Monday, 27 August 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch


This doesn't seem to be the current cover - current cover art here - but I prefer this one with Locke perched by the river as it conveys the faded Venetian air of the book a lot better IMO. And it's the cover that I have, so it goes on my blog.

I'd heard great things about this book but somehow never got around to reading it. Finally the urgings wore me down and I downloaded the sample to my Kindle. I will often enjoy samples and add books to my wishlist to be bought when I have a spare few quid, but when I reached the end of this sample I had the proverbial "shut up and take my money" reaction.

Sometimes laugh out loud funny, often unexpectedly, I enjoyed the banter between Locke and his friends very much. The author indulges in a good deal of character torturing - poor Locke is beaten multiple times, tortured with magic, poisoned and other creative abuses heaped upon him - and with each setback the ante is satisfyingly raised. I also enjoyed seeing Locke-the-child receiving his instruction in thieving; he appeared to be a very bright but seriously aggravating child! The author stays well away from the traditional hero. For one thing, Locke is morally suspect - he's a thief, after all, and thinks nothing of taking vast fortunes from people... and keeping them for himself. Robin Hood he ain't; he will injure, even kill people to get what he wants. And he doesn't always get it right. People die in this book. People who shouldn't, and who die because Locke Messed Up. I love that the author has made Locke just a guy who is obviously very clever and comes up with some staggeringly inventive plans, but when it comes to it is just human, and isn't always as smart as he thinks he is.

I am looking forward to reading the second one and hope it will keep me as entertained as the first one. My only quibble would be the swears. I am happy for books to contain swearing where appropriate, and given the occupation and social class of these characters, one would hardly expect Queen's (or Duke's) English from them, but I did get a bit tired of the constant effing this or effing that. Used more judiciously it would have had more impact; as it was it just got rather tedious. Hopefully in the subsequent books Locke's potty mouth won't be quite as jarring.

Still, a cracking good romp of a book. Five triumphant stars.

1 comment:

  1. As you know fantasy isn't my genre but I do dip in occasionally and you have totally sold me on this book! Just as soon as I get a minute to myself...

    I agree about swearing though - works well used properly but too much loses any real effect and just becomes punctuation. Mind if that's the only fault it's sounds an effing good read!