On the Same Page | The Lies of Locke Lamora | Scott Lynch

on the same page

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I can’t believe it’s already time to dish about On the Same Page’s THIRD BOOK!!! Time is flying because we’re having so much fun. And let me tell you, reading THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, the first book in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series, was TREMENDOUS fun. When Alyssa, Brittany, and I scheduled out our books for the year, all of our choices were mutual, except the ones in March, September, and December: Our birthday months! We each got to pick the books we read as a birthday present of sorts, and Miss Brittany made an excellent choice. THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA was 100% good times.

I’ve been meaning to read this series for ages, so I was excited to finally have a reason to dive in. It has so many things that I always love, most notably the fact that it’s a fantasy. Scott Lynch’s world-building is top-notch. There are different kingdoms and realms, all with their own clearly defined cultures and histories; there’s a new and interesting calendar that these worlds follow; a fleshed-out religion; and Camorr, where Locke and his other Gentleman Bastards live and operate, is so lively and described in such great detail that it’s difficult to struggle picturing it in your mind. I could talk about a number of things this month relating to THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, but I’m going to focus on one element in particular that I always love in any book, and that defines a large part of the action and characters here: THIEVES. OMG. LOVE THEM.

In THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, there’s a lot going on, but a big part of it revolves around Locke and his band of merry men: Jean Tannen, his bff for all time; Calo and Galdo Sanza, twins, cardsharps, and charmers; and Bug, a 12-year-old baby thief. They first met–well, minus Bug–some years before, as we learn through Interlude chapters sprinkled throughout the whole book that take up back in time to when the Gentlemen Bastards were wee little trouble-makers. The four boys grew into the best thieving gang in Camorr under the tutelage of Father Chains, a master thief and scamming priest.

Reading about thieves–who they are, how they set up their heists, how they pull them off–is endlessly fascinating to me. One of my favorite things to read about in these kinds of books is that one scene or two where they’re all PLOTTING, and they’re running through scenarios, and things are just moving a mile a minute and IT’S ALL AWESOME. It gets me all jacked up for the actual stealing.

There are a few components to Locke’s grand scheme in THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, and they are important to any heist that I’ve ever read or seen. Because, you know, I’m super well-versed in thieving. But no good con is pulled off without lots of planning, an excess of resources, a charismatic and varied crew, contingencies, commitment, and STONES. The Gentlemen Bastards have all of these things in spades.

Their plan also crosses some pretty hard and fast boundaries–one in particular called the Secret Peace, a deal between the Capa of Camorr, Capa Barsavi, and a mysterious and dangerous figure known only as The Spider. Basically, it gives the Capa’s gangs of thieves free reign over the slums and ghettos of Camorr but prevents those same gangs from stealing from the nobility.

Their plan is also a feat of genius, with some magic thrown in. The world Scott Lynch has built contains alchemy, but also the remnants of a people known as the Eldren, whose glass buildings still stand and are indestructible. Between the alchemical salves and balms and ointments that Locke and his buddies use as part of their myriad disguises and the protection offered by the Eldren glass of their lair, these guys are sitting on a huge sum of stolen goods, not to mention CASH. Their skill at breaking the Secret Peace is LEGIT, even if it has brought them under some scrutiny.

Guys, reading about thieves is a rush. In between the larger schemes and machinations that Locke and his men are dealing with, they are trying to pull off a huge scam that will relieve a nobleman and his wife of some insane amounts of money. It’s based entirely on lies. But the way these guys operate is so smooth: They are steps ahead of everyone all the time. They execute each step of their plan with conviction and confidence. They make it look easy. I think this is what I find most appealing about thieves. The confidence. An insecure thief is all but useless. Locke, Jean, Calo, Galdo, and Bug know they way their world works and they twist it to their advantage with borderline cockiness. In their minds, the success of their con is barely a question. (Until, of course, shizz hits the fan that distracts them.) None of the Gentlemen Bastards are described as being attractive, but I’m telling you, THEY ARE.

One of the great things, too, about reading a fantasy about thieves is that it really gets to take advantage of the world. It’s not bound by restrictions of real life as we know it. Certainly, it’s bound by the restrictions that should be in place in the made-up world, but there are so many possibilities. I loved the way Locke and the rest of the Bastards made the rules of Camorr bend.

There are very few books about thieves that I would turn away from, friends. In fact, the opposite usually happens. A book in a genre that I might not normally read becomes something enormously interesting at the prospect of a couple of scenes with the PLOTTING (seriously, I can’t get enough of these).

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA is about so much more than thieves, but the thieving parts are full of fun and danger and awesome moments. It is, hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I can’t wait for more.

Don’t forget to check out Brittany and Alyssa‘s posts!!!!

So, what do YOU guys think about thieves? Like ’em? Love ’em? Wish they never existed?

Comments

  1. Thiiiiiiiiiieves! Love them, love them, love them! Hearing so many good things about it from the On the Same Page gang, it’s killing me that “Lies of Locke Lamora” wasn’t on the shelf when I went librarying* the other week. (*Pretend it’s a verb.) I’ll have to resume the search at the earliest opportunity!

  2. Oh, you know I LOVE thieves! I absolutely loved reading about the thievery, capers, and adventures in Lies! This book was so fantastic and the intensity and detail in the jobs… It was just fantastic!!
    Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide recently posted…This Song Will Save Your Life – Leila SalesMy Profile

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