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Fantasy Audiobook Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastard #1)


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Synopsis from Goodreads
In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part "Robin Hood", one part Ocean's Eleven, and entirely enthralling...

An orphan's life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying...


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

 8.5/10

* * *
This was perhaps one of my favorite and sassiest fantasy reads of last year. The Lies of Locke Lamora is a study of contrasts glued together incredibly well. It's cheeky, obnoxious and hilarious, and at the same time dark, gory and epic.



I know many people did not enjoy the characters' bawdiness and constant stream of profanity, but for me this book worked extremely well on audio. The narrator was marvelous and the characters abuzz with life. 
“I've got kids that enjoy stealing. I've got kids that don't think about stealing one way or the other, and I've got kids that just tolerate stealing because they know they've got nothing else to do. But nobody--and I mean nobody--has ever been hungry for it like this boy. If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing. He...steals too much.” 
Locke Lamora is a big game swindler in the equivalent of 16-17th(?) century alternative Venice. Him and his partners in crime create elaborate heists to extricate large sums of money from their victims. The book alternates between the story of his childhood and the making of Locke Lamora, and present situation where Locke and his band of merry gentlemen get caught up in a power struggle between two crime bosses in Venice trying to do everything in their power not to get sacrificed in the process.
 “Locke sighed.
'So this is winning,' he said.
'It is,' replied Jean.
'It can go fuck itself,' said Locke.”
 For the most part the pace of this book is flawless, if not for its last quarter which dragged a bit too much which is the reason I rated it lower than I intended originally. The characters are so vivid, they stay with you for a long time. Locke, Jean, Dona Vorchenza... They are fascinating!

The book is very flamboyant and the reader is so caught up in the act, that when the sh*t hits the metaphorical fan it catches us completely unaware. It's dark and brutal and sad, and I couldn't believe author's ruthlessness, but I also knew that it added a healthy dose of realism to everything which was happening.

“... It's perfect! Locke would appreciate it."

"Bug," Calo said, "Locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. But the four most fatal words in the Therin language are 'Locke would appreciate it.'"

"Rivalled only by 'Locke taught me a new trick,'" added Galo.

"The only person who gets away with Locke Lamora games ..."

"... is Locke ..."

"... because we think the gods are saving him up for a really big death. Something with knives and hot irons ..."

"... and fifty thousand cheering spectators.”
I don't know what gods are saving Locke for but I want to be there for the ride. An exceptional read, devilishly clever sense of humor, recommended to everyone who can appreciate a good joke and a very smart mouth.

* * *
Обманы Локки Ламоры по стилю пера мне немного напомнила Хроники Сиалы Пехова, и оказалась одной из лучших книг фэнтези, прочитанных мной в прошлом году. Она наполнена противоречиями как хитроумная комедия, полная острой сатиры, и в то же время горькая, кровавая и эпичная драма, захватывающая читателя совершенно врасплох.

Я знаю, что многим читателям пришлись не по душе хамство и постоянная брань этой книги, но для меня они превосходно передали душу сюжета и его таких ярких, красочных характеров. Рассказчик был просто шикарен и я то и дело открыто гоготала над его акцентам и дерзкой подачей характеров. Вообще, эта книга напичкана превосходными цитатами, которые я бы с удовольствием повесила на стену или напечатала на футболке.

Локк Ламора - аферист большого масштаба, и вместе со своей командой джентельменов-ублюдков переодически очищает карманы только самых обеспеченных граждан Каморра (альтернативной Венеции эпохи Ренессанса). Фортуна поворачивается к нему спиной, когда его команда становится пешкой в кровавой игре за власть между двумя криминальными боссами Каморра, и Ламора вынужден совершить чудо, чтобы выжить и защитить своих друзей.

Книга эта театральна и истерически смешна своими издевательскими шуточками и разговорчиками, и потому читатель не замечает как эти шуточки неожиданно заканчиваются слезами и кровью и застают того врасплох. В этом плане Скотт Линч беспощаден и убивает второстепенных героев очень свободно. Такой контраст только добавляет реалистичности происходящему и держит нас в напряжении до самого конца.

Единственный недостаток книги это то, что её последняя четверть оказалась чрезвычайно затянутой, что после очень напряжённых моментов было антиклиматично, из-за чего я занизила свою оценку. Однако, я её вам всё-равно от всей души советую и буду серию эту слушать дальше.

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