Novel, Fiction: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch, is the first in his 'Gentlemen Bastards' series.

TLDR: The best "ACKS thieves' hideout" novelization I've read.

This is, essentially, a sort of crime caper novel, where the main focus of the novel is the interplay between various rival thieves' guilds and, in ACKS terms, their syndicate lord. It's set in a 'fantasy Venice' sort of thing, and the descriptions of the city and the background worldbuilding that Lynch exposes is quality stuff - little bits of fantasy and magic inserted amongst an early-Renaissance style city. Obstensibly a low-magic affair, with 'real wizards' limited to a specific culture, and "mundane magic" being covered by what seems to be a relatively common market of alchemical substances.

For my takeaway,

  • Interplay and politics of a large city occupied by several competitive thieves' guilds
  • What it could look like to have a domain ruler with a thief henchman running a syndicate to benefit himself
  • The importance of CHA as a stat, and the pre-eminence of Performance and Disguise as proficiencies
  • Proof positive that gold equals XP equals power.

The book itself is...smoothly produced? It's clearly the "first book of an arc", I guess, and my own brief foray into looking into where that arc is going in published sequels hasn't pushed me to pick them up yet. My opinion may be influenced by the fact my first/only "read" of the book was the audiobook, which was also my first audiobook, so as such I didn't have a "mental hand" in establishing the voice of the characters. 



This is one of my wife Amy's favorite fantasy novels. She's been asking me to read it for ages. It was also a huge inspiration for Tavis Allison, my ACKS co-author.

You should just give in and read it. I'm actually somewhat surprised you haven't.

I quite like all three (the fourth comes out soon). IIRC, Scott refers to them as something along the lines of The Con Book, The Pirate Book, The Heist Book, and The War Book.