The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006)
It’s somewhat difficult to classify The Lies of Locke Lamora. It’s definitely fantasy, but I haven’t come across a lot of fantasy like it. The closet comparison I can think of is Thieves’ World; the main characters are scoundrels and thieves, and no one is up to any good.
Locke Lamora is a thief--and a prodigy at that. The young boy has moved beyond the Thiefmaker's ability to control, so the Thiefmaker has sold him to the Eyeless Priest. There he meets the boys who are to becomes his brothers and fellow conspirators--the Gentleman Bastards.
The story moves back and forth between two arcs, the story of Locke's childhood, and his adulthood and his current scam. The timing of the cuts is good--both story arcs are excellent. Even when one arc stopped at a cliffhanger moment, I couldn't help but want to go back to the past and learn more about Locke's past.
I really liked this book. Once the story got started I had a hard time putting The Lies of Locke Lamora down--luckily it's the last day of my vacation, so I didn't have anything else to do except finish the book.
The world building is also very good. There is as much left unexplained about Camorr as there is explained, which made the land as fascinating as the characters.
The one caveat I have about this book is that there is unlike other fantasy books, Scott Lynch uses regular American cursing instead of using made-up words, which was a bit of a shock at first--I'm just not used to seeing the f-word used liberally in non-urban fantasy. I have to say that the use of the word made sense, consider the sort of people that Locke and his friends were. They're thieves and scoundrels and men of ill-repute, of course they'd use rough language when talking with each other. However, I have to say that it was in some of these passages, where Locke and the other Gentleman Bastards are talking that I found the dialog to be most stilted. Mind you, there were only a few passages like this, but I did find them jarring, especially since I found most of the other dialog to be excellent.
If you're looking for a strong fantasy, with irascible scoundrels, then you must definitely read this book. I'd say it's one of the best books I've read this year, but as it's only January 2nd, that probably isn't very impressive. So I'll say instead that as long you don't mind strong language, you should definitely pick up The Lies of Locke Lamora.
Magic City: Recent Spells (2014) edited by Paula Guran
Table of Contents
“Street Wizard” by Simon R. Green
“Paranormal Romance” by Christopher Barzak
“Grand Central Park” by Delia Sherman
“Spellcaster 2.0” by Jonathan Maberry
“Wallamelon” by Nisi Shawl
“-30-” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs
“Stone Man” by Nancy Kress
“In the Stacks” by Scott Lynch
“A Voice Like a Hole” by Catherynne M. Valente
“The Arcane Art of Misdirection” by Carrie Vaughn
“Thief of Precious Things” by A.C. Wise
“The Land of Heart’s Desire” by Holly Black
“Snake Charmer” by Amanda Downum
“The Slaughtered Lamb” by Elizabeth Bear
“The Woman Who Walked with Dogs” by Mary Rosenblum
“Words” by Angela Slatter
“Dog Boys” by Charles de Lint
“Alchemy” by Lucy Sussex
“Curses” by Jim Butcher
“De la Tierra” by Emma Bull
“Stray Magic” by Diana Peterfreund
“Kabu Kabu” by Nnedi Okorafor
“Pearlywhite” by Mark Laidlaw & John Shirley
“In the Stacks” by Scott Lynch is a tale about magical libraries and librarians.
Inappropriate Levity Bronzeclaw, “Lev” to everyone at the university. Lev’s people, dour and dutiful, gave their adolescents names based on perceived character flaws, so the wayward youths would supposedly dwell upon their correction until granted more honorable adult names.
All in all this is a marvelous collection, that I highly recommend.
Published by Prime Books
“Freewheeling” by Charles de Lint
“A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch
“Caligo Lane” by Ellen Klages
“Socks” by Delia Sherman
“Painted Birds and Shivered Bones” by Kat Howard
“The Goldfish Pond and Other Stories” by Neil Gaiman
“One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King” by Elizabeth Bear
“Street Worm” by Nisi Shawl
“A Water Matter” by Jay Lake
“Last Call” by Jim Butcher
“Bridle” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“The Last Triangle” by Jeffrey Ford
“Working for the God of the Love of Money” by Kaaron Warren
“Hello, Moto” by Nnedi Okorafor
“The Spirit of the Thing: A Nightside Story” by Simon R. Green
“A Night in Electric Squidland” by Sarah Monette
“Speechless in Seattle” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Palimpsest” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Ash” by John Shirley
“In Our Block” by R. A. Lafferty
“A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch is a story I got hung up on. I like Scott Lynch, but had a difficult time getting into this story.
“Shouldn’t I have a hangover?”
“I took it while you slept,” said Ivovandas. “I have a collection of bottled maladies. Your hangover was due to be the stuff of legends. Here be dragons! And by ‘here,’ I mean directly behind your eyeballs, probably for the rest of the week. I’ll find another head to slip it into, someday. Possibly I’ll let you have it back if you fail me.”
An interesting collection, although there were a lot of stories that were not for me.
Published by Prime Books