REVIEW: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

REVIEW: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

‘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 differences, 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’s 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 fulfil 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’

 

This is one of those rare books that actually lives up to the hype! I loved absolutely everything about it from the writing style to the characters. I could not put it down.

Although I am definitely very late to the hype, I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book because it was brilliant. Miller brings to life ancient Greece and reinvigorates the story of Achilles that people know so well. I think that Greek Mythology is fascinating and I will admit, Hercules is one of my favourite Disney films, so The Song of Achilles was an absolute treat for me.

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

I really enjoyed the way that Miller focused on Achilles relationships rather than just the ‘hero’ story. I loved watching his relationship with Patroclus grow and my heart broke for them both several times throughout the book, particularly at the end. After reading this book it made me want to find out more about Achilles as I knew his story but not in much detail and I ended up in a click-hole (we’ve all been there) of information about the nature of his relationships with Patroclus, who I had not actually hear of until reading this book. It was all really interesting and I like that this book made me want to learn more. It made me excited about history which is always a good thing!

What Miller did particularly well was make Achilles’ relationship with his Goddess mother also one of the main themes in the book. The character of Thetis was brilliant in her own right and although she is some what of the villain in this story, she was one of my favourites as she was so well written and developed. Millers descriptions of her were so detailed that I could picture her through all of her changing appearances.  Her complicated relationship with her son (who I think she half despised because of his ‘human’ descendance) added a dimension to this novel that made it more than just a love story or war story.

I don’t want to give too much else away as going into this book somewhat blind (as I did) makes it such a wonderful and surprising journey. Miller is an exceptional writer and story teller and I can’t wait to read more from her!

Thanks for reading! Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!