Scott Lynch is arguably my favourite fantasy author ever! The world he created in Lies is perhaps one of the most fleshed out and real feeling worlds ever put down on paper. A brilliantly funny set of characters whose jokes will make you snort unattractively (don’t read this on the bus, old ladies will glare at you, I know from experience.)
In this book there are two stories happening at once. One follows Locke Lamora, the Thorn of Camorr, as he and his crew, the Gentleman Bastards, attempt to con their way into a massive amount of money. The other follows Locke’s assent into organised crime. As he’s adopted by the Thiefmaker and then the blind priest Chains.
Both go a long way to explain how the orphan grows up to become the con artist that he is. But all the credit shouldn’t go to Locke. His best friend Jean, the educated man who enjoys theatre and cooking but is one of the deadliest street fighters to ever walk the streets of Camorr. The twins Calo and Galdo who it appears at first are there for comic relief, but quickly develop into meaningful characters. And Bug, their young apprentice thief. Each of the five main characters get their turn in the spotlight and are thoroughly enjoyable characters.
Something must be said for the setting as well. Camorr is an ancient city based upon the real life Venice. A distinctly mediterranean atmosphere is present throughout the city, a nice change from the western European feudal atmosphere of most other fantasy novels. You feel as if every character is truly a product of their surroundings, that they all have evolved due to the city’s complex nature.
Please do read this book, you won’t be disappointed