The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence) (.PDF .MOBI .EPUB)
The Lies of Locke Lamora: A Review of the First Book of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence
If you are looking for a fantasy novel that will keep you hooked from start to finish, you might want to check out The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. This book is the first of a planned series called The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, which follows the exploits of a group of elite con artists in a city full of magic, mystery, and danger. In this review, I will tell you what makes this book so popular and acclaimed among fantasy fans, and why you should give it a try.
The Setting: The City of Camorr
One of the most impressive aspects of this book is its setting. The story takes place in Camorr, a city that is loosely based on late medieval Venice but on an unnamed world. Camorr is a vibrant and diverse city, where different cultures, religions, and classes coexist. It is also a city where crime and corruption are rampant, and where a secret peace between the nobility and the underworld allows for organized crime to flourish.
Camorr is divided into different districts, each with its own distinctive features and factions. For example, there is Catchfire, where most of the nobles live in luxurious palaces; there is Shades' Hill, where ancient tombs and catacombs hide secrets and treasures; there is Temple District, where various temples dedicated to different gods offer services and blessings; there is Five Towers, where powerful mages called Bondsmagi reside; and there is Shifting Market, where merchants and traders sell all kinds of goods.
Camorr is also rich in history, culture, and magic. The city was built by an ancient race called Eldren, who left behind mysterious ruins and artifacts that still influence Camorr's society. The city also has its own festivals, traditions, legends, and myths that add flavor and depth to its atmosphere. Moreover, Camorr has its own magic system, based on alchemy, astrology, and blood sacrifice.
The Characters: The Gentleman Bastards
Another remarkable aspect of this book is its characters. The main protagonists are a group of thieves known as The Gentleman Bastards, who specialize in elaborate and sophisticated schemes to rob the rich and powerful. They are not your typical fantasy heroes, but rather anti-heroes who use their wits, skills, and charm to survive and thrive in a harsh and unforgiving world.
The leader and mastermind of the group is Locke Lamora, an orphan who was bought by a priest of the god of thieves when he was a child. Locke is a genius of deception, disguise, and manipulation, who can assume any identity and role to fool his targets. He is also a loyal and charismatic leader, who cares deeply for his friends and his city. However, he is also reckless, arrogant, and stubborn, who often gets himself and his gang into trouble.
The other members of the group are Jean Tannen, Calo and Galdo Sanza, and Bug. Jean is Locke's best friend and right-hand man, who is an expert fighter and a scholar. He is also the voice of reason and caution in the group, who often balances Locke's impulsiveness and ambition. Calo and Galdo are identical twins who are jack-of-all-trades. They are skilled in various fields such as acting, forgery, lockpicking, and medicine. They are also the comic relief of the group, who provide witty remarks and jokes. Bug is the youngest and newest member of the group, who is an apprentice and a lookout. He is eager to learn and prove himself, but he is also naive and inexperienced.
The Plot: The Gray King's Coup
The main plot of the book revolves around a mysterious criminal called The Gray King, who threatens to overthrow the underworld of Camorr. The Gray King is a ruthless and cunning adversary, who has hired a Bondsmage to help him execute his plan. He has been killing the most trusted lieutenants of Capa Barsavi, the ruler of the underworld, who collects a commission on all criminal activity in the city.
Locke finds himself face to face with the Gray King and his Bondsmage, who somehow know what the Gentleman Bastards have been up to. They have been secretly swindling various nobles out of large sums of money, using elaborate schemes that involve impersonating different personas. They have also been hiding their true identity and wealth from Barsavi, pretending to be a small gang of petty thieves.
The Gray King blackmails Locke into impersonating him in an arranged meeting with Barsavi, in exchange for his silence and protection. However, this turns out to be a trap that leads to a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everything that Locke holds dear. Locke and his friends find themselves caught in a web of deception, betrayal, and violence that will test their loyalty, courage, and cunning.
The Style: The Interweaving of Past and Present
A unique feature of this book is its style. The book alternates between chapters that show the present events and chapters that show the past events. The past chapters reveal the origin and development of Locke and his gang, from their childhood to their adulthood. They show how they were trained by Father Chains, their mentor and leader, who taught them how to be con artists and gentlemen bastards.
The past chapters add depth, humor, and suspense to the present chapters. They provide background information, character development, foreshadowing, and clues that enrich the main story. They also show how Locke and his friends formed their bond of friendship, trust, and love that sustains them through their ordeals.
The Conclusion: The Aftermath of the Coup
The book ends with a thrilling and satisfying conclusion that wraps up the main plot but also sets up the stage for the next books in the series. Locke and his friends manage to survive and escape from the Gray King and his Bondsmage, but not without paying a heavy price. They lose some of their loved ones, their fortune, their reputation, and their home.
However, they also gain some new allies, enemies, opportunities, and challenges. Locke avenges his losses by confronting his enemies in a final showdown that reveals their true identities and motives. He also sets up a new scheme that involves infiltrating the nobility of another city with the help of an old acquaintance.
Final Thoughts: Why You Should Read This Book
In conclusion, The Lies of Locke Lamora is a thrilling and entertaining fantasy adventure that will keep you engaged from start to finish. It has memorable and likable characters, witty dialogue, clever twists, and a rich setting that will immerse you in its world. It is also the first book of a planned series that promises more excitement and intrigue in the future.
and mystery, you should definitely read The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. You will not regret it.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and the series:
How many books are there in the series?
There are currently three books published in the series: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves. The author plans to write seven books in total, with the fourth one, The Thorn of Emberlain, expected to be released soon.
Who is Sabetha and why is she mentioned but not seen in the book?
Sabetha is the only female member of the Gentleman Bastards and Locke's love interest. She is mentioned several times in the book, but she does not appear in person. She is a major character in the third book, The Republic of Thieves, where her past and present relationship with Locke is explored.
What is the Secret Peace and why is it important?
The Secret Peace is an unspoken agreement between the Duke of Camorr, who rules the city legally, and Capa Barsavi, who rules the city criminally. It allows for the existence of organized crime in Camorr, as long as the criminals do not target the nobility or the servants of justice. The Secret Peace is important because it maintains a balance of power and order in the city, and because it is violated by both Locke and the Gray King in their schemes.
What are Bondsmagi and why are they feared?
Bondsmagi are powerful mages who can manipulate reality with their words. They are feared because they are rare, secretive, and dangerous. They have their own society and laws, and they charge exorbitant fees for their services. They can also inflict terrible curses on anyone who crosses them or breaks their contracts.
What are Eldren and why are they mysterious?
Eldren are an ancient race that built Camorr and other cities before disappearing without a trace. They are mysterious because no one knows who they were, where they came from, or what happened to them. They left behind ruins and artifacts that have strange properties and effects, such as the Elderglass that makes up most of Camorr's buildings.