The Lies of Locke Lamora is fantasy’s version of The Sting. It has a title that stuck in my mind once I heard it. Every time that I saw it, I couldn’t help but start hearing the song “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” from Finian’s Rainbow in my head.
It’s an interesting look at the life and career of a young man named Locke Lamora. He is an orphan that the Thiefmaker sells to a supposedly eyeless priest but an actuality is a con artist. The priest trains Lamora as a con artist and thief. Lamora takes to the profession and eventually comes to lead the Gentlemen Bastards, a small group of thieves and con artists like himself who prowl the land Camorr.
It took a little bit to get into the story, but once I did, I became fascinated by the con that Lamora was trying to pull off among Camorr’s nobility. I enjoyed his character and was willing to follow him through the story. He has to deal with rival gangs and Camorr’s secret police, but the main opponent is a mysterious character called the Gray King.
The Gray King has come to overthrow the current leadership of Camorr’s underworld and he does so in a brutal fashion. Then he sets out to do much the same with the nobility. However, he makes the mistake of crossing Lamora in a deadly fashion and forcing Lamora to take on a man that he himself fears.
I was delighted to stumble across Scott Lynch. He is one of a new set of fantasy writers who I’ve discovered in recent months and really enjoyed. The other two are Brent Weeks and Brian McClellan.
The Lies of Locke Lamora moves quickly and smoothly. The main characters are interesting. Even the ones you don’t like, you can understand why they are the way they are. The plots has plenty of interesting twists as you would expect in a story that centers around a con. I will be curious to see where Lynch takes the next book in the series.