Sometimes you read a good book and your brain goes ‘Mmmmmm’.
Sometimes you read a brilliant book, have a brain orgasm and you immediately shove the book in all of your friends faces.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with these sensations. The Lies of Locke Lamora, for me, was the latter. Written by Scott Lynch, this story is definitely a page turner. Lynch has brought us into a formidable alternate world filled with Alchemy and mystery and further into a city that’s rife with revenge, secrets and thievery.
The story is true to the title in that it follows the Life and Lies of one Locke Lamora. Also known by reputation as the Thorn of Camorr, a local urban legend that portrays a dastardly thief, who is a ‘friend to the poor’ as well as ‘a ghost who can walk through walls’. And of course, Locke Lamora is neither. Nevertheless, trained as a very eager young thief and a ‘graduate’ of sorts in the art of ‘false facing’ and deception Lamora and his partners in crime (the very aptly named Gentlemen Bastards) are exceptionally good at what they do; even if their methods don’t really suit the laws and taboos that exist between the nobility and the treacherous underworld of the ancient City of Camorr.
The City of Camorr is up there on my list of fantastical places that I kind of wish was real. In the descriptions, the city is made out to resemble our own worlds Venice in Italy. An ideal location for this particular story with dozens of waterways slinking through labyrinths of stone and magnificent towers of a very alien material called Elderglass. Which really sounds quite beautiful. The culture and history of the city was something I also loved reading about. You get a very good insight to this in specific ‘Interludes’ in the story that are dedicated to the past learning experiences of Locke and his Gentlemen Bastards. The band go through rigorous training in just about everything; from immersing themselves in the various religious orders of Camorr to high society cooking and etiquette (which reads DELICIOUSLY).
And so it is in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the City of Camorr, mainly in the darkened dank areas where there are lots of unappealing types, our anti-heroes find themselves caught up in a clandestine war. A war that has the utmost decency to reveal itself in the middle of one of the biggest scams the Gentlemen Bastards have ever pulled. Drat! And so, the boys are in the hot seat and chaos ensues that triggers a lot of unpleasant situations and a lot of quick thinking on Locke’s part. I do believe a very prominent figure in Popular Culture has a quote that sums up this book in a very accurate and original way:
“Secrets and lies…IT’S ALWAYS SECRETS AND LIES!” – Homer J. Simpson
If Scott Lynch’s brain had some kind of biological window/thing that projected images, I would very much like to peer into it and see his vision of this amazing and intricate world he’s created. Especially the City of Camorr, with its unearthly Elderglass Towers and colourful characters…and of course the Austershalin Brandy… in fact, all the liqour in Camorr sounds awesome. I’ll take several crates of everything if it’s ever invented. Which is highly unlikely as most of it is made through a mystical art of alchemy with things that only exist in a fantasy world. DAMN YOU SCOTT LYNCH.
In conclusion, this book is awesome and you (YES YOU) should read it as it will benefit your eyes and cure any boredom related disease that you have.
Now, that concludes this bloggish fangirl rant. If you’ll excuse me, I must go sell my possessions so I can buy the sequel; Red Seas Under Red Skies… toodles!