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It's tough growing up an orphan in the island city of Camorr, but Locke born was with a natural gift for thieving and a quick wit has escaped both death and slavery. He finds himself in the hands of Chains, the "eyeless priest" who is actually a top notch con artist, who passes on his unique skill set to his carefully selected "family" of orphans - the Gentlemen Bastards. Under Chains, Locke soon grows to lead the group pulling off one outrageous con after another and he takes on the name of the Thorn of Camorr. Soon no rich noble is safe from the Thorn. Passing themselves off as run-of-the-mill petty thieves, Locke and company have even tricked Capa Barsavi, the most feared underground criminal ruler. However, there is someone else out there, the Gray King, who is more ambitious and powerful than Locke ever expected and he's taking out Barsavi's most trusted - and using Locke as his pawn to take over the Camorri criminal underworld. With Locke's carefully constructed life begins to fall apart, he vows to beat the Gray King at his own game, or die trying.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is easily one of my favorite reads of 2016. I have no idea why I waited so long to finally start this series, but I'm glad I've finally started in on it. This could easily become my next big obsession. Scott Lynch's world is one of the most vivid I have had the pleasure of visiting. The setting, which appears to be inspired by Venice, is very cinematic and I could practically see the world of Camorr, from Shades' Hill, Catchfire, and to the Five Towers.
Lynch has also written some top-notch characters that are so well developed that they could just about walk off the page. There are no real heroes in this story, as the morality tends to range from gray to black, but Locke is a very clever, likable, and even funny anti-hero. As much as I liked everyone in the book, Locke and Jean are definitely my two favorites. They're such a great combination and they can really play off of each other. The sense of humor, albeit dark, really helps balance out the brutality in the story. Locke has some really great lines and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times at some of the things that come out of his mouth.
Finally, I listened to The Lies of Locke Lamora on audiobook, and the production is brilliant. I've never listened to an audiobook narrated by Michael Page before, but in the span of 22 hours he has become one of my favorites. He easily captured my attention and I could have listened to him give voice to Lynch's world non-stop, if possible. He truly made Camorr and it's inhabitants come to life.
Overall, I absolutely adored Scott Lynch's impressive debut novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I can't wait to read more of the Gentleman Bastard sequence. I need more of Locke and Jean! If you enjoy dark fantasy with a darkly clever sense of humor, Mediterranean flavored fantasy, Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and Ocean's Eleven movies, you will love The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Red Seas Under Red Skies here I come!
I listened to this audiobook from July 6 - 17, 2016 and my review is also on Goodreads.