“The Lies of Locke Lamora” is, by my estimation, the very picture of what a superb fantasy novel looks like. It has become the standard by which I judge all other modern works of the genre.
The book opens with an intriguing scene of dialogue regarding a quirky and cocky boy thief by the name of Locke Lamora. At times both creepy and hilarious, this prologue instantly grabbed my attention, and the story never let go.
Lynch’s writing style is exceptional, and his world-building is worthy of applause. Of special note is the intricate and believable underbelly of the Venetian-style city in which the story takes place. This society of gangsters acts as the crux of the plot, and it is remarkably well done. But that’s not all.
Every character feels fleshed out from the gentle brute to the hilariously awful twins to the diabolical wizard. The foreshadowing is brilliant, revealing just enough to get you thinking, but without hitting you over the head with obvious implications. The numerous schemes are impressively handled for the most part, using thought-through ideas instead of relying on common plot crutches to wrap up loose ends. Add to all of that some beautiful imagery, organic dialogue, and fantastic intrigue, and this is one tale that’s hard to put down.
Of course, as with every book, “The Lies of Locke Lamora” isn’t without its few flaws. There were several minor places where I felt the flow could have been handled better, and the scheming had a couple of lucky turns. But these were such irrelevant problems, and they paled in comparison to my enjoyment of this book.
Stunning work, Mr. Lynch. Simply stunning.
5 stars out of 5