Friday, May 17, 2019

Book Review: "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller 
Genre: Historical Fiction Retelling
Page Length: 378 pages
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Date Started: May 6, 2019
Date Finished: May 9, 2019
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

I first was introduced to this book by one of my bookstagram friends. I had started hearing about it from her and then slowly saw more and more people reading it. When I decided to pick up a copy, it was after I had finished reading The Iliad for my Ancient Lit class last fall. Ever since then, I've been excited to read this book but have kept putting it off. 

That has finally changed! I'm currently in a huge motivational streak for reading and one of my other bookstagram friends just read this for the first time and loved it. After seeing him finish it, I put it on my TBR for May and here we are!

The only reason it took me so long to finish this book was because I had finals and my last work shifts going on while I was trying to read this book. But if I'd had the time to just sit and read it, I would have finished it so much sooner. The writing style made it easy to get sucked into and read quickly. I will definitely have to try out Madeline Miller's other book because if it's written anything like this one, I know I will enjoy it.

Discussing the actual book, it's a retelling of The Iliad. Surprisingly, I hadn't read The Iliad until last fall around the same time I discovered this book. I enjoyed The Iliad a lot more than some of the other pieces we read in that literature class and I always wanted to explore it more. This book focuses specifically on Achilles and Patroclus and I loved getting to see their relationship and past explored in more depth.

Something I really loved about this was how readers saw Achilles and Patroclus from very young ages. Patroclus is narrating the book as if he's looking back on his life and telling us his story. We follow him throughout his whole life and him meeting Achilles for the first time and the beginnings of their friendship.

Following Achilles and Patroclus was wonderful. Seeing the little things between them from eating plums and racing to journeying days and weeks to find each other made me really fall in love with them. I loved that their relationship was fleshed out and explored in more depth than in The Iliad.

Of course, if you've read The Iliad then you know how this book ends. I won't say how for those who haven't read either, but even going into this book knowing how it ended didn't prepare me at all. You think you'll be fine because you know the ending already but that's just not the case.

Overall, it's hard for me to discuss books I really enjoy because I generally just want to go "ahhh" for three pages. This book was so different than anything I've been reading lately and I'm so happy I finally read it after having it for months. It was unique and different and wonderful and tugged at my heart in all the right ways. I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of Greek mythology, retellings, historical fiction, and other genres I'm sure to be missing.

Thanks for reading!

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