The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, #1)
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The Lies of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch
Release date: June 2006
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy, adventure, mystery

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

updated 2018-10-20

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Reviews (4)

Emmi avatar
Written by
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 ... (more)
Booknan the Bookuser avatar
Written by
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 ... (more)
Seregil of Rhiminee avatar
Written by
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.
Bluejay avatar
Written by
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.
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