Book 141: "The Lies of Locke Lamora" by Scott Lynch

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1)
Author: Scott Lynch
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Fantasy

I really liked this book. A lot. This is the first book in The Gentleman Bastard series and I look forward to reading the rest. This book is unlike most other fantasy novels I have read, which I adore. I always enjoy a new style and idea when it comes to reading. Lynch also uses a character driven style, which is my preference. While it is obvious that Lynch draws on some classic literature for inspiration, (most obviously Oliver Twist) it is more a way of honoring said literature than by stealing its ideas.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, obviously, centers  around the character Locke Lamora. The story is told following two storylines. There is the main storyline of the novel that features Locke and friends as adults. There are also "Interludes" which tell the story of Locke and a few of the Gentleman Bastards growing up. The Gentleman Bastards are, basically, very well trained con-men. Locke, as an adult, is their leader.

There are a few things that helped make this book awesome for me:

The first are the characters. There is no character, however small, that is not awesome in their own way. Even if you hate that character, they are a unique individual with a story and background (but not unnecessarily so). I enjoyed reading each character immensely.

The second is the author's complete willingness to kill. Not unnecessarily, like the George R.R. Martin style, but in a way that literature has been missing for some time- mostly due to fear of readers getting angry (*cough*...J.K. Rowling...*cough*).

The third is that this a detailed and complex story without being too heavy with detail. While every character is given a deep history and personality, pages are not spent explaining this- it is more something that is simply felt. There are twists and turns that surprised me, and I am not easily surprised while reading. This is because of the intricate detail of the world and story- it is as unexpected as life.

The fourth are the women. Lynch writes strong, independent, smart women. They are business women, leaders of gangs, leaders of the country, warriors; in short, everything that a man can do. What makes this awesome is how natural it is. Lynch isn't writing this with an emphasis on "look, I wrote a strong female character, isn't she unique?". No he's integrated it so well into the story that it's natural, because why wouldn't a woman be in those roles? Amazing. In effect, he writes with true equality.

I really have nothing bad to say about this book. It is incredibly well written and entertaining. A few warnings to my more conservative friends, family, and readers. This novel is wrought with swearing and graphic violence. If you don't like those, I suggest you avoid the book.

Happy reading!