The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Review

June is turning out to be my best reading month of the year so far! Today I have a spoiler-free review of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller for you. Thank you to Karina’s Thoughts for making me read this book, I absolutely loved it.image1 (14)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  • UK paperback – 352 pages
  • Release date: 12th of April 2012
  • Published by Bloomsbury
  • ISBN: 1408821982
  • Goodreads page for The Song of Achilles here!

I am so glad I finally read this book! Miller’s writing is absolutely wonderful. I firstly wanted to mention that it took Miller 10 years to write this book and she has an MA in Classics. I love that she studied Ancient Greece academically before deciding to write a book retelling the mythology.

This book was detailed and descriptive, but at the same time very easy to read. Her world-building was brilliant and really transported me there. I loved learning about each kingdom, though I would have liked a map. The book was really easy to follow, even for someone who knows very little about Greek mythology. I really enjoyed the pace of this book and was never bored as it was so full of twists and turns.

Both Achilles and Patroclus were wonderful characters. I loved reading about them and really enjoyed reading from Patroclus’s POV. I always love stories where we follow the main characters from a young age through their lives. I’ll definitely be thinking about these two characters for a long time. As I mentioned before, I know nothing about Greek mythology, but I loved that this retelling of their story wrote the characters as gay (maybe bisexual in Patroclus’s case?). It’s always great to see gay characters in history/fantasy (not sure this exact genre) and it always makes me realise just how heterosexual the majority of books sadly are.

I wont say much about the plot, I think if you don’t already know this story then it’s best to read it knowing nothing. It was a really great to read about Greek mythology and I definitely want to read some more in the future. The ending of this book was one of the most poignant endings I’ve read in a long time, I am not sure I will ever forget it!

Trigger Warning: As this is a retelling of mythology it features things like sacrifice, violence, mentions of rape and self-harm.

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9 thoughts on “The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Review

  1. I’m reading this now and enjoying it so much! My experience of Greek mythology/ancient culture is through Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and Megan Whelan Turner’s Queen’s Thief series (although her characters and setting are inspired by ancient Greek culture and not based on it). I’m planning to read Captive Prince next.

    1. Ooh I’ve been seeing the Queen’s Thief series around a lot recently! Captive Prince I gave 3 stars, I’d definitely say trigger warning for slavery and dubious / non-consensual acts in book 1, but the characters develop so well throughout the series!

      1. Oh! Thanks for the warning!

        The fifth book in the Queen’s Thief series just came out in May which is probably why it’s been talked about so much lately. It’s a really good series.

        1. Oh wow, I must get my hands on them one day! Yeah a lot of people don’t enjoy the first book as much, but I’d definitely keep reading because it gets much better hehe.

  2. I was never a fan of Achilles, my modern sensibilities never understood his hunger for glory. This book changed everything tbh. I loved it so much, glad to see that you enjoyed it!

    1. I hardly knew anything about Greek mythology before. Yeah, I found him a little frustrating and was oddly glad about what happened so he would finally realise what he’d done haha. P.S. how wasn’t I already following your blog? I was sure I already did!

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