Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the fantasy genre needed, March 1, 2008
This review is from: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is one of the best books I have read, in the fantasy genre or otherwise. Reading this, it's hard to imagine that this is Scott Lynch's debut novel, as it reads like a book from someone who has had plenty of time to master their craft.

I hate always bringing a comparison to George R.R. Martin, but here it's inevitable, for me anyways. First, I bought the book because of Martin's blurb of praise on the cover. Martin has great recommendations and he's never let me down. But not only is it a great book, Lynch's style draws comparison to Martin in many ways. It has the simple yet easy flowing prose, the sarcasm, the grittiness, the unpredictability. Yet it has a depth of character that I find more reminiscent of Robin Hobb, (just much less sadistic, as any fan of Fitz might know) as it follows mainly one character as he grows and learns his trade. If Martin and Hobb were to collaborate on a book about thieves, The Lies of Locke Lamora might be the outcome.

Not to say that Lynch pulls heavily from other authors. This book is a breath of fresh air and very different from fantasy that's out there today. Honestly, I normally wouldn't be entirely interested in a book about thieving, but I found this entertaining as hell. It's loaded with action, numerous plot twists, flawed characters, sharp (and often times filthy) dialogue and plenty of moments where I laughed out loud and got strange looks from my wife.

Yet even with all of that, I think Lynch's greatest strength may be his world building. Throughout the book there are interludes that flash back to Locke's past, as well as the past of other key characters -namely Jean- that provide a rich back story. These interludes aren't intrusive at all, and work really well to propel the story as a whole. It shows how the characters change and grew so much from the past to the present. This is done wonderfully. And then there's the world itself. I can tell that the author put a lot of time into the environment. I had no problem at all imagining the setting with the strange Elderglass buildings and Venice-like layout of islands and canals.

From the seedy underbelly to the rich towers of the nobility, Camorr is a city worth visiting; where the villains steal and murder and the heroes... well they steal and murder too. I really have nothing negative to say about this book. Although it's the first in a series, it is a complete story within itself. The author simply uses his skill and devilishly addictive writing to ensure that you'll come back again anyways. I recommend The Lies of Loche Lamora, and its author, whole heartedly.
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