The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

It’s been a mental few weeks. I’ve had a birthday, had my phone stolen, had a pretty horrid bout of illness… it’s all been a bit up and down! I haven’t had quite as much time or energy for reading as I’d have liked, and blogging therefore fell off the bottom of my priorities list for a couple weeks.

Sorry ’bout that.

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Anyway, the good news is that I got a bunch of books for my birthday (yay! What a lucky girl I am!) and convalescing is a good time to be reading, so now that I’m properly back in the swing of things, I should be able to get enough posts going to get back to my normal twice-a-week schedule.

Without further ado, then…

This was recommended to me by a friend as a fantasy series I’d probably enjoy, and going by the first instalment, my friend was not wrong! It’s a nice chunky paperback – really gives you plenty of story to get stuck into – with a unique style that’s kind of a mashup of steampunk/Victoriana, fantasy, crime/mystery/heist type thing… really, it’s pretty cross-genre, which is really enjoyable. It could be described as YA, I guess… but I would think it’s aimed at more of an adult audience (although it’s definitely PG-13).

A couple of things that took me a while to get used to:

Lynch hops around in timelines – like, a lot. The whole book was like mini-cliffhanger after mini-cliffhanger; you’d get a few chapters into one era, the main characters would have enough time to get deep into a ~*situation*~…. and suddenly it would be ten years earlier, only for the cycle to repeat itself! It was a bit jarring at first, but, like in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (whose author changes character perspective rather than time), once you get used to it it really adds to the narrative thread, as the simultaneous storylines support and develop each other.

The other slightly grating thing was a world-building element the author uses to make the world of Locke Lamora sufficiently ‘other’ than the real one in which we live. I’m not going to say too much about this, in case you read the book and completely love the device I mean (or just don’t even notice it)… I don’t want to shatter the illusion for anyone. I will say this though – when the element was first introduced, I immediately suspected that this would be a question we never really get answered in canon. It’s not integral to the plot, or maybe it doesn’t need answering, and it’s just a nice imaginative twist of decoration… but (slight spoiler-ish alert) it doesn’t get answered. At least not in the first book – maybe Lynch is playing the long game.

Anyway, neither of these two small niggles were anywhere near enough to stop me devouring The Lies of Locke Lamora, and getting the next two in the series from the library. Fair warning; the series isn’t complete yet – but the next book is due this year, so hopefully this won’t be another Rothfuss on our hands. Yeah, Rothfuss… I’m looking at you – again!

Really well-constructed and enjoyable first book. Can’t wait for the rest of the story!

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