Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult, fantasy
First published: 2006
Author: Scott Lynch
Synopsis: The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a friend to the poor, a ghost that walks through walls.
Slightly built and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. And while Locke does steal from the rich (who else would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny. All of Locke’s gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves: The Gentemen Bastards.
The capricious, colourful underworld of the ancient city of Camorr is the only home they’ve ever known. But now a clandestine war is threatening to tear it apart. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends are suddenly struggling just to stay alive…
This book was so good. I put it off for ages thinking I wouldn’t like it and I was wrong. I was very wrong, because I loved it. It’s got thieves and criminals and a daredevil heist and the characters are the best ever. I love their friendship, it makes me happy.
I love heist stories and this one was such a good one. And the story was also so intricate, it had so many layers and things going on, despite it not being a huge book. I mean, it’s by no means a small book, but I wouldn’t say it’s massive. Then again… I tend to read a lot of epic fantasy, so 500 pages is pretty much the norm for me. Anyway, the point is the story is great and it’s very well balanced with the world-building, which can often be a problem in fantasy. We get just the right amount of information.
The world itself is quite fascinating. All major cities are built on the remains of some strange ancient civilisation that nobody knows anything about. And while that’s tertiary to the story (though it may be more important later on), it’s interesting and the fact that it’s in there despite the fact that it’s not particularly relevant to the story, just makes it feel a lot more authentic. There is magic in this world, but it’s not very prominent. It is featured a little bit, but it’s not a main focus, at least in this book. Possibly it will be in later books.
The characters themselves are awesome, I love them so much. Locke is a conniving, scheming, thieving, mostly amoral bastard and I love him for it. There are still so many questions I have about his past and I can’t wait to unravel the web of all his lies and deceptions (the book is called The Lies of Locke Lamora for a reason) and why exactly he started weaving it in the first place. I love the relationships among the Gentlemen Bastards, it just warms my heart to read about such friendship and loyalty.
Another thing I really enjoyed and actually the main reason that drove me to finally pick this up is that there is no romance in it. It’s not that I don’t like romance in books, because I do, but sometimes it’s nice to have a break from that and it was something that I was really craving at the time I read it.
I thought the writing was good as well. I wouldn’t say it particularly stands out in style, it didn’t particularly stick in my mind. But that’s alright, some authors have really unique or memorable writing styles, but that isn’t a necessity for good writing. This was good writing, even though it was not particularly memorable. I will say that there is a lot of swearing.
All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this book if you’re looking for some adventure, some outrageous thievery and great friendships, you will most likely love this book.