I absolutely loved this book. The story just grabs you in from the first moment. I especially loved the fresh approach the author took compared to tra..Show More »ditional fantasy writing. There is no dark lord rising, no coming apocalypse, no village boy who finds out he has magic powers and must save the world. It is just the story of Locke and his friends and their (mis)adventures and it is brilliant.
The narrator is excellent. I find his voice very easy to listen to and he makes the characters feel so real. I especially loved the way he handled the dialogue, it is full of dry wit and sarcastic one-liners and he delivered them perfectly.
My one minor criticism of the story is that there are patches where I feel the author gets bogged down in describing either the architecture of the city or the detailed dialogue involved in their cons. In particular the passages where Locke is dealing with the nobility go overboard in detailing all the social pleasantries and etiquette involved. But being an audiobook, it is easy enough to just sit through these parts until it gets back to the action.
Lynch is one of the best new fantasy authors and world-crafters in the business. His characters and descriptions are excellent, and the story is intri..Show More »guing. Over the years I've been recommending this book (I first read it in paperback, and picked up the audiobook to loose myself in the story again) I've tried to come up with a decent description of it. I've come up with several that work, but none that do it justice. The Lies of Locke Lamora is a brilliant fantasy crime novel, set in something of an approximation of Venice, in the era/time usually associated with high fantasy. This isn't traditional high fantasy though. It will appeal to high fantasy lovers, but also to people who have never read fantasy in their lives. It is, in short, stupendous.
The reader, it should be noted, is also excellent. His voices are spot on, and his accents really add colour to the story.
A few warnings though:
It does have a healthy amount of profanity - this is a novel about crime meant for adults. This should be expected.
It's relatively violent. Again, see above.
Here's the big warning: you will learn to care about these characters and want to know what happens next. The Gentleman Bastard series is addictive. Lynch has published two of the planned seven books, and the third one is extensively delayed. So if a long wait is going to drive you mad, it might be best not to start this stupendous series.
In a refreshing departure from many fantasy novels, Scott Lynch's characters are not superhumans possessed of some extraordinary power, but survive on..Show More » the strength of their own wits. The stakes are high, but not ridiculously so. The world isn't about to be destroyed, or thrust into an endless dark age. Much as the first book in this series, The Lies of Locke Lamora, this is a heist/fantasy novel. The protagonists are not immune to failure, and the story seems driven more by it's characters, than by an ultimate goal, which makes it a pleasure to listen to. The characters are possessed of a strange morality, and are humanized by the situations in which they are conflicted by practical concerns, and their desire to adhere to their own code of ethics. Success is never guaranteed in this series so far, which leaves me sympathizing with the characters own frustration, and keeps the tension strong. Locke and Jean don't wander from one startling, incredible success to another, and so the journey is never boring.
The audio narrator is crisp and precise, speaking with a smooth cadence, and does an excellent job with voices and accents, further enriching this atmospheric book.
If your reading this Mr. Lynch, get back to writing (and thank you).
First of all Scott Lynch is an excellent story teller. I found both books to be among the best I have listened to. There is significantly strong lan..Show More »guage, but I found it fit with the characters and the story. The thing I liked best in this series is that the author did not waste the readers time reviewing the story of the first book. Too many authors spend too much time recapping the story line of the past book so people who did not read the first book can be caught up, but not Mr. Lynch. If you did not read the first book you will miss out on a lot and likely find yourself confused at times. Thank you for rewarding those who begin a series at the beginning and know the details. I agree with the other reviews in that the narration by Michael Page is superb and makes the story come to live. I highly recommend and will be anxiously waiting for the other books in the series to be released!
This is not a book which would have demanded my complete devotion had it been the first in the Gentleman Bastard series. [You should not even conside..Show More »r jumping into the series with this book!] The verbal pyrotechnics are as delightful as ever; characters grow in fascinating and satisfying ways, and the whole thing makes perfect sense and amuses throughout. But there is definitely a sense that, after a harrowing ordeal, we are traveling through a transitional adventure in preparation for an exquisite confrontation which is yet to come. The plotting and execution by our beloved ne'er-do-wells is decidedly thin and even uninspired, definitely falling short of the grand and intricate designs to which Lynch has accustomed us. There is very little at stake and one could easily sum up the essential action of the book in a couple of brief paragraphs. As a result I was somewhat disappointed after having salivated a messy little puddle on my desk in anticipation of the new adventure.
Until I reached the afterword. Scott Lynch knows how to twist a plot and, in the process, our guts. Republic of Thieves takes care of a lot of necessary business, embedding it in a great deal of wonderful verbal and operational repartee. It gives us Sabatha in marvelous detail and complication. And then it leaves us with a gasp and a shudder which promises an end to trivialities and easy triumphs. I'm drooling again.