"[...] 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.
I was also a bit bothered with the LOTR character parallels, but the second book put everything in its place :) WHAT was wrong with the ending? I'm really curious :) I didn't spot anything wrong apart from the "I'll fucking save everybody" mood :)ReplyDelete
I am not sure why I had a problem with the ending, it just somehow felt maybe a bit, let's say, Hollywood-ish. That being said it was a minor thing. I just noticed while reading that I wasn't *as* happy with the ending as I was with the rest of the book. But I was still happy :)Delete
Mm, I love political scheming. I've been saving this book for a day when I really need just a fun book -- it sounds like it would fit the bill for that perfectly.ReplyDelete
It is a perfect book to read if you can't decide on anything else or just feel that you would like to get lost in a well-built fantasy world.Delete
This sounds really good! They seem to be grabbing my interest lately, so another fantasy series to add to the list...ReplyDelete
I personally think that a good and captivating fantasy series is perfect for when nothing seems to grab your interest. :)Delete
You've definitely convinced me to read this one in 2014!ReplyDelete
Yay, can't wait to see what you think about it.Delete
Yayyyy! Baldur's Gate! *high five* You are really making me wish that my PS2 wasn't in storage so that I could dig out the games and replay the crap out of them. Not that I have the time, but still.ReplyDelete
I love Jean. He gets a bit more action/story in the second book, and yeah... he's awesome.
We need to chat about the ending - I LOVED the ending. I thought it was unconventional, and that it works as a stand-alone, if need be. Of couse that was NOT acceptable to me, lol, I had to start the sequel soon.
Oooh. I got both books in mail this week and the second book is just *staring* at me from the shelf and it's so hard to resist, but I have two buddy reads in February involving fantasy books (Name of the Wind and the first book in Mistborn series), so I am not sure if adding the third one to the bunch is a good idea right now.Delete
I agree that the ending worked, the loose ends were wrapped up. The dislike was very personal, as I said in a previous comment, it felt a bit too Hollywood-ish and Locke's actions were a bit too "I am a hero" for me considering all the previous events - that being said, he did explain why he acted the way he did, so technically I can't whine, it was just a feeling really that ending was not as awesome as the rest of the book. For me. But definitely it wasn't something that would stop me from continuing with the series!
Is there a read-a-long for Name of the Wind or is it private? I'd be interested :)Delete
There is a public readalong on Goodreads, in this group: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1649952-february---the-name-of-the-windDelete
There's all the info and reading schedule as well. It would be great if you joined in too! :)
Owww... I've mixed up everything! I wanted to read The Shadow of the Wind, not The Name of the Wind :) But now The Name of the Wind looks cool too and I'm pondering the possibility of joining anyway :) Besides, they are probably reading The Shadow of the Wind in April, so thanks a lot for sending me the link! :)Delete
:D I've mixed those two up too, the titles are so similar :) The Name of the Wind is so big I figured it'll be a good idea to read it with other people. (Also what's with that 4.5 average rating on Goodreads?? I must get behind that!) I'm sure it'll be a fun event so if you feel like joining in that would be cool.Delete
Yes, 4.5 is pretty outstanding! And I've heard some good reviews of it too! Well, let's see if can make time for it, I'll make all the February planning today in the evening :)Delete
Glad to hear you enjoyed this title! I have yet to read the other books in the series but I greatly enjoyed this one, I think it was the humour and the characters that really did it for me but I also enjoyed the politiking and the Venetian feel of the city =DReplyDelete
- Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net
Yep, politiking (great word!) and the feel of the historical city environment were among the most enjoyable things, also I found the humour was not overdone and fit very well. I hope you will enjoy the next book(s) as well!Delete
You have made me so keen to actually pick this book up off my shelf and give it a go! I've been putting it off for ages as it's so long, but seeing you enjoy it so much has inspired me...ReplyDelete
It's one of them fantasy books that looks big (and I also got the books with small font), but reads really fast. I think there's a great chance you might enjoy it!Delete
Same experience here! I played BG II (The One and Only) as a swashbuckler and the first part of this book reminded me the thieves' war in that game. I also enjoyed Venice-resembling Camorr.ReplyDelete
Yes! :) I'm planning to read the sequel soon, it's said to be even better than the first book.Delete