Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published:  September 20th 2011 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Blurb:  Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men 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, Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

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.

My Review: 

To tell you the truth,I would have rated this book a million stars if there was such an option.The Song of Achilles is supposed to be a different version of Homer's ballad Iliad,told from Patroclus' point of view.But sadly,I have not had the opportunity to find out for myself.We did not read about this one at school.We only read about the Trojan War.So,unlike many others,I was not able to predict the storyline.For me,the experience was like reading a brand new book which I knew nothing about.At first I didn't think that I'd be able to get into it,but slowly,bit by bit,I found myself digging deeper and deeper.Every emotion of mine reacted to Patroclus' own.And let's not forget the fact that the ending broke my heart.I don't know if this counts as a spoiler since most people already know the story,but I still gave a heads up just in case.It was really painful,reading about Patroclus watching Achilles' actions after his death.I had tears pricking at my eyes when I got to that part.And while the ending was a heartbreaking,it was also a happy ending in a way since Patroclus and Achilles do get united, even though it may be in the afterlife.I officially hate Thetis,since if it weren't for her Patroclus and Achilles would have been a whole lot better.Even though Achilles is the good guy,I feel that he's a total jerk.Like Briseis said,Patroclus deserved a lot better.Actually,when it comes to Achilles,my feelings are mixed.There are times when I feel like I could hug him,while at other times,I feel like punching him in the face.Patroclus should've totally left Achilles for Briseis,but then again if that happened,there would'nt be a story.I'd recommend this to anyone who simply loves reading,though a bit more to fans of Greek mythology and romance.

Favourite quote from the book:
In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk.Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood, like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun.

(P.S. You'll understand the significance of this quote once you've read the story.)

View all my reviews


  1. A million stars?! Must be a SUPER DUPER AWESOME book! Anyway, I think I want to read this. Thanks for the review! :)

    Mary @ Books Equal Brains

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