World Fantasy Award nominee 2007, Locus Award nominee 2007, Tähtifantasia Award nominee 2008.
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they're the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it's a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa's power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora...
"Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser would have felt right at home with the Gentleman Bastards. They’re not out to save the world, just their own skins... oh, and to relieve some nobles of their gold, jewels, and silks along the way. This is a fresh, original, and engrossing tale by a bright new voice in the fantasy genre. Locke Lamora makes for an engaging rogue, and Camorr a fascinating and gorgeously realized setting, a city to rival Lankhmar, Amber, and Viriconium. I look forward to returning there for many more visits." – George R. R. Martin
"Somewhere off-stage and west of Othello and The Merchant of Venice, Scott Lynch has built a quirky, high octane fantasy caper around a refreshingly original hero and his not-quite-Venetian city of Camorr. Here there are titled nobles, elaborate schemes, multiple disguises and horrible fates enough for any piece of Shakespeare, but all laid out in a finely imagined otherworld and told at the narrative pace and pitch of Pirates of the Caribbean. A great, swashbuckling yarn of a novel." - Richard Morgan
“Scott Lynch is a con man, a conjuror, a wickedly entertaining juggler of words with knives up his sleeves and hatchets down his back. By the time you realize he’s dangerous, you’re already bleeding. The Lies of Locke Lamora is a ticket inside the astonishing city-state Camorr, and a free pass into the company of the entirely extraordinary Gentleman Bastards, and a match for any fantasy adventure I’ve ever read. The best news is: it’s Book One. That means there’ll be more.” - Matthew Woodring Stover
"The picaresque tale is not dead. It lives again - to my great delight - in Scott Lynch's wickedly enjoyable debut novel. Follow Locke the thief and his fellow Gentlemen Bastards through an outrageously ingenious and Byzantine plot, which has more twists and turns than the minotaur's labyrinth. The Lies of Locke Lamora is dark, complex and utterly compelling." - Sarah Ash
"One part caper, one part swashbuckler, and one part Mission: Impossible, Scott Lynch's debut novel is deeply satisfying to the Robin Hood in all of us." - Elizabeth Bear
"Tough, funny, and inventive. You will be entertained." - Kate Elliott
"This is one of the most enjoyable first novels I've ever read. I'd listen to Scott Lynch tell lies all day long." - Tim Pratt
Details updated July 22, 2022
Scott Lynch was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1978 and currently lives in Wisconsin. He moonlights as a game designer and volunteer firefighter.
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence :: Series
Series contains 7 primary works and has 8 total works.
Follow the the life and adventures of Locke Lamora, a master con artist in a world where con artistry, as we know it, is a new and rare style of crime. These seven novels will reveal his grand ambitions as well as his astounding failures. See his wits pitted against ever-increasing odds on behalf of the few things that truly matter to him, through the highs and lows of crime, courtly intrigue, politics, love, and war...
Community Reviews & Rates
Although never quite boring(this book is about one thrilling heist and long con after another after all), this book was, at times, disappointingly predictable. It seemed like Lynch thought he was a lot smarter than he really is, thereby constantly underestimating his readers. Your interludes are not clever! They're just unnecessary, too revealing and defuse the tension you spent two chapters carefully building. All that backstory didn't really do much for the plot, or the worldbuilding, and at times it only felt like filler so Mr Lynch could pad out his book to a respectable fantasy-size. I felt like I was being force-fed information that I really didn't need, or had any desire to know, much like reading anything by Rothfuss. Both Lynch and Rothfuss seemed to have Hemingway's iceberg-principle backwards - only 20% are supposed to be visible, not 80%!!! I like the setting, though. P.S. I think Hannu Rajaniemi did a better job telling almost he same story, only with fewer words...
A month or so ago, I picked up The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, and I must say, never before have I gotten this sort of particular joy from a book. The first thing I noticed, was that it was interesting almost from page one. This rarely happens with me in a book, where I'm immediately curious right in the first chapter. With Game of Thrones, I had to restart reading it, because it didn't really grasp my interest. But from the very start, the world and the people introduced were fantastically unique to my imagination and they were wonderful. Scott Lynch has some of the most fantastic use of language I've ever seen. The metaphors and description are so engrossing that I found myself just looking at sentences over and over, savoring their essence. He makes Camorr come alive without dragging on and on with useless details, as Tolkien oft did. There were never any occasions when I skimmed the descriptions to get on with the story, because he kept them interesting and to the point, without going into unnecessary detail or losing the active flow. And speaking of flow, Lynch has taken manipulation of timeline and turned it into an art form. He created an inexplicably wonderful sense of anticipation throughout the whole book by, for example, giving a battle, followed by an encounter between secondary characters, after which he gives the history of the whores in town... and I found myself to be at the edge of my seat wondering how that was going to become relevant. And the subtlety with which he introduced concepts that would be significant later on in the book was mind-blowing. Every character introduced into the story was real and unique and incredibly interesting. The cleverness of the plots of Locke Lamora and the Gentleman Bastards was unparalelled, and the ending was wildly satisfying. It was realistic within the realms of its own world, and even though you see only one city, the world feels vast and inviting. The use of things, such as magic and alchemy, were done in such a way that I was not bored with them, as I have been in the past with other writers. And each little piece of story seemed to weave independantly, until joining with another, and at every moment you think you see where the book is headed, it tightens and continues, right to the last word, in a most satisfying conclusion. I have never in my life read a book with such wild grins of pure joy plastered all over my face, before I read The Lies of Locke Lamora. The book is page-to-page action, nonstop, and it's just brilliant.
The Lies of Locke Lamora was a pleasant surprise. It's clearly one of the best new fantasy books I've read during the last months. It's a different kind of fantasy book and it's very entertaining. Scott Lynch writes fluently, the story flows nicely and the plot is good. The characterization is great and the characters are interesting. What I like most about this book is that Lynch writes original fantasy. If you want to read something different, Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora is a good choice.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is entertainment in a same sense as big Hollywood blockbusters. You go see one without expecting a larger-than-life classic movie experience. That's the way this novel should be read, without too much seriousness. It's hip, it's fun and has has more "fucks" than a mafia flick. Witty heroes and maniac villains, goofy sidekicks and dumb extras, this one has it all. Recommended, especially for those who are looking for something else than epic war dramas.