Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
I reread The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch in anticipation of the release of the third book in the series, The Republic of Thieves.
Camorr is a city riddled with corruption, and Locke Lamora is neither the most powerful nor the most ambitious thief in the city. His small crew of second-story men steals just enough to live comfortably . . . or so everyone believes. But Locke Lamora has a secret life as the Thorn of Camorr, a confidence man so skillful that he has stolen thousands from the city's elite. As he employs his considerable intelligence in yet another scheme to relieve one of the nobility of a small fortune, however, his own cleverness catches up with him. There are ruthless people in Camorr, ones who want to use Locke in more grandiose and dangerous plans. Locke has no desire to put himself and his crew in danger, but when caught between a rock and a hard place, they will do whatever is necessary to survive. Will it be enough?
(I'm not going to summarize the second book; it would of necessity include spoilers for the first. I'll just say that it is as clever and enjoyable, and the one drawback -- the cliffhanger at the end -- is less of an issue now that the third book has been released.)
This is one of the best fantasy series I've read in recent years. The characters are fantastic and the worldbuilding is superb, and neither of those factors take away from the skillful plotting. Fantasy heist novels are relatively rare, and these are excellent ones. These books are not for the squeamish -- there's a lot of bad language, and some disturbingly creative violence. Locke's world isn't one I'd want to inhabit on a permanent basis, but every time I visit I am completely sucked into it!
(Reviewed from copies borrowed through my library system.)