"[...] I've got kids that enjoy stealing. I've got kids that don't think about stealing one way or another, and I've got kids that just tolerate stealing because they know they've got nothing else to do. But nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever been hungry for it like this boy. If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing. He... steals too much."
Bullet point review!
- I was hooked since the moment I realised that the main characters of this book belong to a con artist group that deals in thievery and disguise. Nerd alert - I used to be obsessed with the game called Baldur's Gate II, specifically fascinated by the guild called Shadow Thieves, and my rogue has been sneaking around, picking locks and assassinating in Dungeons and Dragons Online since 2010.
- The characters seemed pretty good from the beginning. There is a lot of banter and cussing between them (The Ice and Fire series style), there is a lot of humour in the dialogue. What I liked most about the main characters was how different they had become from your "generic" fantasy characters. Locke Lamora is medium-height and very skinny, but *so* self-confident. And there's Jean Tannen - when Jean was introduced, my first thought was "Oh no, not another Samwell Tarly..." but no, he is no Samwell Tarly, that's for sure. (Nothing against Samwell Tarly, but let's keep him in one book series.)
- The setting and the atmosphere were excellent. This book is not exactly what I would call descriptive, but I felt like I was on the streets of Camorr more than once or twice. The way the smells and tastes were incorporated to the story made it feel very lively. Wikipedia says that Camorr is based on late medieval Venice and it definitely has this kind of an old European merchandise city feel to it.
- There is a lot of political scheming in the book, which I personally enjoy, but it might not be everyone's cup of tea. Fortunately, the political schenanigans are nicely balanced out with action and the parallel story that runs alongside with the main story from the past, which draws the reader closer to the present moment.
- Scott Lynch writes for several role playing games, and people who are acquinted with this stuff can definitely detect the influences of RPG in The Lies of Locke Lamora. That being said, it is not overdone - people with no knowledge of RPG will probably detect nothing.
- What I think can be appreciated about this book (and probably the whole Gentlemen Bastard series) is that it is an accessible book that is likely to please both, people with experience in fantasy literature and people who are still taking only baby steps.
- I had hard time deciding whether it would be a 4 or a 5 star read. Up to the last, say, fifth of the book it was definitely going towards the fiver, but I had some problems with the ending. Nothing too major, but there was an aspect to how things wrapped up that I wasn't happy with. I'll not elaborate because I don't want to affect other people's experience. I marked it 5, but it's actually a 4.5 read for me.