The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The basics

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora


Series: Gentleman Bastard #1

- The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006)
- Red Seas Under Red Skies (2007)
- The Republic of Thieves (2013)
- The Thorn of Emberlain (2015)
- The Ministry of Necessity
- The Mage and the Master Spy
- Inherit the Night

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a friend to the poor, a ghost that walks through walls.

Slightly built and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny. All of Locke's gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves. The Gentleman Bastards.

The capricious, colourful underworld of the ancient city of Camorr is the only home they have ever known. But now a clandestine war is threatening to tear it apart. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends are suddenly struggling just to stay alive...

Read a full summary of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Lies of Locke Lamora and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

in short

This is a very difficult book to recap in short, but here we go: Locke and his crew are trying to con a nobleman and his wife, but it goes horribly wrong when a mysterious guy called the Gray King gets involved. The Gray King tricks Locke into tricking Barsavi, who almost kills Locke but is then killed by the Gray King, who is really called Raza. Raza takes over the city with the help of his sisters and a warlock guy called The Falconer. They use Dona Vorchenza and try to blow up the city that had wronged them so many years ago, but Locke stops them. Jean kills the sisters, Locke kills Raza, and they permanently disable The Falconer. They then sail away together on a ship of dreams.
Dead: Bug (the crew’s assistant), the Sanza twins, Capa Raza, Capa Barsavi, the gladiator sisters, Chains, the rest of the Barsavi family.
Alive: LOCKE AND JEAN 4EVA, Dona Vorchenza.
Ongoing mysteries: Who the fuck is Sabetha

what happened in The Lies of Locke Lamora?

  • The book is told in both flashbacks and present day stuff. It starts with Locke as a child joining a band of petty thieves, and eventually he is recruited by an awesome thief person called Chains who pretends to be a blind priest in order for people to give him money. He joins Chains’ group which consists of Jean (Locke’s true love, imo), Sabetha (who doesn’t actually appear in the book), and the twins Calo and Galdo.
  • Chains dies off-“screen” and Locke now runs the gang in present day. They have a sweet little apprentice called Bug and Sabetha is still nowhere to be seen. Their group is called the Gentleman Bastards.
  • The Gentleman Bastards are pretty freakin’ rich because they con everyone. At the start of the book they’re about to start a con on Don Salvara. Locke pretends to be someone called Lukas and makes up a story about booze to get Salvara to give him money. Locke then pretends to be a Midnighter and “warns” Salvara about Lukas being the Thorn of Camorr, but he tells Salvara that he should still give Lukas money.
  • Meanwhile, the Gray King has been killing Capa Barsavi’s (head of the criminal underground who takes a cut from everyone) men.
  • The Gray King runs into Locke. He has brought a Bondsmage called The Falconer with him and they scare Locke because the Bondsmage is freakin’ creepy like his bird. So The Gray King wants Locke to pretend to be him at a meeting with Capa Barsavi for reasons that he doesn’t feel like revealing right now. Locke agrees in return for The Gray King’s silence about the con business.
  • The Gray King murders Barsavi’s daughter, Nazca, and returns the body to the Capa. This is upsetting because Locke had just gotten engaged to her and she was pretty awesome.
  • Locke goes through with the meeting but it goes horribly wrong when Barsavi somehow manages to get through Locke’s supposed protection, knock him out and put him in a barrel. They then throw him in the canal, because they still think he’s The Gray King, and Jean and co. have to come and rescue him. Clearly, The Gray King betrayed Locke and didn’t even provide protection in the first place. RUDE.
  • Jean, Bug, and Locke return to their base to find all of their wealth stolen and the Sanza twins dead, in the creepiest scene in all of history. Some guy turns up and kills Bug, and threatens Jean and Locke but they’re like nah mate.
  • Locke goes to The Floating Grave where Barsavi is celebrating the “death” of the Gray King. Obviously, the Gray King is not dead and his minions actually sabotage the party. The awesome gladiator sisters from the beginning kill Barsavi and his sons. The Gray King shows up and is like “I’m gonna run this town tonight”.
  • Turns out that the Gray King is the brother of the gladiator sisters. What.
  • Some background on Capa Raza/The Gray King: he and his sisters had been planning revenge on Barsavi since they were younger because their parents were murdered thanks to the nobles of Camorr. Now he’s back to kill them all.
  • Jean figures out that the Gray King (or Capa Raza, if you will) has been loading his wealth that he stole onto a plague ship. The gladiator sisters find Jean and fight him, but he kills them both because he’s made of awesome. He gets wounded though, which sucks.
  • Dona Vorchenza, the Duke’s Spider, is now accidentally in league with Capa Raza because The Falconer did some voodoo on her. She lures Locke into a trap but he escapes because he’s a ninja.
  • Locke goes back to his and Jean’s hideout, and discovers that The Falconer has done voodoo on Jean now since he knows his real name. The Falconer tries to make Jean kill Locke, and then tries to voodoo Locke himself but Locke is like “lawl, as if Locke is my true name” and he ends up torturing The Falconer for information on the Gray King. He doesn’t kill the guy, but he does remove his tongue and fingers.

how did it end?

So the Gray King has given the city four statues filled with bombs. Locke warns Dona Vorchenza, who is a flawless queen btw, and together they disable the statues. He is then set free to go and kill Capa Raza. In return for his freedom, Locke shares where his stolen wealth is hidden (the wealth that the Gray King stole from him). Locke tells her that it’s hidden on a barge, but he doesn’t know which one exactly, so people have to go hunting. He also tells Vorchenza to destroy the plague ship because it’s seriously gross that it’s still there and ready to infect the city. LOCKE FINDS RAZA AND KILLS HIM IN AN EPIC OTP LOCKE/JEAN MOMENT OF AWESOME. Vorchenza realises that she’s been tricked and that Locke is the most hilarious and also pretty awesome for using the plague ship filled with treasure as an offering to the goddess of death FOR HIS DEAD FRIENDS GOODBYE. Jean and Locke sail away together because they’re a SHIP.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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  • Kritika says:

    I LOVE THIS BOOK. That recap is pretty good considering how much goes down in this book hahaha (and that ending! “BECAUSE THEY’RE A SHIP!”. YES.)
    Also, after book 3 I’m still not entirely sure who Sabetha is…it’s like she has split personality disorder or something.
    I really need to reread this!

    – Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider silk

  • Bailey says:

    Thanks for the recap! Just an FYI, the next book in the series, The Thorn of Emberlain, STILL isn’t out (and there’s no release date in sight) as of July 2018.

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