Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

This past January I had the pleasure to attend Harvard University's annual science fiction & fantasy convention, Vericon. The guest of honor was George R.R. Martin, of whom I'm something of an unrepentant fanboy. (He says we're friends, but I'm quite certain he's just being nice.)

From his first reading throughout the entire weekend, when asked about any other works whatsoever, he brought up Scott Lynch's name, and his just now released The Lies of Locke Lamora. He mentioned how it was "just the sort of story I love to read," and "One of the best new fantasies in years." Having spoken with George at length a time or two about other writers, I'd never before heard him so excited about a new author. He usually reserves his accolades for genre stalwarts like Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, or J.R.R. Tolkien, and so my appetite for this novel was duly whetted.

Try as I might, I simply could not get my hands on a copy of the ARC. Thus, I had to wait like everyone else for the general release on June 27th.

The wait was worth it.

'His problem,' said the Thiefmaker, 'Is that if I can't sell him to you, I'm going to have to slit his throat and throw him in the bay. And I'm going to have to do it tonight.'

Instantly we are immersed in the Venice-like city-state of Camorr, and the life of Camorr's most brilliant thief, Locke Lamora. The hooks fly, and you can't help but read just a bit more of Locke and his Gentleman Bastards. It's a non-stop ride that you don't ever want to get off.

Lynch combines the very best of Raymond Feist (Jimmy the Hand) with the timeless magic of Robin Hood, set in a Godfatheresque watery Lankhmar. The Lies of Locke Lamora is not a book of ideas, a work of wonder, or anyones idea of a classic of literature. What it is is a worthy heir of the very best adventure novels ever written, deserving shelf space alongside Treasure Island, Scaramouche, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and The Count of Monte Christo.

C. M. Morrison over at Strange Horizons, in his or her review of The Lies of Locke Lamora, inferred that reviewers were bribed to talk up this book. "Far more often I want to know how the reviewer was bribed to tell me such lies." And Nick Mamatas tears Morrison a new orifice here on his live journal. (Just thought you might like to see that. S'pretty amusing.)

Well, I wasn't bribed. I didn't even get an ARC. I shelled out my hard earned dollars. Retail price, even.

And I loved it to tears.

9/10

Collector's Notes:


Want to invest in a newly released book? This is it. Buy now, buy signed, buy five. In ten years, you'll wish you bought twenty. Lynch is going to be big, and this is it. His Magician, The Eye of The World, A Game of Thrones. This is the book to buy this year.

The prologue is available for free download here.

Comments on "The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch"

 

Blogger Ed S. said ... (7:36 PM) : 

I would add that from a collector's point of view it is better to look for the UK Gollancz hardcover edition since it is the true first having been released at the beginning of June. The US edition (Spectra?) did not come out until the end of June and probably in a much larger print run than the UK edition.

Lynch is a natural story teller and this is a great read. The book is not without some flaws and I'm not sure it completely lives up to the hype but it is nonetheless one of the better books of the year and is not to be missed if you like Fantasy.

 

Blogger Mervi said ... (3:41 PM) : 

Thanks for the download link!

 

Blogger William Lexner said ... (4:38 PM) : 

Ed,

Absolutely. I should have stated that the Victor Collancz edition is prefereable for collectors.

I don't much buy into hype, only the opinions of people I trust. Often the most hyped books are kryptonite to collectors -- they are overprinted and are literally a dime a dozen as remainders.

 

Blogger Race said ... (10:12 AM) : 

sigh, I'm still waiting for mine.
In the meantime I started Lamb... Damn thats a funny book.

 

Anonymous Ajay said ... (12:53 PM) : 

Thanks for the tip regarding the signed copies-I ordered mine from Clarkesworld two days ago.

 

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