The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Genres: romance, historical, mythology, lgbt
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 differences, 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’s 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.
*Cue ugly, ugly crying*
I knew right from the start that I’d struggle though this book, but not in a bad way. Miller handles the creeping inevitability of the ending beautifully and even though I very rarely get emotional over a story, or overly invested in romances, I had to break up my reading to handle it.
The writing is gorgeous and the characters (especially Patroclus, but also Odysseus, Chiron and Thetis) are wonderfully nuanced. Miller avoids dully reciting the events of the Trojan War by focussing on the lives and relationship of Patroclus and Achilles. This also helps to humanise Achilles — in many portrayals he comes of as an arrogant bully. Through Patroclus’ eyes we are able to see all the other, more positive aspects of his character and to understand where his arrogance comes from.
I adored this novel, the story was well paced and I enjoyed seeing some of my lesser known mythological favourites turn up, but of course the marvellous characters and imagery were the real stars. This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time.
*noisily blows nose*