The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

eBook - 2012
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"At once a scholar's homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist....A book I could not put down."—Ann Patchett"Mary Renault lives again!" declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller's thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer's enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller's monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction's brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9780062060631
Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

"Miller retells the story of the Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles' bosom friend. She captures both the huge mythic scope of Achilles and his godlike gift and the feeling of Greece and Troy, the wind blowing over the ocean, the smell of olive groves, the love between two teen... Read More »

This is a love story set during the Trojan War, but perhaps my favorite thing about it was the gorgeous and sensual writing about ancient Greece, the olive groves, fig trees, and sparkling seas of the Greek islands. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

Miller retells the story of the Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles' bosom friend. She captures both the huge mythic scope of Achilles and his godlike gift and the feeling of Greece and Troy, the wind blowing over the ocean, the smell of olive groves, the love between two teenage bo... Read More »

This retelling of the legend of Achilles follows Patroclus and Achilles, the golden son of King Peleus, as they lay siege to Troy after Helen of Sparta is kidnapped. This is lyrical, and brings to life the world of Ancient Greece, the olive and orange groves, the breeze off the Aegean, the magica... Read More »

multcolib_dianaa Mar 04, 2014

Miller retells the story of the Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles' bosom friend. She captures both the huge mythic scope of Achilles and his godlike gift and the feeling of Greece and Troy, the wind blowing over the ocean, the smell of olive groves, the love between two teenage boys.

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Jan 21, 2021

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller is a tragic love story full of emotion and depth. Taken in by the father of Achilles, Peleus, young Patroclus begins as a foster boy in Peleus’ kingdom. Achilles soon takes a liking to Patroclus and from then on the two are inseparable, even though Achilles’ mother, Thetis the sea nymph, does not accept it. As they grow up, they become closer and are eventually trained by a centaur named Chiron to help prepare them for war and life. But things take a dark turn, and word is out that Helen from Sparta has been captured. All the great Greek warriors, including Achilles, trek to the city of Troy in order to rescue Helen from the clutches of Troy. Patroclus ends up blindly following Achilles in his quest for victory, driven by love and fear. Unfortunately, the war doesn’t work out the way they hoped, and sacrifices must be made.

I love Greek mythology so what I liked about this book was how it was able to teach me about a great event in mythology while also tying in a beautiful romance as well. It is very well written, I felt like I was back in Ancient Greece growing up alongside the characters. But, this is definitely not a light read as the book is packed full of history and feelings. By the end, I had cried about 5 to 6 times, the most I have ever cried over a book. What I disliked about this book was that I never knew what Achilles was thinking, as the story is told from the perspective of Patroclus. Although, it isn’t necessarily a dislike, but more me struggling to understand the mind of Achilles. Overall, this book has now become one of my all-time favorite books. It has just the right mix of romance and action to create a book that is compelling and never dull. So if you like heart-wrenching love stories and some Greek mythology, then this book is perfect for you.

Dec 07, 2020

Song Of Achilles details the journey of a famous Greek hero, Achilles, along with his lover and childhood friend Patroclus. The Trojan War is approaching rapidly; the Greeks desire to recruit Achilles into the army for his extraordinary fighting skills. Achilles is torn between the temptation of eternal glory, a dire prophecy, and protecting his lover. I went into this book with high expectations due to the intriguing plot description. I adore Greek mythology; moreover, I had prior knowledge about the Trojan War. The author did a phenomenal job of easing the reader into the mythological background with a vibrant setting and complex characters. The characters stick to their traditional origins within the Greek myths, but there is slight modernization. Achilles's and Patroculus's romance was the catalyst for most of the plot and pacing. There is much speculation around the Iliad that left historians speculating the nature of Achilles and Patroclus relationship, whether platonic or romantic. My experience in Greek retelling novels is expansive; however, I have not encountered one that made the move of creating a romantic subplot between Achilles and Patroclus. The execution was perfect. The author put in the research about ancient Greek customs, which made me appreciative of the mix of nonfiction and fiction to educate about historical traditions.
I can say with certainty that this novel is my favorite for the year 2020. It contains everything I could want: Greek mythology, a romantic subplot, controversial characters, and gentle honesty behind painful topics. I would compare the writing style to poetry; many of the lines in this novel are so descriptive and beautiful quotes that stick with me beyond the story. It reminded me of the beloved Percy Jackson series for the parallels between the Greek myth modernization and character development; however, Song Of Achilles is an adult version bringing more intense stakes to make you wonder what will happen next. Even as a person who has read the Iliad before, the ending shocked me with how brilliantly the author put it into her creative perspective; I never thought of imagining the events playing out like that. The book is a pure masterpiece, certainly a crowd-pleaser that will make you hesitate between rushing to finish it or savoring it.
Age Recommendation: 16+ , depends on maturity level
TW: Mentions of rape, female slavery, graphic violence, mild sexual descriptions

Dec 01, 2020

Holy crap this was good.
I will admit, I wasn't aware of the relationship between the two main characters & it caught me off guard for a few pages. But the level of love between them is something special.
I had read Circe earlier in the year which was really good but this is exceptional. 4.5/5

Nov 06, 2020

Absolutely loved this book. I didn’t think I would but I found myself reading chapter after chapter and 17 chapters later I was hooked. This book is really well written. I like the first person narrative and I love how It plays out. The Iliad is an extremely popular story. I love how we get to grow with Achilles and Patroclus. I admire the friendship and absolutely love the ending. I would buy this book for my personal collection.

Oct 26, 2020

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a beautiful story following Greek Hero Achilles and his lover and companion Patroclus. TSOA follows the two as they grow up together in friendship and learn to fight and heal, all the way to the end of the Battle of Troy, and their afterlife and story of love. Without any specific spoilers, The Song of Achilles is one of the most beautiful, well-written novels about the Greek story of Patroclus and Achilles. The book is poetic, descriptive, and full of meaning and care. It is tear-jerking and heartbreaking, but also happy, comedic, and satisfying throughout the whole story. I would recommend Miller’s novel to anyone interested in classics and Greek Mythology who may not be ready for the true Iliad or Odyssey. The Song of Achilles recounts the Trojan War in a more modern way, and instead of it being a story of just war, it is also of true love, friendship, loss, grief, and the afterlife. The novel itself is truly a work of art, and 100% worth the read (and the tears!). Besides anyone interested in classics and Greek Mythology, The Song of Achilles is a captivating and stunningly-written story that everyone should read. I give the novel 5/5 stars, and would give more if I could! @readingmouse of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Oct 16, 2020

Not my favourite book but I still found it pretty captivating. I can't even really tell what I didn't like about it, it just wasn't for me.

LPL_LeahN Oct 15, 2020

If you consume one story of Achilles, other than the Iliad, it should be this. Madeline Miller's prose and storytelling are peerless. I believe (and my entire speculative fiction book club agrees) that the ending of this book is one of best ever, absolutely perfect, and it will blow you away.

BostonPL_JordanD Aug 25, 2020

Extremely well written and very readable. Unfortunately, this story is not one of my favorites. (I fell asleep during the movie Troy when it was in theaters a million years ago.) It's just too long, not a lot happens, and I can't get behind the reasons for this war. Some scenes did grab my attention, and I liked the ending, but found most of the story to be skimable without feeling like I was missing out on anything. I promise, this is me, not you, Song of Achillies. I much prefer the story of The Odyssey for all that it entails.

Aug 12, 2020

One of my favorite novels of the year (read together with Circe). Authentic to the ancient Greek culture, yet wholly original and modern. A powerful (though very violent/tragic) story.

Jul 19, 2020

A great read and tells an amazing story! I love Greek mythology and the story told between Achilles and Patroclus truly touches the readers heart. Overall I enjoyed it.

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Add a Quote
Jul 21, 2018

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

Dec 08, 2017

"Our man liked conquest, they did not trust a man who was conquered himself" (pg 176)

Aug 27, 2016

"Go, he waits for you."

Aug 27, 2016

"This and this and this."

Jun 07, 2015

We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.

Aug 23, 2012

"She used to be known as the most beautiful woman in our kingdoms. Now they say she's the most beautiful woman in the world.....A thousand ships have sailed for her"


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