Series: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence (Book 1)
Locke Lamora is the leader of the Gentleman Bastards, a band of thieves in a city teeming with criminals. While a secret peace exists between the city's nobility and the leader of the underworld, Locke and his friends break all the rules. And they do so in style. But when a new force arrives in town and starts murdering prominent leaders of the underworld, Locke finds himself drawn into a dangerous game that threatens to destroy the life that he has built for himself.
I really enjoyed the character of Locke Lamora. He may act the part of the charming thief but unlike your typical Robin Hood character Locke does not exactly ooze honour. He steals because he knows how to and he lies because he enjoys it. Granted, he is surrounded by like-minded characters but it becomes apparent early on that Locke is a particular brand of crazy. Lynch writes and develops Locke in an unapologetic way and we get to enjoy the exploits of an egotistic liar who is only too eager to shed blood when it comes to the safety of his closest friends. While Locke does learn some important and often painful lessons along the way, one gets the feeling that by the end he still has the capacity to learn so much more.
The city of Camorr is the perfect backdrop for a character such as his and Lynch goes through great lengths to describe it in detail. In fact I'm almost inclined to think too much detail. While I appreciate the effort Lynch has put into his world (from the Elderglass structures to the shark infested canals) I found I had to force my reluctant brain to continue reading the longer descriptions. Other than that I thought the structure of the novel worked really well. With interludes describing Locke's younger days and the formation of various friendships, Lynch gives the reader a short break from the action and provides useful information while doing so. I felt that these interludes were short enough to keep the tension of the overall plot, yet they were interesting enough to keep me from skimming over them. At times they even provided a few laughs.
Plot-wise I thought The Lies of Locke Lamora was an interesting story with a good blend of intrigue and adventure. I may not have been gripping the edge of my seat and I wasn't steamrolled by any revelations, but the mystery of the Gray King kept me interested until the end. In short, it was clever enough when it needed to be.
I'll definitely be continuing the series.