Sunday, December 11, 2011

Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

There are some books that stay with you long after you finished the last page. Madeline Miller’s lyrical novel, Song of Achilles is one of them.

I’ve long been a fan of Greek mythology and as a geeky teenager totally enchanted by stories of the gods, goddesses and heroes such as Achilles and Hercules.

The Song of Achilles is told from the perspective of Patroclus, detailing the development of his relationship with Achilles.

Set against the backdrop of the Trojan war, the unfolding of the love story between Patroclus, an exiled prince, and Achilles is wonderfully nuanced.

The writing is clean, clear and flows naturally. I loved the way Miller’s story features the Gods and creatures like centaurs as ordinary characters.

The book is also a satisfying page turner as the two lovers head of to the Trojan war and attempt to defy what the Gods have ordained as Achilles fate: to die a young but glorious death.

In the end the book is really more about Patroclus, rather than Achilles. It is through Patroclus’ actions that we understand what it is to be human and humane.

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