Check out our review of Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood. A young adult fantasy novel.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.

young adult fantasy

Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood

March 7, 2023

Tropes
  • Bisexual
  • Mythology
  • Royalty
  • Love Triangle

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Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood Book Review

Lies We Sing to the Sea begins three centuries after the famous “hero” Odysseus returned home from the Trojan War. His actions upon his return cause Poseidon to curse his kingdom. Every year twelve young women must be sacrificed or the sea god will claim the land bit by bit. Leto is one of the sacrificed girls, but Poseidon’s power brings her back. With the help of the mysterious Melantho, Leto sets out to break the curse by killing the last prince of Ithaca before the sea completely devours Ithaca.

In the myths and legends that she had grown up on, the girls did not-well, they did not do very much at all besides an awful lot of weaving…Leto had always wanted more… Here, she supposed was her punishment for her hubris.

Lies We Sing to the Sea follows a recent trend of re-tellings that give voice to those disenfranchised across the centuries. Melantho and Leto are both young women living in a time when women were considered property. It is hardly surprising that they found themselves powerless especially when abandoned by the people they trusted to protect them. A large part of the story in Lies We Sing to the Sea is how these two young women take back the power that should have been theirs all along and what they then choose to do with that power. Though it may not seem obvious at the beginning of the book, Lies We Sing to the Sea is at its heart a story about love. Throughout the course of the story we see different kinds of love: romantic love, sisterly and brotherly love and the love of a parent for their child. In this book, the author shows the reader time and again how love can propel one to make great sacrifices and at the same time do terrible things. This is by no means a happy story, but it is achingly beautiful nonetheless courtesy of how vividly Underwood paints each individual arc.

That doesn’t mean unfairness should be tolerated. That is should be expected. We should not-we should not be playthings for the gods.

I would recommend this book to fans of feminist re-tellings, books with LGBTQ+ rep and Greek mythology. Fans of Madeline Miller and Jennifer Saint’s books are also likely to find this one to their taste.


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