Book Review : The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Genre : Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Page : 352 pages
Published : 20th September 2011

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.

“He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.”

I love this book. At first, I thought this book would be plain and flat. I am dead wrong. This book is amazingly beautiful. I love how subtle and smooth this book is from the beginning until the end. This book evoke such strong emotions from me. Heartbreaking and heartwarming. Initially, I don’t know that almost 90 percent of the story is based on the original Illiad by Homer. I thought Madeline is using the Greek characters to create a whole new story. That’s what makes me admire her more than before, because how can she write in such beautiful way without omitting the originality of the story?

Patroclus was told as a weird prince who was exiled to the court of King Peleus in which he meet Achilles. Their friendship then slowly thrive, purely and innocently. Years goes by and they becomes close comrades and it almost seems as if they are inseparable. Only Thetis – a cruel sea goddess who is also Achilles mother, dislike Patroclus because of the close relationship they share and mainly because he is a human for Thetis hates human.

Achilles is a prophecy who will end the Trojan War for he is said to be the strongest warrior and the greatest hero. I felt it strongly how Patroclus and Achilles is afraid of the said prophecy. Patroclus then ended up joining Trojan War for Achilles even though he is lacking in combat and because Achilles wishes for him to join by his side with promise that Achilles will protect him at all cost.

Trojan War is perfectly written in the book and I am amazed how Madeline still manage to write the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus during the war. Everything is written in a perfect proportions. What made this book beautiful is Achilles and Patroclus, never really said anything to convey their feelings. They are sharing moments and that short moments are what I love and is precious to me. I love the way Madeline plays with her words. Soft yet deep and memorable.

After years of the never-ending Trojan War, Achilles started to get arrogant and that’s where the tension started to rise and decisions need to be made. One of which might be endangered to Patroclus life. I know I have stated this million times but I’m sorry, I need to state it again. This book is seriously beautiful. I am tearing up for it’s bittersweet story.

There are lots of Greek Gods, Goddess and Warriors in the story. I love how Madeline connect all those aspects without missing a beat. This book is just perfect. I also love how kind, wise and brave Patroclus is and definitely he becomes my favourite in the book. I also need to praise Madeline for writing this book to let the world knows more about Greek mythology.

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

Author : Celine

2 thoughts on “Book Review : The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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