Books

[Review] The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

3 Things About This Book
| Retelling of Patroclus and Achilles from Greek Mythology | The Perfect Angst With A Happy Ending | Explorations of Pride and Ego, Grief and Love |


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Published: 2011 by Bloomsbury
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages:
352
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781408891384
Goodreads
Amazon
Book Depository
Kinokuniya


The most beautiful, heartrending romance I’ve read in foreverThe Song of Achilles is a book I never want to surface from. Every book I’ve read after this has failed to inspire an obsession akin to the one I have for this and I don’t think there’ll be another like this anytime soon. After all, how many recently published books out there have wholly committed to being a tragedy? How many recently published books out there have their darlings killed? Practically none so yeah, here’s me sobbing my heart out yet loving every bit of Miller’s retelling of Achilles and Patroclus.

Told primarily from Patroclus’ perspective, we witness the boys grow from children to adults, going through the chapters of their life where the ups are so sweet and golden like a dream while the downs range from an accidental prick to a finger to a strange static as though the world has gone grey and mute, and then, so immense pain and heartbreak. Everyone aware of Achilles and Patroclus from Greek Mythology would know how it ends because there’s no other way unless a writer decides to be kind and change their fates. However, as alluded to earlier, The Song of Achilles is a tragedy—the deaths of Achilles and Patroclus caused by none other than Achilles’ own hubris.

I’m incredibly thankful for the brief respite at the end, though. As much as I love tragedies and angst, I wouldn’t be able to wholly stand it without some sweet or hopeful moments to counter all the sadness. That said, this book is brilliantly written, despite its simplistic prose. The imagery is powerful, the emotions are intense, and the characters are so, so human. The inevitability of the tragedy just makes every moment spent with and in the characters’ shoes all the more meaningful and memorable.


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