Here I am, procrastinating on actually working on my new projects (The Festival of Masks, a Mona Scrap, and RAZE, a fantasy web serial) or old projects (The Victorious Death of Eliza Warden) but sort of doing something useful by blogging a little.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is funny, brutal at times, clever, and fresh. It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets Dungeons and Dragons, Catch Me If You Can meets Lord of the Rings. It’s a fine long read and stands well enough on its own, but is also part of a planned seven (I think) part series. Settle in and enjoy the creative profanity, teeth-knocked-out fights, and witty banter. I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re squeamish about any of those things, but if you are you may have found the perfect modern expression of fantasy thievery and con-art.
Locke resides in the canal-lined city of Camorr, which shares a lot with Terry Pratchett’s Ankh Morpork, Lieber’s Lankhmar, and renaissance Venice. He works for the Capa, sort of a Don-like crime boss, in a city that regulates its crime right along with its nobility. He leads the Gentleman Bastards, a con-artist group without peer, as they scheme and steal and pull one over on just about everyone else in the city. Things grow more complicated, however, as their latest job takes a few unexpected turns, and meanwhile a mysterious gray figure begins stalking the city’s criminal elite.
I will say that I felt a few parts of the book had a little too much room to breathe; a few pacing missteps and a little bit of forced dialogue aside, , this is a fun, engaging read, written in a modern style that makes the characters, events, and wildly imaginative setting easy to relate to. If you’re a fan of modern fantasy, crime stories, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, this might be for you. Want to get away from fantasy involving worldwide wars, the fate of humanity, and esoteric magic systems? This will be your thing.