The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
He is known as The Thorn of Camorr, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. The Thorn is a master swordsman, a great romancer of women, and a ghost who walks through walls. The Thorn is a commoner’s tale. Locke Lamora is nothing more than a Gentleman Bastard, who has mastered the art of the carefully orchestrated con.
In the city of Camorr, there are ample opportunities for such, and it is rife with gangs. There is only one rule; all must abide by the Secret Peace. The Duke’s man, Capa Barsavi has a hold over all the gangs in Camorr’s criminal world. All who break the Secret Peace must answer to the Capa. Of course, he gets a cut of all the profits too.
Locke is joined in his criminal schemes by his fellow Bastards, Jean Tannen, twins Calo and Galdo Sanza, and their new apprentice, Bug. All except Bug grew up learning their art under the tutelage of old Father Chains. He bought them as street orphans and taught them to be thieves, con artists and masters of disguise. Locke was quite the enterprising student and he was constantly trying to outwit and outplay his master.
Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to f*** up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will s**t comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.”
As the Bastards begin their latest caper, the city is sent into turmoil. Capa Barsavi’s rule is being threatened by a new and unknown killer, the Grey King. Locke Lamora and the Bastards become unwilling pawns in a deadly game and its winner take all.
This book falls together so well. The author uses a series of ‘Interludes’ to build the history of his world and characters. I like this style of revealing the past. The ancient city of Camorr is described in rich detail and I picture it my mind as being somewhat like Venice, although I’ve never had the pleasure of going there. I also love the interplay and bonds of friendship between the Bastards. They take what they have and make an adventure out of it. Locke is just a regular guy without any special strength or magic, getting by on wit alone.
Lies of Locke Lamora is grim, dark fantasy at its best. Heed my warning that there definitely are dark parts! There are also many playful quips along the way that help balance it out! This is an adult book and I feel compelled to add for the sake of some of my followers that there is profanity used, which may strike this off some of your TBR lists right away. Overall this is just a great book! I keep hearing that the series gets better and better from here on and I believe it. The end leaves us with a nice opening for future storylines with a simple statement.
“Old sins will never be buried so deep that they cannot rise again when least expected.”