Monday, 25 July 2011

Scott Lynch - The Lies of Locke Lamora

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentlemen Bastards, book 1)
Author: Scott Lynch
Pub. year: 2007
Pages: 544
Editor: Gollancz

Summary: After a devastating plague, a man known as the Thiefmaker pays off the city guard to allow him to take in thirty newly-orphaned individuals, whom he plans to train as thieves. One orphan sneaks into the group of paid children, "thirty-one of thirty". The Thiefmaker soon discovers that this one child, Locke Lamora, is extremely clever but not "circumspect", and is a liability due to his lack of foresight or restraint. The Thiefmaker decides to sell Locke to Chains, a priest of the Nameless Thirteenth god, the Crooked Warden who protects thieves. Chains uses his temple as a front to operate the Gentlemen Bastards, where they play confidence games on the city's richest citizens, in defiance of the Secret Peace.

This summary is probably not the best you've ever seen, and it certainly doesn't do justice to this book—mind you, I couldn't find anything else, and God knows I am bad at making them myself. One thing you need to know about this book: it's awesome. I know, I know, always telling you about good books... but who cares about the bad ones? Well, I don't, so here I am, telling you about something good again. Awesome even. Wanna know more?

Locke Lamora, as the title says, is what you could call a pretty good liar. But not the petty kind of lie where you try to cover a missing assignment or something: the kind where you take a false identity and set up a scam so great it's going to cost the victim a good deal of its fortune. Because like Robin Hood, Locke steals only the wealthiest, though he doesn't give to the poor; everything goes to the vault of his "church", where he and his little gang stack up all they need for their crimes. And everything could have been "happily ever after" if some Grey King didn't appear suddenly, killing garristas, blackmailing the Master of thieves and using Locke against his will to cause a great commotion that will probably cost too many lives.

Oh, here I am, making a summary after all. Well, now you know what it is really about, the gangs, the scams, the bloody Grey Kind and his mess. But one thing you still don't know is that: not only the characters living in this puzzling world are original, they also have a terrific charisma—starting with Locke, this genius, this weird gentleman that knows enough and has enough nerves to pretend being anyone in order to get what he wants (and I tell you, he does get it!), and also his crew, the devil twins Calo and Galdo, the strong Jean and the snoopy Bug. Just for the sake of this bunch, you should read this book. So if I tell you that many other characters are as much interesting, that the chapters about the Gentlemen Bastards' childhood are as hilarious as the ones about present times are gripping, that the city of Camorr is as full of mysteries and surprises as a good Fantasy book should be (though I must admit, the beginning tends to be slow and over-descriptive, you need to hang on before catching the ride), well...

I said enough, didn't I? How could you not like it? And even more: how could you know if you don't try? And like it all you want, there are still many to come, Read Seas Under Red Sky is waiting and so is the rest of the series!

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