The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Here is my review from goodreads:
Ok, so I finished this book a few hours ago (and haven’t been able to read anything since). I’ve thought hard about my review, not because I want people to like it, but because I’m trying to do justice to this amazing book. I can’t remember how I found this book, but I am so grateful I did. I don’t know how to describe my reaction to this book…I love it (duh), the writing is beautiful, the characters are so full and real, the pace was good (not too fast, not too slow), Miller wove in mythology and Homer’s epics well.....But more than all parts, the book just…resonates.
I’ve read the Odyssey and I’ve read bits of the Iliad for school, including scenes with Achilles and I’ve learned about Classical mythology. So, I’ve got a good idea of the myths and Achilles’ story. All of that being said, I’ve met an entirely new person/character in this book (technically two). This Achilles is not the one I imagined from the Iliad and I’m so happy I got to know some version of Patroclus more. And more wonderful still was watching their relationship develop, strengthen and deepen. Their relationship is so…good. To me, it’s so real and genuine and honest. They know the best and worst of each other and never once does it change how they feel towards one another. I’ll admit I was afraid that their relationship would come across as unbelievable and wouldn’t work. That is not the case. Theirs is true love and it works…will always work.
As for the plot and pace of the novel, both were wonderful. I love having rich details in novels, especially historical fiction novels, and Miller did not disappoint. From everything I’ve learned of ancient Greece and from everything I’ve read, the book’s culture rang true. As for the plot, if you know anything about the Iliad you already know the ending, and if you know anything about Achilles’ you probably know his fate. This being said, I was anxious and tense to find out what happened. I was really curious how Miller would tie in her story to traditional myths and poems and she did an amazing job.
The ending kind of broke my heart because it was done so beautifully and the emotion was so real. I’ll admit that though I love books and I can get lost in them, I very rarely cry (I think Harry Potter is one of the only series to have caused tears…and there are some things that cannot be forgiven J.K….but I digress), but between the final scenes and the ending, I was sniffling.
Ultimately my review is trying to say that this book is amazing and I can’t recommend it enough. I’m very interested in reading more by Miller, but I can’t help but think that my connection and journey with Patroclus and Achilles will be my favorite.
My only complaint: I have no idea what to read now. Seriously, I’m still dazed and I think that’ll last for quite a while…..we are talking about an immortal story after all.
~ Happy Reading ~