city, a map would have been very helpful to give a sense of direction and distances that our protagonist had to travel.

2.)Profanity!...profanity that was excessive and unnecessary (we're talking about the 'f ' word here). Profanity that occurred in situations that, generally speaking, it was very unlikely to happen. e.g. When Locke was speaking to the members of the upper crust of the Camorr society; and even more unbelievable was that fact that these members of Camorr's nobility never said a thing about our hero's continuous vulgarisms.

Let me add this; I have no problems with swearing in novels when it is done in the 'proper' situation, (there are times where swearing adds realism to the situation (depending on who is speaking and what is going on at the moment). However, this novel exceeded even my level of 'reasonable' swearing tolerance. This degree of vulgarism, generally flawed, an otherwise good fantasy story. I find it hard to believe that one of the editors didn't get this problem discussed and corrected. (then again, maybe they did, but the suggestion went unheeded.)

Without the two concerns mentioned above, an outstanding and intriguing fantasy effort. However, the use of unwarranted profanity has lessened the quality of this otherwise remarkable book. 3 ' Stars rounded up to 4
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Lies of Locke Lamora
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Paperback - Feb. 1 2007)
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