Friday, May 11, 2012

The Song of Achilles - Book Review

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller, is a page-turning novel that brings us the back story of Achilles and his friend Patroclus. Set in Greece in the age of Gods and heros, Patroclus is introduced as an awkward and self-conscious young prince who accidentally kills a boy and is then exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. There, he is raised by King Peleus, the father of Achilles. Achilles is the complete opposite of Patroclus - handsome, strong, God-like. The two become close friends, and eventually, lovers. The Song of Achilles becomes a tale of love and betrayal, the long Trojan War serving as the backdrop.

Miller creates a complex character in Patroclus, and captures his insecurities and loneliness, his devotion to Achilles and to friendships. The scenes of war are exciting, with the young half-God Achilles discovering how perfectly he is made for war - Aristos Achaion, greatest of the Greeks. The interplay between Gods and mortals is mysterious, neither side ever in full control. The Song of Achilles weaves such a intense story that it`s hard not to get caught up in their world. If you love Greek myths, I strongly recommend The Song of Achilles, as it is a beautifully written story that gives readers a different look at the Trojan War.

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