Reviewed by Kaelin Lee, age 16

Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood

Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood is a young authors’ fantasy and Greek mythology novel about the kingdom of Ithaca’s curse which annually condemns twelve girls of Ithaca to be hung as a sacrifice to Poseidon. The sacrifices act as payment for Odysseus’s hanging of Penolope’s twelve maids who were cast off to sea centuries ago. If not made by the kingdom, Poseidon will spread ruin and death by sea, so every year innocent lives are caught up in the vicious cycle to prevent catastrophe. Leto, a 17-year-old girl, is one of them who meets her fate of death. However, she wakes up alive on the island of Pandou, greeted by a beautiful and powerful girl named Melantho who reveals to her the legacy of the curse and Leto’s chance to end it once and for all. The only way is for her to kill Prince Mathias, Ithaca’s heir, who is just as desperate to break the curse. Despite repercussions, Leto is determined to fulfill her and Melantho’s quest for justice, as hundreds of lives hang in the balance.

This book is perfect for Greek mythology readers or anyone wanting to explore the genre. The rendition of a classic tale was truly refreshing and kept me engaged throughout, helped by the perfectly paced structure of short chapters ending in compelling cliffhangers. While the plot was predictable at times, at each twist I was left satisfied by the foreshadowing and build-up of such climaxes. And the characters were by far my favorite aspect of the book. Each one of the main three was anti-heroes in their own right, yet I still rooted for each of them as their past trauma and good intent seemed to justify their actions. I love perfectly imperfect characters since they are much more interesting and real. Thus, I was emotionally invested in the fierce yet charming Melantho, the strong, loving Leto, and the good-hearted Mathias. Their opposing agendas and intertwining relationships with one another were all juicy and riveting for me to unfold through their alternating perspectives. No matter the multitude of endings readers may expect, they will be contented by the poetic and beautiful but tragic ending that brought tears to my eyes. It was an amazing and enjoyable read that brought all the elements of romance, action, and magic one could hope for.

4 stars of 5 stars

Find this book in our catalog: Lies We Sing to the Sea

Catalog Number: YA FIC UNDERWOOD,S

420 pages