Our long national nightmare is over. Book 4 of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards series, The Thorn of Emberlain, has a(nother) release date of September 22. UK for now, but a US release date should follow. In honor of that, below is my review of Book 1 in the series.
The Lies of Locke Lamora straddles the line between more usual Epic Fantasy (especially of the modern grimdark variety) and Sword and Sorcery in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser/Trickster tradition.
Introducing Locke Lamora as a child, the narrative progresses from there to show his entrée into the world of thievery, eventually joining an Exactly What It Says on the Tin gang of con men named the Gentlemen Bastards (hence the series name). The narrative splits between the adventures of the adult Lamora and a slow reveal of his backstory.
You would think the general shenanigans of the Gentlemen Bastards would ensue, but Lynch has grander designs. Lamora quickly finds himself treading much deeper, shark-infested waters. Lynch also confounds expectations by making the stakes high on a societal as well as personal level, giving us a character none too slow to resort to violence, providing a high body count (it’s not a “caper” because it’s entirely too bloody), creating a rich second-world (if a swashbuckling, city-state filled one primed for Sword and Sorcery), and an extra-long page count.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Lies of Locke Lamora through Goodreads First Reads.