Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆
At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-Seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.
Thieving is in Locke Lamora’s blood. From the time he was a young orphan, he lived off his wits. His skills are honed when he is taken in by Chains, a fake priest who teaches him how to become a truly great conman.
But life as a conman isn’t always easy. Before he knows it, Locke has to struggle to keep a con alive that involves a wealthy aristocrat, while at the same time dealing with an upstart crimeboss determined to murder Locke’s own boss.
This is one of those books where the setting and the atmosphere are as integral as the protagonists. And I have to say, I loved the world Scott Lynch built and the city of Camorr in particular.
The hour of Falselight had come.
From the heights of the Five Towers to the obsidian smoothness of the vast glass breakwaters to the artificial reefs beneath the slate-coloured waves, Falselight radiated from every surface and every shard of Elderglass in Camorr, from every speck of the alien material left so long before by the creatures that had first shaped the city.
I have a fondness for fantasy Venices and this one didn’t disappoint. It is hauntingly beautiful and dangerous at the same time. It teems with criminals, plots and schemes.
I also love a good story about thieves and conmen. The Gentlemen Bastards were a great group. I loved the relationship between them. And I really liked Locke. He was so magnificiently arrogant.
If he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, Lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing. He … steals too much.
The only thing I found disappointing was that the few women in the story didn’t get to do much. There were a lot of awesome women mentioned: Nazca, daughter of the crime boss of Camorr, the contrarequialla twins, the black alchemists Jessaline and Janellaine and of course Sabetha, the female member of the Gentleman Bastards. I would have loved for them to play a bigger role in the story. Particularly Sabetha, who is absent the whole time.
But only in Camorr can you see a specially armed gladiator (a contrarequialla) battle a live, leaping shark, and in Camorr only women are allowed by tradition to be contrarequialla.
This is the Teeth Show.
An amazingly atmospheric fantasy novel full of great characters and complicated schemes.