‘The Lies Of Locke Lamora’ By Scott Lynch (New Year’s Resolution Book Forty-Five)

20131230-144059.jpgWell , what do you know? I finished one more book. This only happened because of a combination of getting sick and reading in bed and also of insisting that it is not rude to read in front of everyone if no one is speaking a language I can understand.

But onto the book!

This was a book I had read about somewhere as a good piece of fantasy and which I had filed away in my head, so I snatched it up when Barnes & Noble offered it cheap for my Nook.

The novel takes place in the well and interestingly sketched city-state of Camorr. Lynch makes the decision to do his world building by dropping names (Elderglass towers) and descriptions naturally in the text, as if the reader already knew about these things. The great William Gibson, at his best, does this well. Lynch isn’t bad and he’s helped by the fact that he cribs heavily from Fritz Leiber’s immortal city of Lankhmar and the undying (literarily speaking) duo of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. This isn’t a criticism, necessarily. After all, you can’t write wry, picaresque, roguish fantasy after Leiber and not reference the great man. And because any decent reader of fantasy worth her/his salt will have read those stories, it makes a useful short hand for the reader.

The meat of the plot takes a while to get going but the getting there is fun.

I was a little vexed that the titular Lamora decided to settle the final issue with the major villain via a sword fight, despite being notably mediocre in a fight. It seemed out of character for him not to have had a better plan and also took me out of the story when he acquitted himself decently well (though he won by a trick, of course).

It’s the first in a series but it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, which I appreciate, though not for reasons that will make the author happy. You see, I loved powering through this book and enjoyed it immensely… but I’m not overwhelmed by a desire to return to his world.

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