A Bad Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora

Scott LynchThis delightful debut by Scott Lynch follows the beginnings of the career of a master thief named Locke Lamora. This is the granddaddy of the Grimdark Fantasy genre. It is the first book that I read in this genre. Grimdark is not my favorite. I prefer stories with heroic, honorable characters who learn to make morally good choices. But I loved this book.

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Father Chains. These reviews are generally spoiler-free. There are mild spoilers in this one. I won’t spoil the plot. Father Chains is a priest of a trickster god. He adopts Locke and trains him as a master thief. He is a criminal and very coarse individual. Father Chains is a father figure and mentor to Locke. This character has a lot of flavor and is richly developed.

Capo Barsavi. Barsavi is the gang leader of gang leaders. He made a devil’s deal with the rulers of the city that lets him operate his gangs under a few strict rules. Why are rules made in books? So the main character can break them and see what happens. The Capo is another very well-developed character. The story rotates around the empire he has built.

Calo and Galdo Sanzo. Fellow orphans and thieves, this pair of twin brothers help develop Locke. This is the job of supporting characters and they do it very well. They have their own story and their own voices.

The Story

This is a heist story. A fine one at that. Locke is a thief and the bulk of the story is about him learning his trade. In the last half of the book the heist is set up and everything comes together very well in the end.

Lynch does a wonderful job of just showing the readers the cards they need to see. Despite being a thief and scoundrel, we see Locke grow into a hero. If you enjoy complex heist stories you will love this book. If you like rogues and thieves, you will love this story.


It’s grim. And it’s dark. The city of Camorr is a retched, filthy place full of the worst sort of people. The nobility is awful people who only care for themselves. The lower classes are just eeking out an existence however they can.

These types of stories are visceral and gritty. There are no altruistic characters. No white knights. Good doesn’t win out. The world is a harsh, cruel place where people are ground mercilessly to dust.

The language in this book is very coarse and very adult. This book contains violence, sex, murder, and other crimes.

This is the only book of the Gentlemen Bastard (what Locke and his friend call their gang) Series that I’ve read. I have plans to finish the series, someday.

I hope you have enjoyed this Bad Book Review and that you check out my others!