Review | The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree

by Frances Hardinge

YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction

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The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father’s journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.

When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues, she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets.

But as Faith’s untruths spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter…


This book has honestly been on my TBR for the longest time – and I’m so glad the Clear Ur Shit readathon has finally forced myself to get around to this. Earlier this year I read Frances Hardinge for the first time – Deeplight, and I really loved that book. But this one unfortunately disappointed me, despite the immense hype and good things I had only ever heard from it.

The Lie Tree is definitely a fascinating and unique story. I love Hardinge as a writer, she definitely has such a way with words and this is reflected in this novel. It follows the Victorian story of Faith as she vows to discover the secrets and truths of the Lie Tree after her father has been mysteriously murdered – a mythical tree that apparently, if fed lies, will grow fruit that bears you the secrets of others.

This had quite the hooking presence, but unfortunately the story didn’t grab me at all. I thought it would have been one of those novels with a slow start and I would get into the story at a later point, but I was so disheartened throughout. I just didn’t find myself caring for Faith or any of the other characters. I loved the feminist take woven through this story and how Hardinge did a great job of subverting well known gender roles, but unfortunately this was not a hit for me. I found it quite dull and I didn’t really feel any joy reading it.

However, I do have another Hardinge novel in my TBR pile, so I’m definitely going to give her another go. She definitely has beautiful writing, but for me this story just didn’t grab my attention/care in any way at all.


Have you read The Lie Tree? What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below!


Review: Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

deeplight

Deeplight

by Frances Hardinge

YA Fantasy


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy adventure

The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?


I could gush about this book forever.

Frances Hardinge was a name I’ve constantly been hearing in the bookish world and I always wanted to get around to her, especially considering I literally have three of her books in my TBR pile. I’m so glad that I read this book when I did, because the only words I can think of to describe it is wonderfully immersive.

Immersive is a word that can be so loosely thrown around, I’m sure I’m totally guilty of it. But something about Hardinge’s style of writing and her worldbuilding makes you get completely lost in a story that is so far from your own, usual world. In Deeplight, one of the most original books I’ve ever read, we follow a scavenger Hark who scours for parts of dead gods in the Undersea and sells them for profit. But sometimes they aren’t actually God parts, and he tricks his buyers. This is how he ends up getting involved with the actual heart of a God and it examines just how much it can affect everything around him.

My favourite thing about this book was the depiction of a such a toxic friendship. He hates his best friend Jelt but can’t help but feel love for him at the same time. It is so raw and real and gut-punching that it almost feels as you, as a reader, are being put into the shoes of Hark and can feel every emotion through your body.

I didn’t want this book to end. I devoured it in two days because it was so addictive, and i loved the whole exploration of the whole world Hardinge created underwater. The language was divine and the storytelling was absolutely next level. I can’t wait to read some of Hardinge’s other books, because if they are anything like Deeplight, then they are sure to pack just as strong of a punch.

For fans of Patrick Ness! Please do yourself a favour and read this book.


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