The Song of Achilles – My favorite myth gets revamped

madeline-miller-the-song-of-achilles

Title : The Song of Achilles

Author : Madeline Miller

Publication date : September 20th, 2011

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre : Adult | Fantasy – Historical Fiction

Synopsis : 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 difference, 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’ 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
. 
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 4 stars

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“I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.
If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it, to hold that swelling truth.
As if he had heard me, he reached for my hand. I did not need to look; his fingers were etched into my memory, slender and petal-veined, strong and quick and never wrong.
“Patroclus,” he said. He was always better with words than I.”

(No Spoilers)

Well what’s better than being a HUGE greek mythology lover and reading this book? It’s having Achilles’ myth as your favorite AND reading this book. And that’s me, folks! ME!!! But the thing is… I didn’t love this as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I did love it but I think it was too hyped up to me and that kind of ruined it a bit. That being said, I still have many things to rave about -as per usual- that will hopefully get you to read this book. BECAUSE IT IS GOOD.

First things first (No. No realest), the writing is very poised and poetic, it suits the kind of narrative the story needs perfectly. The descriptions are on point, I might add. Especially when it comes to battle scenes, they’re gripping and left me panting afterwards because of how good and intense they were. To be honest, the writing is what kept me loving the story even when I didn’t care much for what was happening. Yes, that’s how good it is.

I went into this blind, I didn’t even read the synopsis, all I knew was what other people told me, meaning: It’s about Achilles and he’s gay. So, imagine my surprise when I realized how accurate and authentic this was to the original myth. The Illiad version that is, because for those of you who didn’t know there is a version from the Illiad which is this one and another one in which Achilles was put in a lake to gain immortality and that left the ankle by which his mother was holding him as his only weak spot. The latter is my favorite one, I was a bit disappointed when it wasn’t the one used in the book. I might add that I quickly got over that fact because I was too busy being fascinated with all the politics and laws talks as well as the works of war, honor and relationships which are some of the best aspects of Greek Mythology, in my opinion.

The story is told from Patroclus’s point of view which was a refreshing set of eyes on a beloved myth of mine. Not being much into war and fights and things that were considered manly back then, he depicted the cruelty and violence or it all with great accuracy and we also got a very interesting take on Achilles, his personnality and way of thinking. It is truly brilliant because Patroclus is kind of on the side lines for most of the story which gives us a “panoramic” view of things as he saw them. The only slight problem I had is that I felt like the story dragged on for a bit which prevented me from being as emotional as others might have been when that tragic ending came into sight. That might also be because I’m a heartless superhooman and nothing can break me.

So, I’m gonna be completely honest with you and don’t trash me until you’re done with the paragraph. I started off really hating Patroclus, I was VERY annoyed with him. For the first half of the book, he felt dull, erased and too absorbed in Achilles to be his own person. But then the went through remarquable character development and around 23 years old he became fantastic and I loved him to pieces. He started thinking for himself, seeing Achilles’ flaws and being the bravest little pumpkin while still having his vulnerability untouched. I just wanted to hug his precious face. (Can someone hug a face?)

As for Achilles, well I loved him, I was about to dislike how perfect he was and the remembered he was a demi-God, facepalmed and moved on with my life. At first. But then I hated him. HE WAS SO FREAKING ARROGANT. ggnd prjpg gfldopqm (No I didn’t fall asleep on my keyboard).I know that he’s almighty and the best fighter in all of the land and blablabla, and it’s good that he’s confident and acknowledges it but there is a fine line between that and being an arrogant brat. Which he became in the second half of the book. It ended up being his undoing. GOOD!

What I loved beyond everything (ok maybe not everything) is their chemistry. OH MY GOD!! I lived for the intimate moments *swoons* and Achilles was a changed person with Patroclus who tamed and grounded him.

All in all, give me anything Ancient Greece and I’ll devour it because those are stories that are REALLY hard to screw up and the author here managed to do a great job in highlighting certain parts of the original myth while bringing her own twist to it.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read The Song of Achilles? If so, what did you think of it?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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29 thoughts on “The Song of Achilles – My favorite myth gets revamped

  1. WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET?! It sounds so beautiful and lovely and AHHHH I need to get this book read! The characters seem so great and I can’t wait to get to it! I’m TERRIBLE though and as much as I’m interested, I haven’t read the ori. myth yet, should I read that before setting into this one? GREAT review! So happy you enjoyed! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a brilliant review Fadwa. I’ve read The Song of Achilles and it is now one of my all-time favourite books. I’m a massive fan of Greek mythology, I haven’t read The Iliad yet but I did know how the story goes so I knew how it would end for both Achilles and Patroclus, but I was still heartbroken when it actually happened. It’s been months and I still don’t think I’m completely over this book.
    I agree with you about Achilles, he was really arrogant but I liked who he became around Patroclus, and I loved their chemistry and their life together as well (I really wanted a happy ending for them both!)

    Liked by 1 person

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