Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | Review

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | ReviewThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on September 20th 2011
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: ebook
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

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.

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The Song of Achilles wasn’t even on my TBR until about a month ago.  I saw Nikki from There Were Books Involved reading it and after seeing her reactions to it, I added it to the TBR.  I didn’t think I’d get around to reading it for a while but I decided to just throw it on my November TBR and see what happened.  I couldn’t resist it for too long and it was definitely a good life choice to read it.  The Song of Achilles made the history nerd in me very happy.  Madeline Miller did a wonderful job with this retelling of the story of Patroclus and Achilles.

Like I already mentioned, I’m a history nerd.  I’m minoring in history and I only just recently took a class on mythology so the story of Achilles was not new to me.  Heck, even the story of Patroclus and Achilles wasn’t new to me.  That didn’t matter though because Madeline Miller took this age old tale and made it all her own.  She has a way with words that completely blew me away.  I’m not always a fan of writers that are really wordy but in this case it just works.  The writing only made this gorgeous story better.

I truly don’t even know what to say at this point.  The Song of Achilles broke me.  I knew this story, I knew what was going to happen, I knew exactly how it would end.  That did not matter one bit!  Patroclus and Achilles came to life through Madeline Miller’s words.  They were more than just the things they became known for.  Patroclus was always in the background of the story but that’s because he chose to be there.  He didn’t need to be the center of attention, he just needed to be the center of Achilles’ attention.  As for Achilles, he was more than just the son of a goddess or the hero he came to be known as.  He never wanted any of that.  He just wanted to be loved by his people and by Patroclus.  The development of their friendship and their romance was just beautiful.

Overall, I just want you to read The Song of Achilles.  I can’t even begin to put into words the beauty of this book.  It’s something you have to experience for yourself and I suggest you do that.

What others are saying about The Song of Achilles:

There Were Books Involved’s review: “If you are at all into Greek mythology/The Iliad or historical fiction (despite its mythological elements, itdoes almost read like historical fiction), if you like a good tragic romance, and/or if you just need a good cry, pick up this book.”

Angieville’s review: “What an exquisite agony reading The Song of Achilles was.”

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8 Comments

  1. Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    AH! I’m reading this now (because of Nikki of course) and it’s sooooo good! I’m glad to here you liked it as well. I am a big fan of mythology and ancient civilization so this book is right up my alley. I’m not so sure on the writing style but I am enjoying it. Great review!

  2. Katherine

    Yay! I have not seen a single bad review for this yet. I love Greek mythology and the whole trilogy that this is based of off. I’ve read them all multiple times and I think this should be another interesting take on them. And like you, I love history! I am not sure yet if I am going to have time to study it in university, but I hope I can at least take a couple classes as electives.

  3. Alice

    I’m always thrilled when another person finds this book because it is so well-done, so beautifully written. I love Greek mythology, but Achilles has never been one of my favorite heroes – but goodness, did Madeline Miller change my mind about him and Patroclus. So glad to meet another fan of the book!

  4. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    Even though this book is older I have been seeing it pop up a lot lately, it is one that has been on my TBR pile since is first came out a few years ago! I actually just bought myself a copy and I can’t wait to finally read it!!!

  5. Hannah

    Beautiful review! You’re totally right, this is a book that breaks people. I picked it up at the end of last year after seeing it all over Tumblr, and I’m so glad I did – even though historical fiction is not really a genre in which I read too often.

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