Thursday, January 19, 2017
Review: The Song of Achilles
Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Year published: 2011
How I got this book: Bought it through BookDepository (affiliate link)
My rating: 5 stars
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 the 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.
I have had this on my shelf forever, always wanting to get around to picking it up. I am so glad that I finally did. I didn't have high expectations for this, mainly because I wasn't as excited as I used to be since it spent so long on my shelf, but I was so wrong. This is a novel which has Patroclus and Achilles as its main characters, Achilles being the famous hero from Greek mythology. For me, the fact that I knew quite a lot of the mythology was a big advantage, but it is by no means necessary to be able to enjoy this book.
The friendship and romance is this book's strong suit. Even though I knew how it would end, I couldn't help rooting for them, and hoping that maybe, just this time, it would end differently. The fact that it didn't, no surprise there, still broke my heart. You connect with the characters, and you want the best for them.
One of the most interesting parts of it, to me, was how Achilles changed during the Trojan war. We follow him, as his reputation and destiny goes to his head, and his pride gets too much. We see him through Patroclus eyes, and how much Achilles is hurting Patroclus and the others around him, because of his pride. Achilles goes from being this lovable character, so someone you want to shake and yell at, to get it together. In the end, Patroclus deserved so much better. Yes, it was obvious Achilles still loved him, but he also loved himself more.
At the end of the day, this is probably not going to be a book for everyone, though I wish it was. It includes LGBTQ+ themes, without forcing them on you or making it seem forced. It is a fantastic story, and I wish everyone would read it. I will definitely be recommending this to a couple of my friends, and hope they will read it as well. If you are interested in Greek mythology, or this book seems interesting, you should give it a try. If you don't like it, you can always put it down, but you'll never know unless you try it.
Buy this book?
BookDepository (worldwide, affiliate link)