World Building in The Lies of Locke Lamora

Borrowed from

This book, set in a city evocative of Venice, is about a group of conmen who unwittingly become dragged into the middle of a political power struggle.

What I think really works about this book is the world building. From gladiators fighting sharks to a religious cult obsessed with their own mortality, it’s the details of the world and how it works that pulls readers in. I didn’t mind when the book went on to describe various anecdotes of situations the characters had been in, because they let us see more of the setting.

This book is a prime example of how to use descriptions and world building effectively.

As an aside, the cover art is clearly reminiscent of the Piazza San Marco, in Venice.

Borrowed from

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3 Responses to World Building in The Lies of Locke Lamora

  1. Redhead says:

    I’m reading Lies of Locke Lamora right now (for the umpteenth time) for a read along, and just this afternoon I was realising how wonderful the world building is. I really feel like I am there, like I know my way around the city, like I would recognize plazas and places. Great find on the plaza the cover art was most likely inspired by!

    • Marie Erving says:

      Thanks! Yeah, when I was thinking of a work where it’s the setting that really has the power to draw you in, this immediately came to mind.

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