Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Genre: Fantasy Retelling
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 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 had extremely high expectations heading into The Song of Achilles, and while I gave it four stars, I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed by it. I thought that I would love it so much more than I did, and to be honest, I’m not sure why it didn’t really hit with me.
I know that The Song of Achilles is a book that normally makes people emotional, but for me, it just didn’t really hit. Maybe this was because I knew what was coming because Greek Myths are something that I love, but I partly think it was down to me not really connecting with the characters. I only really liked Patroclus, but even then, I didn’t really connect with him, and while I did feel for his situation, I just wasn’t as invested as I normally like to be. I found myself getting annoyed with all of the other characters, but I think that is what Madeline Miller was going for; we are meant to get annoyed at how selfish all the characters are.
I knew most of the plot of The Song of Achilles heading into it, but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment I got out of the book. Madeline Miller included moments that I didn’t know about that really helped flesh out the story and make the characters and elements seem a little more believable. When it comes to the romance within The Song of Achilles, I didn’t completely get it, and while I liked the two of them together, I just didn’t see enough chemistry.
One thing that I did love was Madeline Miller’s storytelling; she has an amazing writing style that fully emerges you into the story as if you were really there. I could truly imagine myself in that area and what it must have been like through her words. The world building within The Song of Achilles is one of my stand out elements.
Overall I enjoyed reading The Song of Achilles, and while it was not completely what I was expecting, it was good nonetheless. I am looking forward to reading Madeline Miller’s other work as Circe is not a story I know well. If you haven’t already read The Song of Achilles (Because I am pretty late to this book), I do recommend checking it out, especially if Greek myth retellings are your thin.