There is nothing wrong with this book.
5/5 it is everything right in this terrible terrible world.
“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
Okay. Maybe I should say a bit more.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch landed into my unprepared hands while in a Barnes and Noble when a friend of mine looked at the pile of books I was purchasing and said “I don’t know why you’re bothering with those since you’re going to read Locke Lamora next.” He has yet to steer me wrong with book recommendations so I didn’t even care what it was about, I just started reading and I have never been happier with a book in all my life.
This book is the first in a series, that will one day total 5 books but which currently has only 3, called Gentleman Bastards. It takes place in the fantasy country of Camorii, an Italy inspired world of alchemy, magic, and, most importantly, thievery. You already know more about this book than I did going in and I really hesitate to say much else but I will. Because this is a Book Chat.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is a masterpiece of world and character building. Scott Lynch pulls us, a little at a time, into this complex fantasy with a rich history and culture; he introduces us to characters that feel almost real and shows us relationships that are deep and valuable. It is pure sorcery, the likes of which I haven’t seen since I read A Song of Ice and Fire. Locke Lamora is far more intimate that GRRMs epic, though. It is focused on one group of characters and it allows the reader to become closer, more attached and emotionally connected. At least, that was my experience.
Lynch builds this world around the reader little by little but the story starts out at a trot, increasing in pace with each page. It is written better than anything I’ve read in years. There are no boring scenes, or no slow spots. There is no unnecessary descriptions or info dumping. There isn’t a single word in this book that isn’t relevant to the story. Lynch wove his narrative together using multiple view points as well as interludes and flashbacks yet it all fit together so seamlessly I couldn’t tell you any other way this story could have been written. It is complex, almost to the point of absurdity, and yet ever single piece serves a vital purpose to the overall story. Scott Lynch is a gods damn artist. He made me laugh. He made me cry. He wrapped me up in the world of Locke Lamora and just as I thought I was starting to like it there he broke my heart.
“I’m not gong to kill you,” said Locke
I’m going to play a little game I like to call ‘Scream in pain until you answer my fucking questions.”
The Lies of Locke Lamora is, without a doubt, one of my top 3 books of 2016. I highly recommend it to anyone at all who can handle a bit of grit, a lot of colorful language, and also a hole in their fucking soul.