The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Finally I have dipped my toe into the world of Greek myth retellings. Thanks to two lovely bookstagram buddies, I picked up ‘The Song of Achilles’ for a buddy read.

I really enjoyed this book, so, again I am left pondering why it has been left so long on my to-be-read pile and maybe the others in this genre should be picked up sooner rather than later. (I realise you can all hold me to that when I am still to pick them up – so many books, so little time.)

‘The Song of Achilles’ is a retelling of the story of Achilles from the point of view of his loyal lover Patroclus. From their first meeting until their inevitable separation, we follow them as Achilles can not avoid living to fulfil the prophecy, evern if it leads to a heartbreaking conclusion. With much of this tale set during the war with Troy.

This is possibly one of the most beautiful love stories ever told. However infuriating Achilles can be at times, with his arrogance, the love he and Patroclus share is true. It worried me that some of Patroclus’ actions are due to him being blinded by love. However, it is clear that they are meant to be.

This book is a nice way in to an interest in the Greek tales. I am now interested to find out more. I have an awareness of a lot of the famous figures and tales, but this has certainly given me a desire to find out more – it is certainly complex. Although, I do have some issues with the treatment of women, one of the strongest characters in this book is Briseis. Despite starting as a prize from warm she becomes a loyal friend to Patroclus, even falling in love with him. She is certainly a balance, and a very strong woman.

This is a beautifully written book which engages the reader from the start. And the final two lines of the book are some of the most moving I have ever read.

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