BOOK REVIEW: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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5 stars

Synopsis:

The legend begins…

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Format: Hardcover
Published: March 6th 2012 by Ecco
Pages: 378
Date Read: Jan. 31- Feb. 25 (2015)
Buy It: Amazon | B+N | AbeBooks

**SPOILERS ONLY IN GIF SUMMARY**

First and foremost, I want to thank Elly soooo much for posting her Patrochilles trash all over my dash. I don’t know what drove me so much as to buying it so erratically. I have never heard of it outside of her tumblr posts and I didn’t look into it much before buying it, which is strange for me. That had me thinking that maybe there was an external (higher) power pushing me to read/buy it. It was fate.

There are so many things that are just so RIGHT with this book.

One thing I want to highlight is just how incredibly well done this book is, especially considering the fact that it is a standalone novel. A lot of book series progress and develop the plot/characters/setting/etc over the span of 3+ novels, but standalones are even harder to “get right” than a book in a series would because there is just a limited amount of pages. I just feel like the reading community, on Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram, anywhere really, doesn’t appreciate standalone novels in all their glory. It is incredibly rare to find a standalone that doesn’t feel like it’s lacking in development. That was not a problem for The Song of Achilles.

Another great things about this novel is that it can be read by just about anyone for a multitude of reasons. I found three reasons that work for me.

You should read TSOA if…

1. You want a basic gist of a classic/historical event (in this case, The Iliad)

I partially read for this reasons because I am terrified of classics, especially very old ones. I own a copy of The Iliad and after reading this book, I feel like I can delve into it with a somewhat understanding of what’s going on.

2. You want to read LGBT books

The ancients were masters in this. I haven’t read many LGBT books that I think don’t use stereotypical situations for LGBT characters. A lot of LGBT books that I’ve read, though I haven’t read many, made me feel like the authors were sort of revolving the story line around the fact that the characters are gay. In this story, Achilles and Patroclus are beautiful homosexuals and I love it.

3. You don’t want to invest in a series (monetarily, emotionally, etc)

Goes into the whole fact about it being an amazing standalone as mentioned previously.

I don’t think I can just explain every single aspect of my love for this book without spoilers, so that’s it for my ways to try to make you all buy this book!

Song(s) that remind me of this book

  • Riptide by Vance Joy
  • I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab For Cutie
  • Stuck In the Moment by Justin Bieber (DON’T ASK ME WHY)
  • When You Look Me In the Eyes by The Jonas Brothers (AGAIN DON’T ASK)
  • A Drop In the Ocean by Ron Pope
  • Young by The Summer Set

Gif Summary

Patrochilles:

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Achilles and Patroclus growing up together more like:

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Achilles being one of the dancers:

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Achilles’ mother:

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Achilles’ son:

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The ending:

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The book in the general:

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