Lies We Sing to the Sea is a sapphic, feminist reimagining of The Odyssey, in which a failed oracle and a vengeful immortal must break the curse on their kingdom by killing its prince.
In the cursed kingdom of Ithaca, each summer brings the hanging of twelve maidens, a tithe to the vengeful Poseidon.
When Leto is sacrificed, she awakens on the shore of a long-forgotten island, home to the immortal Melantho. Eternally bound to guide the girls that the sea gives back, Melantho tells Leto that there is only one way to break Ithaca’s curse: kill the prince before the winter solstice.
Together, Leto and Melantho escape the island and infiltrate the palace, assuming the guise of an Athenian princess and her handmaid. To their dismay, the last son of Ithaca – Prince Mathias – is no monster; he is guilt-ridden by his role in overseeing the yearly executions, grieving the loss of his beloved sister, and searching for his own way to end Ithaca’s curse.
As Leto becomes closer to Melantho and Mathias, she must unravel Ithaca’s terrible history – a history that binds the three of them together – before the sea claims them all.
A reclamation of a story from thousands of years ago, LIES WE SING TO THE SEA is about fate, about grief and sacrifice, and the power we can find within.
Sarah Underwood grew up in Devon, England. She obtained her MEng in Computational Bioengineering at Imperial College, London, and is now studying for her MPhil in Population Health Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Sarah is currently working on a second novel called THE LOVELY GRAVE OF KITTY JAY, based on the folklore of Dartmoor. Sarah is represented by Catherine Cho at Paper Literary. Lies We Sing To The Sea will be published March 2023.