Paperback, 530 Pages
Adult/ Fantasy/ Heist
By: Scott Lynch
“To us — richer and cleverer than everyone else!”
My history with this book goes back to 5 years ago when I started reading regularly. My cousin visited from the US and he saw my books and recommended this one. Back at that time, I was intimidated by adult fantasy and so I kept the recommendation but never really got into it. Then I read Six of Crows which I have always talked about positively in my reviews and got a ton of people to read and saw many people comparing it to The Lies of Locke Lamora. When I got into Adult Fantasy, I realized this is one of the most known, most loved series out there and that meant there was no escape from reading it. I wanted to know what the hype is all about. Also, it is a known fact that books we keep putting off reading end up being the best books. Fast forward to this day when I have finished this book and I can tell you I finally understand the hype and I loved the book! It is actually a new favorite of mine now!!!
I am not gonna continuously compare this with Six of Crows because they are for different readers and they kind of have a different writing style but all in all, I think The Lies of Locke Lamora is the superior heist story and that it made more sense to me in all aspects! I went into this not knowing exactly what it is about, I only knew it is a heist story and that kind of a good thing in my opinion, I read the synopsis just before starting the book and it sounded cool but the story is much more than that. I recommend going into this knowing as least as possible because it would make the expectations less and the experience more rich!
The first thing I noticed is the prose, I loved the way the synopsis was written and I thought if the prose is like that then it is gonna become a new favorite. I finished the prologue after that and loved the writing more and I think given my rating you could guess that the prose continued to be great from cover to cover!
“There’s no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated.”
The story is huge, I googled and found that book one is 191K words which translates into 530 pages in my copy with a small font. That word count actually is closer to 800 pages in standard pages and in fact, one of the editions is 752 pages. The chapters were also long, like 30-40 pages long which I am not a big fan of but they were divided into divisions with numbers and that makes them much easier and convenient to read!
One good thing about getting into stories late is finding all the fan art online which helps making the characters real people for me as a visual person!
The main characters are The Gentleman Bastards whom the series is named for, they consist of the following characters:
💉 Locke Lamora: The main character, I love my friend’s Fares description of him as a smart idiot, because as much as he is one of the smartest characters I have ever read, he can do goofy things sometimes. What I loved most about him is that we see him growing up from an underdog to his current position, he is also not perfect and things don’t always go according to plan but he ends up finding the best solutions!
💉 Caldo and Galdo Sanza: They are Twins and the oldest members in the band. They are cheeky and hilarious and they reminded me very much of the Weasley twins in HP!
💉 Jean: He is kind of the strong giant with a heart of gold. I liked his backstory too and I am looking forward to knowing him more in the next books in the series!
💉 Bug: The youngest and newest addition to the crew, he is sneaky and a bit naive. They like him and treat him as their young brother.
So as you can see, there is a lot to love in those characters but their interactions and relationships is what makes this a golden book!
The pacing is slow and the story needs patience for sure, many reviewers said the first half was harder to go through but for me, I thought it was also a great half and it did get better toward the second one. (I also should mention that it is more realistic at the first half where the second half has the magical and fantasy elements).
I love smart authors and Lynch impressed me by the way he wrote the story, the narrative is smart, the characters are smart, the plot twists are genius and I can’t still get over how he managed to wrap everything up the way he did! I know Lynch is one of the authors who gets a lot of criticism for not producing books faster along with Rothfuss and Martin, I understand the frustration but I also understand that this is not the kind of books that we meet often and it takes years to write more like this. I hope I am proven right when I read the rest of the series and that it does not disappoint me!
“You’re one third bad intentions, one third pure avarice, and one eighth sawdust. What’s left, I’ll credit, must be brains.”
Summary: I know this is not a book for everyone, but if you have the patience for a slower story with great prose and awesome characters and amazing plot then you will surely love this one as most of its readers did.