The Lies of Locke Lamora starts the story of the Gentleman Bastard series by introducing us to Locke Lamora, our con artist protagonist who lives in the city state of Camorr. With the help of his trusty gang, he’s become one of the most wanted thieves in Camorr, but trouble starts brewing when the Gray King comes to town.
After some mysterious deaths in the underworld, rumors spread about the Gray King — someone who can supposedly kill with just a touch and walk through walls among other things. Locke doesn’t believe the rumors until he finds himself in the middle of it all with his life, and the life of his gang, on the line. Locke must come up with a plan to defeat the Gray King before he’s reduced to nothing but a pawn in his game.
The book was well written and the story drew me in. The story is smartly divided between two time lines, one in the past and one in the present. The different time lines brought new depth into the characters and made it possible for the story to progress without stopping to explain the past of the characters in the middle of action. There were also sections with stories and legends from the world, which helps the reader understand it and the people in it better.
Locke was a good main character. He had great plans that didn’t always work out the way he wanted but he never gave up. One great thing about Locke’s gang of Bastards was their tight relationship and how they were like family to each other, because they grew up and faced all trials together.
It was nice that the book didn’t usually stop to explain about the world before continuing on with the story, so we got to see the world through the eyes of the characters. I especially enjoyed the language in the book and how it varied between scenes. For example dialogue between nobles was very different from dialogue between lowly criminals. Unfortunately there were a lot of unfamiliar words, both in dialogue and description, at least for a non-native English speaker. You could usually understand what was happening but the subtle nuances were sometimes lost to me.
All in all, I enjoyed the book very much and would recommend it to everyone with a soft spot for scoundrels and stories about thieves. Also if you’re into stories like Game of Thrones that have unexpected and sometimes brutal twists, this one could be for you.
(Reviewed by Aleksi Luoma, @Allusaurus)