It was a chore to read this book because it’s so bloody long but once you’re in it, you’re in it. I put it down so many times to take a breather…but then I couldn't wait to pick it up again. This book is a wonder. Scott Lynch’s brain must be a marvellous place if he can come up with this level of unexpected humour, cheekiness, crookedness and emotional barrage! There were times when I went like...
It's packed full of cons, thieves, cutthroats and female gladiators amidst water bodies fighting sharks!! The workings of the underworld of Camorr will blow you away. Actually, all of Camorr will blow you away once you see it through Lynch's words. In one of the reviews, the reader described it as a Venice-like setting with a medieval touch - couldn't be more right.
And then we have our very own Locke Lamora commenting upon this,
"Gods I love this place," Locke said, drumming his fingers against his thighs. "Sometimes I think this whole city was put here simply because the gods must adore crime."
Locke Lamora is a risk taker, plain and simple. He comes up with the most outrageous schemes and has the brains to actually pull them off. More importantly, he'll do anything to get what he wants.
"Keep strangling me," Locke whispered. "Just think of twenty thousand full crowns and keep strangling me. I can choke all day if I have to."
Yup! That's him folks! In other words, he's "more crooked than an acrobat's spine."
And then we have the rest of the crew i.e. Jean, Bug, Calo and Galdo. In simple words, you will never be bored as long as you're reading the pages with all of them together.
"But we wouldn't have gotten so far, so fast, if not for Bug's quick action yesterday. What a stupid, reckless, idiotic, ridiculous thing to do! I haven't the words to express my admiration."
"The only person who gets away with Locke Lamora games-"
"-is Locke Lamora-"
"-because we think the gods are saving him up for a really big death. Something with knives and hot irons-"
"-and fifty thousand cheering spectators."
The brothers cleared their throat in unison.
God, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I don't think I have the words.
Now, onto the plot.
"There is no freedom quite like the freedom of being underestimated"
And that's how they get everything done. They've come up with this grand scheme (well, Locke has. The rest follow.) which triggers everything into motion. They even dare to defy their Capa (equivalent to what we would call the underworld don), though it's nothing new. They've done it before too. He just underestimated them and they were too clever to get caught. This time, however, things are going to get complicated. There are going to be a lot of twists and turns. Some are outright unbelievable that you might have to go back and read it again to check if it really happened. They got me like...
Nothing is simple. In fact, they will face surprises which will land them in utterly shitty situations.
"This entire situation is insane."
"It was insane before; now it's become malicious."
But then again, they're the only ones equipped in every way to deal with it.
Plus, there are things that will humble them. And it will shock you to the core. I'll say this - Scott Lynch knows how to play with the emotions of his readers.
"Someday, you're going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee."
Brilliant, I say.