Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora has been on my to-read list for a while — I’m glad I finally got to it.

What to expect

A wonderfully-built “heist” style adventure, with a dark turn towards the end. Locke Lamora is a thief, a con-man swindling the rich out of their money, in a roughly Renaissance-ish fantasy world.

The work is in the scale of epic fantasy, with plenty of twists and turns, making a fairly hefty read.

What I liked

Lynch strikes a perfect balance of world-building and back-stories with the main action of the plot. With a series of interludes of the protagonists past, we are both entertained and given a glimpse into things that will come into play later.

Though Lamora can be considered morally grey (he steals from the rich, but doesn’t necessarily give to the poor), this isn’t a grimdark work. There’s lots of humour, and he is, in his way, a decent person. This makes for a very engaging protagonist to follow.

What to be aware of

The first part of the book is quite light-hearted, focusing on the heist, the background, and foreshadowing. About two-thirds in there is a very dark turn. Though the humour continues later and I suspect many modern fantasy readers wouldn’t mind the ensuing bloodbath.


A very enjoyable read, highly recommended for those who enjoy twisty stories with colourful characters. Lynch does a superb job with the storytelling and the setting, so it’s well worth getting a copy.

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