There is a type of novel I like to call the Swashbuckler. A swashbuckler keeps you on the edge of your seat and has twists coming thick and fast which seem obvious in hindsight but totally unexpected when you first encounter them.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is a Swashbuckler. It keeps you entertained and it draws you in to a world of thieves and confidence games in the city of Camorr.
Locke Lamora is the Garrista of the Gentleman Bastards who specialize in thievery, duping the rich and playing confidence games. They plan an ambitious heist playing upon the greed of a certain Don. As expected complications arise as the Gentlemen Bastards get caught in a war for the Underbelly of Camorr.
What sets The Lies of Locke Lamora is the execution of the plot, the deftness of the writing and the glorious city of Camorr which is as rich a setting as I have encountered in fiction. Camorr reminded me of New Crobuzon of Bas Lag as I read about it with all its strange guilds, many faceted religious orders and unlike most other cities in fiction Camorr has canals run through it making water a part of the city.
Because Locke Lamora is a thief and you view the city through his eyes and Camorr impinges itself on your imagination. The waterways, canals and the allusions to the fact that the Camorr was previously inhabited by another sentient race make for great reading and add to the mystique of the novel.
The plotting is devious and ingenious. I could never anticipate what would happen next and yet when it happened it seemed what happened could not have happened any other way.
The characters are flawed, brilliant and surprisingly real in the choices they make when confronted by Locke Lamora's schemes. I particularly enjoyed the origin stories of The Gentlemen Bastards which occur in the form flashbacks and interludes.
All in all Locke Lamora is just a great read that everyone should enjoy.
You can buy the Lies of Locke Lamora here.