Wednesday 3 April 2019

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Historical)

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller

Publication Date: 2017 (2011)
Bought Copy

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

I've wanted to read The Song of Achilles since it first released, but it has taken me a whopping eight years to get around to buying a copy. I'm glad I finally did, because I devoured this book, loving every minute from start to finish. Of course, I already knew the basic plot well, but I enjoyed seeing things from Patroclus' point of view. I absolutely adored him! Despite knowing what would happen, I shed a fair few tears as the story drew to a close. The Song of Achilles is a wonderful work both as a retelling of a classic and as a work of LGBT fiction. The prose is visceral and addictive, and the story somehow keeps you on the edge of your seat no matter how well you know the original version. I am keen to read Miller's version of the Circe story soon.

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