Thirsting for an intricate heist like Ocean's Eleven with a fantasy flair? Interested in a modern reflection of Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser? Or are you looking for a series where wits count for more than magic? If any of these questions make you pause, then take a moment to check out Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.
The story follows Locke & Jean as members of the Gentleman Bastards as they bilk the nobles of Camor out of their riches. They've been doing it rather successfully for a number of years, Locke earning the reputation as the Thorn of Camor. The heist gets complicated when the Gray King begins to run his own counter-scam against the thieves of Camor. Add the Spider, Camor's own spymaster, you end up so many intrigues going on it's hard to determine who's going to come out on top. Fantastic!
I enjoyed that the story doesn't follow the usual linear format, rather it jumps forward and backward in time. This tool was helpful in building suspense as well as allowing peeks into the fundamental instances of the characters' lives. Neither did it detract from the story as repeated flashbacks often do. Not a common technique in fantasy, it added another dimension to the already convoluted scheming of the novel.
One of the reasons I found this story appealing is I've found that I've become attracted to the crime story. Whether it's my Godfather collection or some Hard Case Crime, I like to see the seedy underbelly of humanity. On top of that, the story smacks of Robin Hood. While Locke might not quite give back to the poor, he's certainly making the rich pay out the nose.
Once you are through with Lies, you don't have to wait for the second novel in the series, Red Seas Under Red Skies . As for the rest of the books, I'm anxiously awaiting them, and I'm sure you will be as well.
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