Book Review – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Spoiler-Free!)

Judging Books By Their Covers


Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.



“There was a hunger in her, and girls were not supposed to be hungry. They were supposed to nibble sparingly when at the table, and their minds were supposed to be satisfied with a slim diet too.”

I’m going to be honest, I only picked this book up because I loved the cover. Yes, I judged a book by its cover. No, I don’t regret it at all. Despite this not being the type of book I’d usually pick out for myself, I did really enjoy it. I brought it when I was visiting family, and I didn’t have any other books with me. I finished it in one day, but that’s probably because I didn’t really have anything else to do.

There were parts that annoyed me, like when it was implied that men were superior to women. However, I understand that this was necessary for both the timeline and the plot. Plus, the main character, Faith doesn’t share that out-of-date and completely wrong belief, so I was able to get past it.

Speaking of Faith, I loved her. She was flawed, yes, but isn’t any great character? She was curious and intelligent, despite everyone around her telling her to be a ‘proper lady’. She also was brave, she didn’t back down from what she believed in, another thing I found admirable about her.

The plot was good, but it took a while to get into it. I wasn’t sure what the actual point was for several chapters, and I found myself wishing that it would hurry along and just get to the point already. When I finally got some sense of plot, it did get interesting and I enjoyed it.

“This is a battlefield, Faith! Women find themselves on battlefields, just as men do. We are given no weapons, and cannot be seen to fight. But fight we must, or perish.”

Overall, I give it 3 stars.


I’d also like to mention how amazing the illustrated version is. It’s the copy I have and Chris Riddell is simply wonderful. It definitely made reading the book just that bit more interesting, and I’m glad I was lucky enough to pick up a copy for only £4 in the local bookshop near my aunts.

-Books&Belle xx


32 thoughts on “Book Review – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Spoiler-Free!)

  1. The plot of this sounds intriguing. While it would get frustrating to here that about women it does sound like it is appropriate for it given what time period it is within. I definitely want to pick this one up myself and find out more about the tree!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s