The Lies of Locke Lamora

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The Lies of Locke Lamora
Locke Lamora.jpg
First edition
Author Scott Lynch
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Bantam Spectra[2] (US)
Gollancz (UK)
Publication date
June 27, 2006[1]
Media type Print - Hardback & Paperback[4]
Pages 499 pp (US hardback edition)[3]
ISBN ISBN 0-553-80467-7 (ISBN13: 9780553804676) (US hardback edition)[5]
OCLC 65302306
813/.6 22
LC Class PS3612.Y5427 L54 2006
Preceded by The Bastards and the Knives[6]
Followed by Red Seas Under Red Skies[7]

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a fantasy novel by Scott Lynch and the first book published of the Gentleman Bastard series. Elite con artists "Gentlemen Bastards" rob the rich of Camorr city, based on late medieval Venice but on an unnamed planet.[8] Two stories interweave. In the present, the Gentlemen fight a mysterious Grey King taking over the criminal underworld. Alternate chapters describe history and mythology of Camorr, the Gentlemen Bastards, and especially the protagonist Locke Lamora.

Plot summary[edit]

The Gentlemen Bastards are masters of disguise, deception, and fine cuisine. Father Chains, their "garrista" (leader), is a priest of the Crooked Warden, the god of thieves. He buys garish six-year old Locke for his gang. Through a series of confidence tricks on the rich, they defy the Secret Peace, an unspoken agreement between the criminal underground and the Duke’s Magistrates (law enforcers and judges), of Camorr which allows for the existence of organized crime in the city; with the understanding that the servants of justice are off limits.

After Chains' death, Locke becomes 'garrista' of the group, consisting of Jean Tannen, an expert fighter; Calo and Galdo Sanza, jack-of-all-trades identical twins; Bug, a young apprentice; and Sabetha, who is only mentioned and does not appear in this novel.

Locke pretends to be Lukas Fehrwight, a merchant from Emberlain,[9] to con Don Lorenzo Salvara and his wife. Meanwhile, a mysterious Gray King and his hired Bondsmage kill the most trusted garristas of Capa Barsavi's, the head of Camorr's criminal underworld, making Barsavi fearful for his safety. To lure Barsavi from his secure fortress, the Gray King kills the Capa's only daughter and forces Locke to don a Gray disguise and meet with Barsavi on his behalf.

At the arranged meeting, Barsavi attacks the disguised Locke, thinking he is the Gray King, and leaves him to drown in a barrel. Locke's companions Bug and Jean rush to save Locke from drowning inside. The three return to their underground temple home to find it burglarized and twins Calo and Galdo dead. When Bug is killed by the burglar, Locke swears revenge. He then goes to Barsavi's home, where he expects the Grey King to be. There, he, along with the remaining garristas, witness the murder of the remaining Barsavi family and his loyal captains. Gray appears, taking the name "Capa Raza" and assumes leadership of Camorr's underworld.

Jean kills Raza's sisters, while Locke tries to complete the con against the Salvaras who have been tipped off by Camorr's secret spymaster, known as the Duke's "Spider". At the Duke's annual celebration, Locke barely escapes the event. Upon returning to their hideout, the Bondsmage awaits, having incapacitated Jean using his full name. Locke, whose real name is not known, kills the Bondmage's scorpion-hawk and tortures the mage for information. Wary of Bondsmagi revenge should he be killed, they remove his fingers and tongue so he cannot gesture or speak spells, leaving him alive but insane.

Capa Raza has gone crazy, plotting revenge against the nobles of Camorr for the destruction of his family after his father opposed the Secret Peace. To destroy the nobles, he gives the Duke of Camorr four sculptures, actually timebombs filled with Wraithstone, whose smoke renders creatures docile and without any personal initiative. His aim is to cause all nobles and their children to slide into moronic lifelessness.

As for Capa Raza, he waits at the other end of the city for a ship to pick him up. Locke defuses the bombs first, then attacks the Capa. Locke is outmatched by the Capa's skills, so he pretends to use one of his old tricks, namely holding Capa Raza until Jean arrives. Distracted, Capa Raza is killed by Locke himself. It is also revealed that Locke tricked the 'Spider' into sinking the ship where Gray hid their fortunes as a religious offering for his dead friends, and searching excrement instead. In the end, Jean and injured Locke sail away to a new life.

Film adaptation[edit]

Warner Brothers bought the film rights soon after the book's release. The brothers Kevin and Dan Hageman were to write the screenplay, Michael De Luca and Julie Yorn to produce.[10]


  1. ^ "The Lies of Locke Lamora". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Lies of Locke Lamora". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Lies of Locke Lamora [Hardcover]". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Editions of The Lies of Locke Lamora". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Lies of Locke Lamora [Hardcover Edition]". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Gentlemen Bastards Series". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Gentlemen Bastards Series". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Camorr". Camorr — News and Views from Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora books. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Lukas Fehrwight". Camorr — News and Views from Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora books. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]