17. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Found this in Waterstones YA section and it became a part of the haul.

Synopsis (as written on back of book):

It was not enough, all knowledge – any knowledge – called to faith and there was a delicious, posionous pleasure in stealing it unseen. 

Faith has a thirst for science and a knack for uncovering secrets that the rigid confines of her upbringing cannot suppress. When she finds her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the notes and theories of a man driven close to madness, she’s finally discovered a secret that might be too big even for her.

Because before her are tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will unveil a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth it reveals. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into a great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter…

Ability to read – I worried – as I do with some YA books – that the language would sweep me in a way that I would struggle to understand but I was relieved to discover that this was not the case here. I could understand the language and structure of what was written very well and able to read without interruption.

Characterisation – Faith is such a multi-layered character. She crosses through many states of emotions and levels of determination as she goes through the book. She starts with concealing the need to want to rebel but as the book goes on, she finds the confidence to stand up for herself and seek the answers she’s desperate for.

Visualisation – It was easy to visualise what was happening throughout the story of the book. The ease of the books language helped with the easiness of visualisation. I got a clear image of what was happening, could visualise scene changes as they happened and got a clear sense of the characters.

Set in a dark twisting place, with haunting horrors and a past of secrets and betrayal, Faith walks the road alone as she travels the same path as her Father and tries to succeed where he failed.

Uniqueness – I’ve never come across a book like this before. The blend of the past mixed with something that should be impossible and speaks of witch craft or magic was enjoyable to read and unique in the way it was presented. This is the first of Frances Hardinge’s books I’ve read and it I certainly haven’t read anything similar – plot wise – before. It adds something new to my library.

Problems – Very minor but I spent the first couple of chapters thinking that the ‘Reverend’ and ‘Myrtle’ were different characters from Faith’s Father and Mother. A little more clarification on that would have helped.

Hannah xoxo

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