Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Millercirce

Published: April 10, 2018

Rating: ★★★★ (4 Stars)

Goodreads

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

I’m wavering on this rating right now because I feel like a lot of my feelings were influenced by the fact that I wanted to love it as much as The Song of Achilles, which is one of my favorite books of all time.

Miller’s way of retelling myths is so engrossing the reader feels as if they are witnessing them first had. I loved Circe’s voice throughout, and her acknowledgment and depiction of her faults. The characterization of the main players in this book were so vivid that I felt they could be real people – or gods as it may be.

I feel a lot more of this book was a retelling than TSOA (there I go with the comparisons again). While a lot of filling in the gaps occurs with explanations for Circe’s actions and the years of lost childhood, these myths were all well-known to me. It was amazing to see them brought to life in a new way, but I found myself putting the book down not yearning to read on.

Overall, a very enjoyable read that I will definitely revisit in the future when I’m in the mood for a retelling.

Marvel Avengers Book Tag

I saw this tag at Life of a Literary Nerd, and had to do it because I’m a Marvel fangirl! With Infinity Wars releasing today, I though it would be the perfect time to let the Marvel flag fly (I saw it last night and very much enjoyed it!).

140212IRON MAN

Favorite First Book

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite first books.


36174638CAPTAIN AMERICA

Book that Takes Place in a Different Time

The Song of Achilles by Mais one of my favorite reads of the year so far! I absolutely loved this retelling set in Ancient Greece.

 


THOR

murtagh

A Book Character You Liked More After They Were Casted

 

Murtagh is a character from Outlander that was always fun to have around in the books, but the character in the TV show (played by Duncan Lacroix) is just absolutely amazing. I’m glad that they changed his storyline a little so he has stuck around!


22055262QUICKSILVER AND SCARLET WITCH

A Book With A Sibling Duo

The duo that immediately comes to mind are the Dane twins from A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, who are absolutely evil.


LOKI

darkling
FanArt by PhantomRin (Red Bubble)
A Villain That You Love and Can’t Help Being Attracted To

I think I speak for the majority of the Grisha community when I say I love the Darkling from the Shadow and Bone series. I still haven’t finished the last two (I skimmed the second one a while ago cause I wasn’t a huge fan), but I am planning on reading them all this year!

 


23395680ANTMAN

A Book I’ve Been Meaning To Read

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman has been on my TBR since it came out! I’ve been reading to read this forever (and own the entire trilogy!) so hopefully I’ll be picking it up soon.


THE HULK

A Book You Can’t Talk About Without Getting Angry

I try not to be super negative when talking about books, because each one is a work of art that can be interpreted differently by others! But…one book I always feel a little disappointed in is Red Queen, which had a lot of elements that weren’t my cup of tea.


elain
FanArt by Charlie Bowater (Society6)

BLACK WIDOW

A Side Character That You Wish Had Their Own Book

I really love Elain Archeron from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I feel that she is such a nuanced character that we don’t know much about and who needs a bit of a redemption. I know there are a few more books planned in the ACOTAR series, and I hope that she is featured in one of them!

February Reading Wrap-Up

I decided to try a fun new way to summarize my monthly reading: an infographic!February Reading Wrap-Up

Review Links:

If you’d like to, check out my review for The Iliad, my pick for the A Classic a Month Challenge.

Review: The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller36174638

Published: September 20, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads

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.

The Song of Achilles sets out to humanize the immortal hero Achilles, and accomplishes this as well as introduces a heart-wrenching romance to the classic story that had me sobbing in agony by the end.

I’m glad that I read The Iliad before picking this up because I was able to understand a few hints and analogies (such as when Achilles inadvertently cuts off his father when he’s telling a VERY IMPORTANT story) that would have gone over my head otherwise. I’ll admit that I was not very familiar with the non-Homeric Achilles myth, so some aspects of the plot were brand new to me.

Patroclus is a wonderful and caring character who I absolutely loved. Seeing him and Achilles grow together was an enchantingly beautiful experience, and was by far my favorite part. Being able to see the Trojan war through the eyes of a man rather than one of the gods was refreshing and added layers to the scene that the original text glossed over in the interest of contributing to the epic myth.

Achilles is pretty childish in The Iliad, and he remains so in this interpretation of the classic. However, Miller does an amazing job humanizing the immortalized hero, making him more than a spoiled child having a tantrum. By the end, I was crying at all of the pain the characters felt. This is definitely a book that I will pickup and reread, both because of the beauty of the relationship and the prose which I was enraptured by.