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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | Review

8:48:00 PM

Pages: 352
Publication Date: September 20th 2011  
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408816032 (ISBN13: 9781408816035)
Genre: Historical Fiction & Greek Mythology

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 difference, 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' 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.

Now, What I Thought:

Wow. Just wow. I literally just finished this masterpiece 5 minutes ago and knew I had to write a review on it! I stopped reading The Winner's Curse and ACOMAF just to read this quickly. I love Greek Mythology. Especially the famous Trojan War!!! This novel is basically a new take on Homer's Iliad, and it was amazing. I first heard that this book was going to be following Achille's best friend Patroclus through his journey in meeting Achilles and finally, his death. This book really was like Romeo and Juliet in a way, we all knew what was going to happen so to add a romance in this!!?? Damn. I first handedly thought this would turn into some over-kill fan fiction of a love between Patroclus and Achilles but boy was I wrong. It was so sweet. The romance in this was lovely! I wouldn't have it any other way. It was perfectly paced, some might say slow even. Yet, all I could think about was the fact they were both going to die. I really liked how Miller wrote it though. She made their deaths so comforting and I didn't feel like they were gone at all. A lot of this novel is true to fact. I was quite impressed with the accuracy of the mythology in this! We get some pretty big mythological characters such as, Odysseus, Apollo, Chiron, and Thetis was pretty big in this. I liked how Miller portrayed the Gods, she made them true. The world in Greek mythology is not a nice one and the Gods and Goddesses go with that statement as well. Too often in mythology books we get them with a caring side or a less-brutish aspect to their personality. Like. No. That is not how they were. Half of them were warriors, mean warriors that killed in battle and wars. The other half used other wits and attributes to get what they want and most of said things are not mortal-friendly. They were above mortals and they knew and showed it. Miller captured that and I was really grateful for it! 

My favourite character had to be Patroclus, and not just because he was the main character. He was impulsive and unimpressive and really boring with what he can do. He brought nothing to the table and that was why his father hated him. I loved the fact that our protagonist was someone, even a prince, oppressed and unliked just because he wasn't a fast runner, good fighter etc. There were times when he would self-pity himself but that's when Achilles would come in and make sure he knew he was worth something. The romance between Achilles and Patroclus was just magical. I loved it from start to finish. They were inseparable and truly loved each other. I liked how Miller took us through their youth and manhood while they experimented with each other. It brought a vulnerability to the characters that I liked having because I felt like I could trust them more. Patroclus made an excellent narrator. 

It's difficult to say anything about Achilles because I didn't feel like I knew him well enough. I knew he loved Patroclus with all his heart but he was written in a way that was closed off. Unless we got a P.O.V chapter from him, I didn't know what he was thinking most of the time. I did like reading about him though, through Patroclus's view. Miller made a brutish legend of myth and story turn into a well paced romance that payed tribute to mythology. It was well balanced and even then the romance did come on a shorter stick sometimes but it was always there. Whether it was a simple line with Patroclus saying, "Achilles hesitated and his eyes went to me, just the barest glance." You knew Achilles was always in love with Patroclus, maybe even from the moment he first saw him. Speaking of lines, there are some great quotes that are literally game changers. 

"Instead, he rang each syllable: Pa-tro-clus."

"I conjure the boy I knew. Achilles, grinning as the figs blur in his hands. His green eyes laughing into mine. Catch, he says. Achilles, outlined against the sky, hanging from a branch over the river. The thick warmth of his sleepy breath against my ear. If you have to go, I will go with you. My fears forgotten in the golden harbor of his arms."

“Name one hero who was happy."
I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason's children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus' back.
"You can't." He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
"I can't."
"I know. They never let you be famous AND happy." He lifted an eyebrow. "I'll tell you a secret."
"Tell me." I loved it when he was like this.
"I'm going to be the first." 

That last one got to me. WOULD YOU NOT SWOON IF SOMEONE SAID THAT TO YOU!??!? In conclusion, the novel was simply amazing. I can't express how glad I am that I read this. It does not have a sad ending. I was worried that I would read this and go into mourning like usual YA books leave me in but it was sweet and a perfect end for Achilles and Patroclus. If you are a lover of Greek mythology, read this. Instantly. Now. Go. NOW, PLEASE. You will not regret it. 

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