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Book Review

Book Review: The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles
By Madeline Miller
Released: 2011


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. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, 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 then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

There was a deadly army outside layers of walls that protected my stone cold heart. Madeline Miller swiftly slaughtered that army and crumbled the walls with ease. She proceeded to soften my heart and pull me into one of the greatest love stories I’ve read… Then she ripped my heart from my chest, pierced it with an arrow, and left me for dead. ♡

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.

A week later…
Whew, dramatics aside now that I’ve had some time to recover. I’m still ruined, I will never recover. The Song of Achilles will stay with me until my last breath.

At least once a dinner he would turn and catch me before I could feign indifference. Those seconds, half seconds, that the line of our gaze connected, were the only moment in my day that I felt anything at all. The sudden swoop of my stomach, the coursing anger. I was like a fish eyeing the hook.

I usually avoid books that ruin people like the plague. I don’t enjoy ink on paper that tears me apart piece by piece until I’m at the author’s beck and call. Madeline Miller, however, can call on me anytime. I will jump off a jagged cliff with a slight nod of her brilliant head. I will eagerly soak up anything that she so elequently writes and I will absolutely love every word.

I took my time reading The Song of Achilles and I am so glad that I did. There are a lot of things I’ve read where I’d rather have my time back thank you very much, but this was not one of them. To say I wholly enjoyed this isn’t going far enough. It is an “all-time favorite” quality read.

Odysseus inclines his head. “True. But fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another.” He spread his broad hands. “We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory. Who knows?” He smiles. “Perhaps one day even I will be famous. Perhaps more famous than you.”

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