The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch


When an author decides to interweave multiple stories together into a larger story, a lot of talent is needed to back up such an ambition. Some authors pull it off with an ease that leaves you breathless, and staggered at how – several books later – everything is tied up neatly. Other authors leave you giddy with confusion.

American born author Scott Lynch, in his book ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora,’ manages to adeptly weave the past and the present (or the present and the future) into a compelling and adventure filled romp.

Set in a world styled heavily after medieval Venice. Mob style crime lords run the real city while the nobility ignore the majority of what goes on below. Canals separate the city of Camorr into over a dozen islands, each with their own style, population, haunts and stereotypes. Lynch has a flare for detail and description, and though this can sometimes lead to excessive detailing, the picture he paints for those willing to read through the walls of text that sometimes creep up are beautiful.

The story itself focuses primarily on one Locke Lamora, once orphan boy now criminal mastermind in the style of Danny Ocean (from Ocean’s 11). Lynch swaps us – using chapters and interludes to time jump us – from Locke’s formative years as a petty thief and his education into the master criminal he would become to the criminal he became, in the middle of his crews most daring job.

But life is not so easy for The Gentleman Bastard’s, as Lamora’s crew is named. Amidst conning the nobility, keeping it a secret from everyone including their boss and the law, Camorr falls under the influence of the Gray King, who may be the only man in Camorr who can take on Locke.

Several minor flaws make appearances throughout the book however, that ever so marginally took me out of the book and into my editorial mindset.

For the majority of the book the perspective is set stoically behind the eyes of Locke Lamora. However, for whatever reason, Lynch occasionally swaps it out for a chapter (or less) simply to impart a small piece of information. One can’t help but consider other authors who have made do with a book entirely from the characters first person perspective who managed to impart all the necessary information and keep the perspective in check (Robin Hobb, for example). It seems at times as if the author has taken the easy way out, or simply placed an ad break in to keep the reader sweating for a few more pages.

Another frustration that seemed to riddle the book was the almost obsessive use of “swear” words. Though not against so called “obscene language” myself, the frequency with which it was used seemed to mirror that of a teenager attempting to make himself look cool in front of his peers by saying “fuck” as much as humanly possible. If life is against you, then fine, swear away; but I happen to know for certain that there are other words in the English language to express ones displeasure.

Those few things aside though, The Lies of Locke Lamora made for a spellbinding story. Locke is a character that you love, despite his foibles, and the deaths that take place leave a heart wrenching impact upon you, not the least of which is the suddenness and simple brutality by which they took place.

Filled with thievery goodness, hilarious turns of phrase and description, and some truly harebrained schemes, The Lies of Locke Lamora belongs on any fantasy fans bookshelf. You’ll laugh, you might cry, but I can damn well guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun as well!

Review by

7 positive reader review(s) for The Lies of Locke Lamora


All reviews for Scott Lynch's The Gentleman Bastard Sequence series

The Lies of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly stre [...]

Series: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Book 1
Published: 2006

Score: 90

Our rating: 8.3 | positive reader reviews


Red Seas Under Red Skies

by Scott Lynch

Escaping from the attentions of the Bondsmagi Locke Lamora, the estwhile Thorn of Camorr and Jean Tannen have fled their home city. Taking ship they arrive in the city stat [...]

Series: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Book 2
Published: 0000

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | positive reader reviews


The Republic of Thieves

by Scott Lynch

After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout [...]

Series: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Book 3
Published: 2013

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.3 | positive reader reviews


The Lies of Locke Lamora reader reviews

from USA

This book was a great read, I just wish he wrapped it up better and did not write another. His style is mean't for one book. Do not read the next two they do not develop the characters.

from Australia

I listened to this as an Audiobook. I loved the vivid way the authored worded the story. It seemed very well written to me and the characters were interesting. The plots are complicated and there is always something happening. Violence can be graphic but the main characters are unsavoury guys dealing in nasty business. To avoid the seedier parts of their world would be a dishonest story. I love the series and am working my way through the sequels

from UK

I loved this book. It was full of suspense, intrigue and brilliant story telling. Although violent in parts and with some swearing I still thought it was a worthwhile great read. I also thought the flashbacks to how the Locke and his friends got to where they were and developed under Chains was a different aspect to the book and broke up the action. It all linked in perfectly. Anita (

from Preston, UK

I loved this book, the pace crackled along faster than any blockbuster I've seen, the characters were relatable, and the twists were sharp without feeling forced or shoehorned. A must read, I can't believe this book only 7.8, AT LEAST a high 8 minimum, its 10/10 for me :)

from Ohio

My opinion is the polar opposite of Kokor's. I found it original and fast paced although I didn't like the next book nearly as much.

from The Beyond

I feel this book is overrated. As I read it I felt like I was watching a bad animated film. Just full of cliches and unfunny characters. Almost as if Disney took Pirates of the Caribbean and Oceans Eleven and made a combo cartoon. Couldn't stay interested and didn't care for the characters which is odd because I normally love anti-heroes and scoundrels. Boring and overrated.

from Canberra, Australia

This was one of the best books I read in 2008. I love a good heist story and to see it delivered as part of a dark fantasy world really blew me away. It was an original take on the fantasy genre and I had a lot of fun reading this book.

from Leicester

At last a book to reinstate my love of fantasy literature. No need for dragons or elves, the skill of the writer is to invoke a world far enough removed from our own and yet with people we can imagine as real. The fantasy setting is wonderfully evocative and the violence, though sometimes extreme, is written to bring to life the struggle of the characters, and not just for gratuitous gore. A rating of 9 was awarded.

8.3/10 from 9 reviews

Write a reader review

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Six of Crows

by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is off [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2015

Score: 100

Our rating: 9.5 | 5 positive reader reviews


Master Assassins

by Robert V S Redick

Two village boys mistaken for assassins become the decisive figures in the battle for a continent in the thrilling new desert-based epic fantasy by the author of The R [...]

Series: The Fire Sacraments #1
Published: 2018

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews


Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code

by Eoin Colfer

Artemis and his bodyguard Butler have set up a meeting in Chicago with dangerous international businessman Jon Spiro. In his latest eager attempt to make money, using a pri [...]

Series: Artemis Fowl Series: Book 3
Published: 2003

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews


Theft of Swords

by Michael J Sullivan

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles--until they [...]

Series: The Riyria Revelations #1
Published: 2012

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.0 | 3 positive reader reviews