SYNOPSIS: The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a ghost that walks through walls. Half the city believes him to be a legendary champion of the poor. The other half believe him to be a foolish myth. Nobody has it quite right.
Slightly built, unlucky in love, and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. He certainly didn't invite the rumors that swirl around his exploits, which are actually confidence games of the most intricate sort. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else, pray tell, would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny of it. All of Locke's gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards.
Locke and company are con artists in an age where con artistry, as we understand it, is a new and unknown style of crime. The less attention anyone pays to them, the better! But a deadly mystery has begun to haunt the ancient city of Camorr, and a clandestine war is threatening to tear the city's underworld, the only home the Gentlemen Bastards have ever known, to bloody shreds. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends will find both their loyalty and their ingenuity tested to the breaking point as they struggle to stay alive...
GENRE: Adult Fantasy, Adventure
SERIES: Gentleman Bastard #1
RATING: ★★★★★ / All the many many many stars!
REVIEW: Okay, I think this will actually be a very short review, basically because there are only so many ways for me to say that I loved this book before it gets annoying and redundant.
I listened to the audio version as narrated by the incredibly talented Michael Page. Seriously talented. I cannot recommend him enough, his narration is everything and so absolutely perfect for this book. The voices, inflections, and differing intensities are just so good. I could fawn for sentences longer but it's probably not necessary, you get the point.
This book. Oh, this book. I love it, everything about it. Locke and Jean (pronounced in the French way, just an FYI) have become some of my most favored literary characters. The author, Scott Lynch, has created a vivid and interesting world filled with wonderfully explored characters. The book may technically be in the Fantasy genre but it is not so deeply enmeshed that it couldn't also be listed in other genres. In fact, the fantasy elements are such a light touch that it could almost feel like Historical Fiction...which is why I easily recommended the book to my mom (a woman who doesn't really like fantasy elements in adult stories) and she became so drawn into the book that she couldn't put it down. She devoured it even faster than I did.
The author spends just the right amount of words painting us a picture (or pictures) of the fictional city of Camorr but it's truly a character driven book. And the characters are amazing. The dialogue is snappy, witty, heartfelt, and just freaking enjoyable. I laughed and gasped my way through the entire book. It's a grittier Robin Hood-type story but somehow more realistic even in a fantasy world setting. There's also a fair amount of cursing but it feels natural and right for these characters and this world. Funny and heart-racing, I can't wait for more....and luckily there are more books in this series.
It's also not a linear time line telling and Lynch does this fantastically. Cutting back and forth in time using "Interludes" to tell the stories of The Gentleman Bastards and how they came to be the genius team of criminals they are is just good storytelling. Not a lot of authors can accomplish this without losing the drive and flow of the story but Lynch nails it.
Like I said earlier, I could go on and on. I love this book. You should read it. Now excuse me while I go add this to my list of best books ever.