Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch)
Thank goodness for context clues. Because of them, I'm not apologizing for thoroughly enjoying Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, a fantasy read that adeptly utilizes the worldbuilding practice that a lot of literary voices seem to condemn. Context clues helped me get through the twelve Capital Letters in the first sentence alone.
But more than his context clues, I really should give Mr. Lynch credit for the exciting and cinematic approach that Lies takes. Set in the Venice-inspired city of Camorr, it follows the exploits of Locke Lamora and his small gang of con artists, the Gentlemen Bastards. Unfortunately for Locke, he gets caught in another game where he becomes pawn of The Grey King, a mysterious figure out to get Camorr's mafia overlord. There was a breathless quality to the narrative that I found engaging. The pacing just right for my speed, the characters deliciously archetypal but still fascinating to read. While there are no surprises in characterization here, I applaud Mr. Lynch for his characters' well-developed quirks, from smarmy Locke to the often-mentioned-but-conspicuously-absent Sabetha. At times, though, I found myself questioning the logic behind Locke's decisions, but the story swept me from one plot point to the other, giving me time to wonder only after I finished the book. Find fault with Lies, but I highly doubt it will be on the con and action area.
They said that there was a lot of undeserved hype over this book. But (surprise, surprise) I liked it. So is there any other point that I should make in this review (other than the fact I probably shouldn't be reviewing books that critics have deemed unworthy)?
Apparently, there is; it's my blog anyway. If you like your fantasy with fast-paced swashbuckling (damn, I swore I wasn't going to use that word in this review) action, then The Lies of Locke Lamora comes well-recommended.