Patrick's Reviews > The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
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Oct 10, 13

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Read in October, 2013

Back when I was first published, people made a lot of comparisons between me and Scott Lynch.

The sentiment was mostly along the lines of "Pat Rothfuss is the next Scott Lynch!"

Here's the thing, Lies of Lock Lamora had come out almost exactly a year before my first book, The Name of the Wind. It was Scott's first book, the first in a fantasy series. The world was gritty and real, and it had knocked everyone over with how good it was.

So I knew it was a flattering comparison, but at the time, I was kinda irked by it. I remember thinking, "Why do I have to be the next Scott Lynch? Why can't I just be the first Pat Rothfuss? I'll probably be a lot better at that, I've got way more experience at it if nothing else...."

Years later I finally got around to reading Lies and enjoyed it. I saw that it was a clever book, and gritty, with a cool world. And there was an orphan boy in it who was a witty, mouthy thief. A while after that, I met Scott and really liked him as well. So I let go of what little residual irritation I had, not that there was very much...

Fast forward to now. This last week I started re-reading Lies, and I was absolutely fucking *stunned* by how good it is. The construction of it. The language. The world. The cleverness. The wit.

There is nothing I don't like in this book. Seriously. Okay. Fine. One tiny *tiny* quibble.

Even so, do you know how rare it is for me to say that? Right now, in the full flush of this second reading, I think Lies is probably in e in my top ten favorite books ever. Maybe my top five.

It's not really fair to compare the two books. They're different styles. Different subjects. Different worlds.

That said, here's the things that The Lies of Locke Lamora does better than The Name of the Wind.

1. The beginning of his book is stronger than mine.

Seriously. 50 pages into my book, you'll have reached the point where someone is starting to actually tell a story.

50 pages into Lies, you know the main character and are halfway into a fucking heist.

2. His title is better than mine.

Don't get me wrong. The Name of the Wind is a good title, it's the *right* title for my book. But "The Lies of Lock Lamora" that's a faboo title right there.

And his series title is better than mine too. "Gentleman Bastard" beats "Kingkiller Chronicles" hands-down.

3. His cussing is better than mine.

Not in real life. In real life I cuss like a sailor. But the language in my books is pretty genteel and tame.

In Lies, Lynch's low-life street thugs are vulgarian virtuosos. This might seem like a little thing, but it's not. It builds the world. It shows character. It helps make the story feel truly, perfectly grubby and real.

Here it is in a nutshell: When I was first published, I was irritated when people compared me to Scott Lynch. Only now do I realize how huge a compliment I was being given.

If you haven't read it, you should. If you have read it, you should probably read it again....
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 105) (105 new)


message 1: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken Feucht I just picked up "Lies," and no offense, but I hope you're right, because your books are fantastic, so something better would be just amazing.

Also, I'd rather be a Kingkiller than a gentleman bastard any day of the week.


Isabelle I read this last month and just finished the sequel. It is indeed excellent!


message 3: by Sky (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sky Corbelli Lies is a fantastic book, and (for as far as I am into it) The Republic of Thieves is living up to it admirably. I highly recommend everything in the Gentleman Bastard series.


Jens Scott I will give it a try while I wait for your 3rd installment :-)


Dave So what's the *tiny* quibble?


Becky I also love this book :D I also want to know what your tiny quibble is?


Karen I agree! Loved this book. The third one in Scott's series just arrived today. But I disagree with you about the opening oif his book and yours. I immediately was sucked into your world. It took me a lot longer with Scott's.

But "The Name of the Wind" was my first fantasy book so I'll always have a soft spot for it.

Now, about that third book, young man...


Nancy Yamaguchi I preferred Name of the Wind, though I enjoyed the Lies of Locke Lamora. I remember a tiny quibble: there was a lengthy fight scene where they kept exchanging witticisms all the way through, in long, complete sentences, without a grunt or a breath taken. It was too contrived, and not likely since they were supposed to be fighting for their lives.


Kammie I read the sample of this and then never bought the full version, thanks for the reminder!

Looks like I will have to get into this later tonight :)


Pavel I read it thrice. Should I read it again?


Reinoud Nice review. You're not the new Scott Lynch. Both of you are writing great stuff. Pretty different as well, despite the orphan/commingofage/geniusdudes resemblance.

Spreaking of cussing. As far as fantasy authors go, Matthew Woodring Stover is absolute boss!. I highly reccomend reading his Acts of Cain series!!!


Taylor That's funny, it was recommended to me a while back. It's next on my list after I finish book 3 in the Demon Cycle. (Also very cool.)


message 13: by Niv (new) - rated it 5 stars

Niv Dear Pat, I do love the "Gentleman Bastard" series, I also absolutely love " The Kingkiller Chronicles"! for some reason I thought The Name of the Wind came out first, it's probably because I read your series first, so in my head it came out first LOL. Then a friend told me that if I liked your series I should read The Lies of Locke Lamora, according to him the two books are very similar. I liked the Lamora book, but your series and Scott's are not similar, they are both amazing but different. With that said, I have to say, you are so humble and open-minded! you are an amazing author!


Nosocialize My friend got me to read Lies after reading Name of the Wind. Still enjoyed yours more, but both are great!


message 15: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori I read Kingkiller books first too but I absolutely love both series. I have to admit to the biggest book crush on Jean Tannen though...


Jason Brinkerhoff In all of my life, I have never heard a greater title than "The Name of the Wind." I didn't need to know what was between the covers to know I needed to read it.

I love the Gentleman Bastards. The first two books are right up there with my favorites. In my circle we all prayed to the altar of Rothfuss before we had heard about the Bastards. In our world this was the "next Name of the Wind." I'm far from saintly, but at first the cussing in Lies was a bit off putting to me, but the story is so strong it doesn't matter.

I got an ARC of Republic of Thieves and was thoroughly excited. It was very good, but after the first two set the bar so high my expectations were through the roof.

As a side note: I want to see Nick Frost play Jean Tannen. After World's End, my lady, my friend, and I all said "holy crap, he IS Jean Tannen."

All of that being said, I'm pretty sure anyone reading this will realize what book I'm excited for more than any other I have ever read.


message 17: by Renee (new) - added it

Renee Parisio Woohoo...so glad Lies is next on my "to read" list!


Joanna I've read both "The Name of the Wind" and "The Lies of Locke Lamora" and I think that you and Scott are both amazing writers in your own way. Yes, his does get off the ground faster, but I think that's because yours has a more subtle frame work. The way that you tell a story verses how he does is neither better, nor worse. However, you're both brilliant! For me, I think I will choose which I like better based on how each series finishes. An amazing start to a series is awesome, but it's the ending that really cements its greatness.


message 19: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary Pat darling, I'm GLAD your books don't have lots of cussing in them. That's so.... boring. Not to mention lazy. (no offense to "Lies..")

The dialogue in your books is consistently creative and interesting without being crass and common. THANK YOU. I really have gotten tired of the constant use of "F&@K you" and such.

Oh, and what IS your "tiny quibble"? You have our curiosity aroused now!


Joanne Its so funny because I reread Lies recently and am now rereading Red Seas Under Red Skies because I wanted to be fresh before I started Republic of Thieves. Was this your motivation as well, Pat? In any case, I do agree with you in certain aspects. "Lies" is punchier, faster paced, grittier without being depressing. They are two different animals really. "Name of the Wind" is an appropriate title, a suitable title for your work because it conveys the poetry of your writing. There aren't lines of Lynch's that I linger over the same way I linger over yours, even though I certainly would love to have a pint with Locke any day (though not if I were in any ways wealthy).


message 21: by Ross (new)

Ross Kutash If you loved "The Lies of Locke Lamora" and "The Name of the Wind", let me recommend another book that I think you will also like -- Among Thieves: A Tale of the Kin by Douglas Hulick. It is a picaresqeue novel that has lots of twists that actually surprised me, which is a rare treat. Just read it while you are waiting for Gentleman Bastards #4 and Kingkiller Chronicles #3...I am confident you won't regret it. It has a similar gritty feel comparable to Lynch and a gripping story.


Joanne Jason wrote: "In all of my life, I have never heard a greater title than "The Name of the Wind." I didn't need to know what was between the covers to know I needed to read it.

I love the Gentleman Bastards. T..."


OMG Nick Frost as Jean Tannen!


message 23: by Liza (new) - added it

Liza Combrinck I feel the same. To me, "The Name of the Wind" is the most beautiful title in the world. I simply looked at the book and it was love at first sight. I knew I wanted it and it wanted me. I didn't have to read the back to know that book was my soulmate. But when I did read it, and then the inside, I loved that book even more, and I loved it more with every reread - it's so to say the love of my life.


Casey Hampton So good! I need to read it again, and soon.


Chris I'd say both books mentioned above are in my top ten, if not top five.


message 26: by Melanie (new)

Melanie I'm going to take your word for it and buy it. I've been looking for something "new". Thanks Pat :)


Chris "...we’ve been doing these “get an e-book of The Lies of Locke Lamora for 99 cents/pence” promotions recently."

~Scott Lynch


message 28: by William (new)

William Spencer You are my favorite author with Mr. Lynch as a close second so I am glad my interests in books isnt a singularity.... I think you are both very talented and thank you for I own both of your books and And the first two of The Gentleman Bastard Series.... I plan on getting the others as soon as I have the extra cash... I have three kids at a young age and dont get much time to myself and so I read quite often before bed.... The books I used to escape in during high school I cant wait to read to my children... Thank you again for your outstanding work...


message 29: by Steve (new) - added it

Steve I am so sure that Kvothe would eat Locke and all the Gentlemen Bastards for breakfast! That said I'm loving 'Lies' at the moment, but Name of the Wind and Wise Mans Fear are, for me, far more lyrical. Lies is by far the most ripping yarn I've read since Abercrombie's last effort!!!


message 30: by Kaan (new) - added it

Kaan Look forward to reading this - Douglas Hulicks, Amongst Thieves is pretty cool and worth checking out also


message 31: by Kaan (new) - added it

Kaan Ps - Elodin needs his own tale. Just putting it out there :)


Slightchance just go ahead and get the other two now


message 33: by John (last edited Oct 10, 2013 03:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

John so...what are your top 5 books then...? or top 10? or 5 books you really love in no particular order...?

Love your work. and love Scott Lynch's too. I didn't like the sequel so much though. And I think his world has a minor female problem as he grapples with making his world building palatable to a reader from an age of near equality.


message 34: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Kaan wrote: "Ps - Elodin needs his own tale. Just putting it out there :)"

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


Kelsey Hanson It my house was on fire the two series that I would try to save would be The Kingkiller Series and The Gentlemen Bastards. And no you really can't compare the two. The tone is so different and they're both awesome in many very different ways. You guys made it very awesome to be from Wisconsin


message 36: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Karen wrote: "I agree! Loved this book. The third one in Scott's series just arrived today. But I disagree with you about the opening oif his book and yours. I immediately was sucked into your world. It took me..."

i totally agree. i actually stopped reading about 50 pages in. so i guess i need to go and start reading it again.


message 37: by Alison (new) - added it

Alison this has been on my list to read forever, Thanks for reminding me. Something else to read (besides the Game of Thrones) while I am still waiting...and waiting...and waiting...I will let you know if I agree with your assessment of the story, but I think Kingkiller Chronicles is a rockin' series name :-)


message 38: by Todd (new) - rated it 5 stars

Todd Towns Just about my favorite book when it first came out. I really liked Red Skies too, but it was a notch below. Can't wait to read Lynch's newest. After this review, I may have to go back and read the first two again! Absolutely love your stuff too Mr. Rothfuss and can't wait to read what you have in store for us next. I would argue your use of language is superior to just about anyone I have read, but Lynch is up there too! Thanks for a great review of a favorite.


message 39: by Blue (new) - added it

Blue now, I have something worth to read through my busy days while waiting the last of The Kingkiller Chronicles....

Thank you Pat..


Glenj Wow, Mr. Rothfuss says Lies might be in his top 5 favorite books ever. What phenomenal praise. Its become my favorite current fantasy series; I like it even more than Martin's work. The second books isn't as good as Lies but I just love the characters so much. I cannot wait to dive into the recently released third book and hopefully Patrick's gushing review here will have more people checking this series out.


Darren The fact that you said 'faboo' in your review and pointed out that his 'cussing' is better than yours just rocketed Lies up on my To Read shelf.

I've read NotW and WMF and really enjoyed them. With your review right here... I'm buckling in for another wik'd ride. Thanks Pat!


Mlyons Yeah, for me, the best fantasy books since Game of Thrones and Wizard's First Rule are Mistborn by Sanderson, Lies by Lynch, and Name of the Wind by Pat. I'm constantly rereading one of those three, they are all so damn good.


Chris Those of you that love those two books you should check out this one https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

It was a sleeper as far as I could tell, goodreads helped me find it. Loved it.


Brandon Zarzyczny I'm actually rereading this book right now, and I agree that's it's amazing, but I don't think that it's as good as The Name of the Wind. :)


Sonja S His third one just came out on Tuesday: "The Republic of Thieves."


Richard there both very good but build there characters differently i'm a fan of both for life.


message 47: by Swhale (new)

Swhale I couldn't agree more about Stover. Along with the graphic language I'd say the fight sceens are second to none!

Reinoud wrote: "Nice review. You're not the new Scott Lynch. Both of you are writing great stuff. Pretty different as well, despite the orphan/commingofage/geniusdudes resemblance.

Spreaking of cussing. As far a..."



message 48: by Jonathan (new) - added it

Jonathan Peto I think I'm going to give your book a shot first. Your review makes an excellent impression.


Brandon Wiese ...or listen to the audiobook. It's bloody brilliantly done.


Andrew Warner ^ The audiobook for both the Kingkiller Chronicles and the Gentleman Bastard series are very well done.


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