From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Song of Achilles comes the powerful story of the mythological witch Circe, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey
Chosen as must-read book of 2018 by the Guardian, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Express and Stylist
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.
Everyone that I knew who have read The Song of Achilles always makes an excruciating face as if they are being in pain. I haven’t got the chance to read Song of Achilles when Circe by Madeline Miller came out. In a span of spontaneous reading, being a mood reader, I stumbled upon and encourage myself to start reading this magnificent, masterfully crafted masterpiece.
This is my first Madeline Miller and I have few expectations because based on the things that I’ve heard this book is wonderful on its own way and I don’t want to set particular expectations that might ruin my set standard for this book. In return, this book never disappoints. Actually, it provided more insights and in-depth knowledge regarding Greek Mythology which I really love since I’ve been highly influenced by Rick Riordan’s PJO Series.
I would like to commend in this book how artistic Madeline Miller’s writing style. It feels like I could swim and dive into it and in return, I feel just float in the abyss and shallowness of her words upon reading the book. Throughout the book, I feel like I am reading a lullaby that has a glimpse of tragedy on certain parts of the story.
Remarkably, Circe did not fail my expectations. It actually exceeded more than I thought and the best part of finishing this book is realizing how much empathy a reader could have towards Circe. Her birth is unimaginable, her life is a rough road that we could all relate to. It wasn’t easy when there are so many restrictions while being controlled and hated by the Gods. Feelings of confusion, self-pity, and sadness, I could attest to those emotions where Circe is currently experiencing.
May it be naive from the start, but this book will scream to you that even a person who is so naive can be fierce and fearful at the end. It holds a lot of teachings, from loving a person to hold a grudge to cursing people and fixing your mistake. It taught me how far unconditional love could reach and how to protect a person. It will teach the reader how a mother can be selfless and sacrifice for her child, even if it takes their entire lifetime to be in pain.
Circe is a magical book that will teach you to be brave upon sailing, to be wise upon talking, and to let go because that could be the most wonderful gift that you could provide not just for anyone but to yourself. This book definitely touched my heart and would love to read more from Madeline Miller.
MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!
Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches and writes. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.