Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I bought this book and reviewed it.
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved mythology, especially Greek, and it's definitely become even more appealing to me as an adult. I haven't read the Aeneid, or the Iliad, or the Odyssey, (yet!) but when I saw that this was about Achilles, one of the greatest Greek heroes of all time, I just knew I had to have it. And I'm so glad I bought it.
This book makes classical Greek works more accessible to young adults, and I love that. I love that this took The Iliad, and not only made Achilles a hero, but a gay one at that! This book, by all accounts, is not just a retelling--it is a bittersweet, gorgeous love story that made me cry.
Patroclus, an exiled prince, is forced to go to Pithia, and his life changes forever when he meets Achilles, a demigod, and eventually, his best friend and his lover. The two journey to Troy to change the tide of the war, but that isn't nearly so easy with various gods trying to even the playing field in their favor. The focus of this story, for me, was not the war, but the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. It was flawed and complicated, and heartbreaking in its reality--even more so because of the time period.
I think Miller did a fantastic job--a fascinating character study of one of the most profound heroes in history. I felt like I knew all the characters in the book intimately. But unfortunately, it wasn't exactly perfect. The constant shifts in tenses had me entirely confused, but luckily it wasn't a huge part of the book. The bottom line: Highly recommended for fans of Greek mythology, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Song of Achilles is a triumphant, heartbreaking novel about love and war! Next on deck: Siren's Song by Heather McCollum!