The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Source: Library book club
Genres: Mythology, Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: 12th April 2012
Synopsis/Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
“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 differences, 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’s 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.”
My Thoughts & Review
So, for our December book club read we finally managed to get The Songs of Achilles. It was actually me who had convinced the group to put it down on the list of books for the librarian to get for us. I choose this book for the group for two reasons the first being I had heard lots of wonderful things about it and secondly because I had read Circe and had really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to read this one. (I was going to read this book anyway). In fact, I had convinced myself I would love this one just as much as Circe even before I started it.
Now I’ve read it I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong I loved the beautiful writing style but I did notice some inconstancy in the past and present tenses used. This is where I got a bit confused. I couldn’t work out whether the story was being told in present tense or past tense. While reading I was reading I noticed that one minute I was reading something in present tense and the next it jumped back into past, but at the same time everything was happening in time sequence. At this point I had to go back and re-read the whole chapter just to make sure I wasn’t missing something.
The plot on the other hand was really interesting and well done. I loved reading about and following the growing relationship between Patroclus and Achilles. My favourite character from the whole book was Patroclus. I can’t actually work out why but I felt sorry for him at the beginning and when his friendship grows with Achilles my heart really wanted him to be happy.
Overall a good read, but I think I made the mistake of reading Circe first, and then setting my expectations too high for this book. I think if I had read this book first I would have had a very different opinion. I therefore highly recommend you read this book first and then Circe, if you haven’t read either of these yet. It’s not necessary to read them in this order but as I said I enjoyed Circe much more.
I wasn’t able to make the book club meeting but, I spoke to a couple of my friends before the meeting and they said they loved it. Neither of them have read Circe so I think it sort of proves my theory that I should have read this one first
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.