When it comes to book club questions, The Lies of Locke Lamora is a treasure trove of inspiration. This book is so intricate that as soon as you tug on one story string, a whole other tantalizing knot comes into view.
Reading and untangling this story is a true pleasure that can only be made greater by doing it in the company of your book club!
A Fantasy Book That Came Highly Recommended
I first heard about this book when I put out a call on TikTok for novels that are so good they stick with you and ruin other books for you.
I got a wealth of responses, but when multiple people were saying this was book that “raised the bar” them I decided to start with this particular fantasy novel by Scott Lynch.
Scott Lynch’s First Novel
His first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, is a work of literary fiction that spins up a fantasy world that is hard to resist.
An orphan of intriguing skill, young Locke Lamora is thrust into a new life when taken under the tutelage of Chains, a priest of the Crooked Warden, patron saint of thieves.
His life and the life of his fellow Gentlemen Bastards are a study of opposites as they at times live the lives of austere priests.
All this, while also relaxing in a luxury that most of the nobility of the City of Camorr don’t get to experience.
This is just the beginning of the contradictions that make The Lies of Locke Lamora such an interesting and engrossing read.
Full of pirates, Dons, thieves, gang leaders, a Duke, a Spider, a magician, and an only ever eluded to love interest, this complex story has something for everyone.
If you are at all a fan of masterful world building and captivating fantasy, these The Lies of Locke Lamora book club questions can only help you dig below the surface of this fantastic novel with your reading group.
The Lies of Locke Lamora Book Club Questions
1. Shades Hill is described as a network of tunnels running under and around the cemetery where all the children live. What mental images did this depiction bring up for you?
What might the author might be trying to make you feel or think of when describing their unusual way of living this way?
2. Locke Lamora is a child who “was lucky enough to remember having a last name”. What is the significance of this? What is the significance of his full name in general?
3. In the book, the city has a system for how it handles unwanted children who grow up without parents. How does the hierarchy of the different options affect how a child grows up?
How did the hard time Locke faced early on in his life change when he was accepted into the Gentleman Bastards?
4. The Gentleman Bastards was created to be populated by very specific kinds of thieves and con artists. What advantages (or disadvantages) did their particular education afford them?
5. In the world Lynch crafts, The Elderglass was left behind by the Elders, beings we don’t know about or understand. What do these unexplained beautiful ruins do for the mood of the book? What does it make you picture?
6. What is the symbolism of The Scentless Garden? How does it lend an edge to the training the boys learning to fight do in it?
7. Sabetha is a Gentleman Bastard who is only ever referenced in passing (and one of the only female characters in the novel). How does this all contribute to the mystery surrounding her?
What impressions did you build up about a character who you only ever knew as someone described by others?
8. Locke and his band of fellow con-artists have amassed a great fortune that makes them wealthier than many of the Lords and Ladies they rob. How does the “game” keep them interested in still trying for more?
9. Locke’s success as a master con artist is having an unusually good understanding of what motivates people. How does he lay the perfect trap for Don Salvara? What details make his story irresistible?
10. Locke comes to Don Salvara as a Midnighter to tell him he is being tricked by the fabled “Thorn of Camorr”. Why does he do it?
What does it say about Locke’s personality that he takes the “game” this one step further and has so much fun doing it?
11. What do you make of the Gray King (or as we later know him, Capa Raza)? After the success of his bloody coup against the former Capa Barsavi, how do your impressions and opinions of him change as you learn more about his origin story?
12. Locke manages to kill Capa Raza by pulling a trick he used a boy: by holding on long enough for Jean to (supposedly) show up. How does this callback to an earlier story strike you?
How did it heighten the story? What was the author trying to do at that moment?
13. The Spider passes on the mantle to Don and Dona Salvara as “punishment” for being duped by Locke. It comes with a tower estate, as well as a lot of status (even if it’s in secret). In what ways do you think becoming the Spider is still a punishment (if you think it is)?
14. Capa Raza makes a mistake in killing Locke’s chosen family. How does that change the course of the story? What might have been an alternative ending if he had left them alone?
15. The story is full of an unusually large amount of twists and turns, with plenty of “aha!” moments in between. What were the biggest surprises in the book? Which ones did you see coming?
16. The novel is expertly crafted as the story unfolds both in the present time and with contextual short stories. How does the author’s unraveling of the story change the impact of the information?
How do you think it would change if everything was just told chronologically?
17. The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first book in the three-book Gentleman Bastards series. Did this book make you excited to read the next book in the series, Red Seas Under Red Skies? Why or why not?
Get these The Lies of Locke Lamora book club questions as a PDF below to download or print.
More Fantasy Book Club Picks
Don’t have a book club yet? Why not start your own! Check out my article on How to Form a Book Club for tips on creating the ideal book club for your lifestyle.
Did you read The Lies of Locke Lamora for your book club? What did you think? Leave me a comment below about how the questions and book worked for you!