I read this book in a week and if I didn’t have to go to work I would have finished it much sooner. The Song of Achilles is the tale of the life of Achilles. He is the son of a sea goddess and a mortal but legendary king. But this story is not told by Achilles but by Patroclus, his friend.
I’ve read some of The Iliad, I knew the basis of Achilles’ story going into this book. Miller writes these heros, kings, and gods in a way that makes you fall in love with them. I didn’t want to love them, knowing the end, but I couldn’t help myself.
Achilles and Patroclus tale is an unlikely one. Patroclus is an exiled prince who becomes friends with Achilles when they are both not yet in their teens. This book sees them become men and go to war with Troy having answered the call of the other kings of Greece.
Miller gives the reader an interesting view of Achilles, we see him through the eyes of one who understands and loves him. But Patroclus also does not allow his love of Achilles to blind him to Achilles faults and at times he stands against him. Beautiful and heartbreaking I loved each moment of this book.
Many of us have read bits and pieces of The Iliad and The Odyssey in school along with other Greek mythos but The Song of Achilles and Miller’s other novel Circe breath life back into old stories. She creates the being – demigod, man, goddess – behind the legend. Her words give these old characters from required reading a second life. A life that makes them human and that is so much more beautiful than just the legend.
I highly suggest this book if you haven’t already read it. If you have read it please let me know what you think. Happy reading.