The Lies of Locke Lamora
Written by: Scott Lynch
I remember watching the old black and white Oliver Twist as a child, and loving it, by the way. The only problem I have with it now is that everyone fitted their archetypes too well, something that has continued to bug me for years. So when I read the first of the Gentlemen Bastards sequence, I couldn’t help but grin every time someone did something thoroughly nasty and self serving. Horrible yes, but more importantly, it made the book seem more real, made the characters jump out of the page that little bit more.
The city of Camoor itself even seems real, a quintessentially old world European city, with its canals, wide streets, apothecaries, and unspoken agreements between the underworld and the watch. It does distinguish itself, however, by also including magically created murderous sharks.
As for the guts of the story, it wouldn’t look out of place in a heist movie. It’s perfect, it’s brilliant. You’ll find yourself silently applauding the Oceans Eleven like antics of the Gentlemen Bastards more often than not, before pretending to your friends that you’d spotted the twists early on (you’re fooling no-one..).
And with a list of recommendations as long as your arm, it’s hard to say a bad word against Scott Lynch.
George R.R. Martin, the golden boy of historically fictional fantasy, has given his stamp of approval to Lynch, and I don’t want to argue with him, because he might kill off another character I like..