ARC Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, 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 then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.


Disclaimer: I was provided with a Physical copy of the book by Bloomsbury India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This is the second read for the #BloomsburyAwardWinning month long Readathon from October 15th to November 15th.  

I read Circe by Madeline Miller (Read My Review) and instantaneously fell head over heels in love with the talent of the author to put forward a mythological character in a way that I not only identified with, but also respected by the end of the book.

Song of Achilles, though was her debut book; that somehow ended up on my TBR but I never honestly picked it up – suffering from the over expectation syndrome (wherein you don’t pick up a book because you assume that it would crush you if it didn’t meet your expectation!) 

But The Song of Achilles turned out to be quite different from what I had expected – it is, at the core of it, is a love story for the ages. Told in the POV of Patroclus – an “orphan and his connection with Achilles; a connection that is as beautiful as it is heart-wrenchingly sad.

Theirs is a connection that is terrifyingly real and one that needs to be felt rather than talked about – that’s exactly where the talent of the author comes into play – and it’s a talent that the author uses mesmerizingly. The connection is slow burn in its’ intensity; and its intensity is exactly what captured my attention and I just couldn’t let go, even if the plot slowed itself down in the middle.

And since the intensity that was expressed perfectly; the feelings, the emotions so raw and unfiltered that kept me going and the love shared, never professed but always felt is the foundation of the plot – the foundation of exactly what a great love story for the prose but never ever saw the light of the day.

While the Trojan War is an interesting addition; it did muddle the plot a bit – introduction to many new characters; characters that do not get enough background, enough character development, which somehow interferes with the Patroclus and Achille’s relationship without ever losing the intensity of their feelings for each other.

I fell in love with Madeline Miller’s writing style in Circe but the Song of Achilles cements my adoration for her talent as well. 

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .75


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