Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Publication: August 2012 by Ecco
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology (Greek)
Why I Chose It: It was recommended by a former co-worker and has been on the library Staff Pick shelf.
Cover Art Rating: ★★ (I prefer the hardcover art.)
Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful— irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice. (From Goodreads)
Let me first start by saying that when I picked this book up a few days ago I wasn’t really expecting much. As you may recall, it’s been quite awhile since I blogged about books and even longer since I read anything that truly excited me in any way. The last few months have been a seemingly never ending series of starts and stops with books that just couldn’t hold my interest long enough for me to finish them. This book broke my reading slump. I sat down with The Song of Achilles this past Tuesday and ended up 250 pages deep before bed!
Miller really does phenomenal work weaving what we already know about Greek Mythology and the Trojan War with a fictional storyline that not only suits the time period but really evokes as sense of realism. Achilles and Patroclus, his companion, are the main characters throughout the novel and we follow them from their first meeting all the way to the end of the Trojan War. (I won’t spoil it for you just in case you are not brushed up on your mythology.)
For a book written about a topic of which I already knew the outcome I have to say I was still completely gripped by it and couldn’t stop reading! It’s likely I would have finished the book in one night had I not needed to get up early the next day.
I would absolutely recommend this book!