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June, 2016: Fantasy > The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch (4 stars)

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message 1: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2667 comments A lovely scamper of a tale about a group of unusually charming young thieves and con-men.

The worldbuilding is not startlingly novel in most respects but has enough interesting twists that it does not feel like a rehash. The concept of the alchemical manipulations is fun, the sorcerers are suitably cruel and bloodthirsty, and I loved the beauty of the Elderglass and the way it absorbs and shines with light. There's no doubt a cool backstory waiting to come out as to who or what the Eldren were (a lighter version, perhaps, of the Paravians in Janny Wurts' epic War of Light and Shadows series).

The characterisation isn't particularly novel either (the charming rogue with his staunch right hand bodyguard and his friends-in-arms: see also the more recent "Eli Monpress" novels by Rachel Aaron) but the dialogue is often engaging and witty and I found myself warming to the characters. It helped that the dialogue features some of the most heart-warmingly inventive swearing I've seen this side of Billy Connolly. The twists and turns of the plot also kept my interest. There's real tension in it too - it takes a long time to show up, but once it does, I was swept along to the book's conclusion without putting the iPad down ...

One niggle, though, was the constant use of interludes to tell the backstory of the Gentlemen Bastards and sometimes even to interject a social commentary or a bit of history. I know it's a tension-developing device (you're reading the interludes going "but I want to know what happens next!!"), and I don't mind non-linear storytelling. But while it was fine to begin with as I wanted to find out what Locke had done as a little boy that was so very bad, I found it tiresome after a while. If each interlude had been more closely linked with what was going on in the central story at the time it was included, I'd have got on with the technique rather better, I suspect. As it was, the information proved mostly relevant to the story, but I still found myself having to resist a growing temptation to skip ahead.

Niggles aside, the book was certainly good enough to make me start straight away on #2 of the series (Red Seas Under Red Skies) I'm about a third of the way in ...


message 2: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments This has been on my TBR forever --- my brother had recommended it to me


message 3: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5159 comments I enjoyed this one, but somehow I started book 2, got into a few chapters, and then put it aside and haven't picked it back up. I think I might need to re-read book 1 as I've forgotten too much.


message 4: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2667 comments JoLene wrote: "This has been on my TBR forever --- my brother had recommended it to me"

Maybe this is the month to cross it off the list :)


message 5: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2667 comments annapi wrote: "I enjoyed this one, but somehow I started book 2, got into a few chapters, and then put it aside and haven't picked it back up. I think I might need to re-read book 1 as I've forgotten too much."

If you don't have time to reread book #1 it probably doesn't matter too much - the bits that are relevant might come back to you and even if they don't there are enough references to what's happened before that the story isn't too confusing, I think.

There again, it's always nice to read through a series in order :) A bit like enjoying the company of friends.


message 6: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Kate wrote: "JoLene wrote: "This has been on my TBR forever --- my brother had recommended it to me"

Maybe this is the month to cross it off the list :)"


I'm reading The Name of the Wind, another long one so I'm not sure I can do 2 in one month.


message 7: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2667 comments JoLene wrote: "I'm reading [book:The Name of the Wind..."

Long but good - at least I liked it a lot when I read it several years ago.


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