Scott Lynch has written two excellent fantasy novels featuring an enduring character named Locke Lamora, who is a member of a troupe of thieves called the Gentleman Bastards.
I discovered Scott Lynch after reading Patrick Rothfuss' amazing The Name of The Wind (see MadProfessah's A review) and noticing them on Amazon.com's recommendation list for people who liked Rothfuss' work. I borrowed them from the Glendale Public Library but I like them so much I would have easily paid for them.
The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas under Red Skies are intended to be the first of a seven part series of books, with the third installment, titled The Republic of Thieves scheduled for release in June 2010.
If you liked the Pirates of the Caribbean movies you would definitely like the Locke Lamora books. In fact, if there are any Hollywood types reading this blog, you should immediately try to acquire the film rights to these books--they would make excellent summer blockbusters! (Never mind, looks like Warner Brothers has it covered.)
The plots of the books are complicated so I don't want to go in detail about that aspect, but what I do want to talk about are the highlights, of which there are many. First of these is the close relationship between the lead character and his best friends, which are basically an adopted family to the orphaned Locke. Second, is the detailed description of the world in which the novels are set. There is not technology like we are used to, instead there is some level of magic in a City-State called Camorr which resembles Earth's Venice with lots of canals and gondolas and an ornate social structure with intricate class and cultural assumptions that seem somewhat reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. Third, is the suspenseful depiction of the action sequences which evoke images of James Bond and Ocean's Eleven movies.
You can tell that Lynch had fun writing the books, and the reader has fun reading them as well. I do hope that after a 3-year hiatus between Locke Lamora novels Lynch figures out a way to write the books more quickly, I can't wait to read them all!
Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora. Length: 512 pages. Publisher: Spectra (June 27, 2006).
OVERALL GRADE: A.
OVERALL GRADE: A/A-.