Matthew's Reviews > The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
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's review
Jan 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010-reading-list
Read in June, 2010

The Lies of Locke Lamora was, simply, a very intriguing and fun read. Instead of the typical hero story - where the morally proficient and endearingly lucky main character - forever comes out on top with a few bumps in the road, author Scott Lynch provides a lead character that isn't entirely likable (though, I'm sure many would argue against me on this).

Locke Lamora is a thief that steals from nobles as part of a secret pact between the gangs of the city-state Cammor and the elite hierarchy that controls it. While the Robin Hood-esque, stealing from the poor description may seem good and proper in theory, throughout the story it feels as if Locke walks a very fine line between villain and hero. While he truly does have a warm heart, especially for his fellow thieves, he is a murderer, and schemes plans against those that he has little issue with. From a character standpoint, he is not atypical. He is a terrible fighter, is rash in his decision making, is forever pining over a female character not brought into the story (novel number 2?), and is very unlucky.

In general, it are these characteristics that make the story unique and quite a page turner. Lynch continually keeps the plot diverging in unexpected directions (though the ending was typical, but fulfilling) though there are a few moments where the story slows unnecessarily it seems (for example, the 100 or so pages used to describe Locke trying repeatedly to steal clothes, while the author keeps flashing back to other characters who are planning on ruining the very plans Locke will use the clothes to hatch - once the plan is actually foiled as described, I wondered why all the description was necessary).

Aside from the unique story and plot line, I thought the prose was a huge plus. The excessive use of profanity fit nicely due to Locke and his colleagues being essentially born and raised street thugs and made for a nice contrast to when Locke was conducting a job against the nobles and used very proper diction. Further, the graphic fight scenes were expertly described and kept the action fresh - though some reviewers on Goodreads complained about it.

A great read, all in all, aside from a few slow plot points. I look forward to checking out book 2 - Red Seas Under Red Skies.


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