The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

After reading Circe, I was very excited to go back and read Miller’s first book. The Song of Achilles tells the story of Patroclus, who I hadn’t even heard of before this book! Patroclus; son of King Menoetius, has had a difficult childhood, whilst he tries his best he continues to be a disappointment to his father and those around him. The other boys taunt him and take his things, he feels worthless. One day he snaps and fights back, with terrible consequences resulting in him being exiled.

He is exiled to the court of King Peleus and at first his life is no different to how it was before, then one day Achilles; Peleus’ son, hands him the olive branch that will change his fate. Patroclus and Achilles strike up a friendship that blossoms into something beautiful that will last their lifetimes.

When Achilles is brought to Chiron’s cave to be taught, Patroclus comes with him. As Achilles proves his strength as a warrior, Patroclus learns about medicine; and these two boys leave Chiron’s cave as men.

The story then continues and picks up the more familiar Trojan war, as Achilles fulfils his destiny and we learn of Patroclus’ skills in healing the injured.

What fascinates me most about Miller’s style is the combination of familiar greek myths and excellent story telling. She takes the lesser-known greek mythological characters and tells their stories. I loved that whilst the story follows Achilles rise to being a great warrior, it was told from Patroclus’ perspective. Patroclus’ gentle and thoughtful nature added such depth to the story and I even enjoyed the chapters at the Trojan war, which is unusual as I’m not a fan of war depictions or scenes.

Miller has taken greek mythology and brought it into the 21st century, her writing style makes learning about these mythological characters so accessible, as whilst her plot is jam-packed with detail, it flows very naturally and more in line with the modern style we’ve become accustomed to.

Fascinating and insightful, this is a book that will grip you throughout and offer you a different insight on a warrior you thought you knew.

The Song of Achilles is out now in paperback and eBook versions from Bloomsbury Modern Classics.

Stay safe everyone ♡

Until next time, Chloé x

2 replies to “The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  1. Nice review, Chloé. I loved this book and I thought Patroclus was a brilliantly written protagonist. Glad you enjoyed it, too! I finished reading Circe last week – that was good too, although I enjoyed this one more.

    Liked by 1 person

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