I’ll let you in on a little secret: Whenever I come across the Trojan war, I have been rooting for the Trojans. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense – we all know how it ends with the horse and the burning of Troy. It was reading The Song of Achilles that I felt I might have to reconsider, at least for the duration of this novel.
Earlier this year I read Circe, Madeline Miller’s other Greek mythology inspired novel and it was great so naturally I wanted to read this one as well. I was never a big fan of Achilles, with his hubris and stubbornness and his overall arrogance – The Best of the Greeks. All of that is still there in this story – as far as I can tell it stays very true to the original – but there is a little more, a little humanness for want of a better description, added to the hero. It seeks to answer why Achilles reacted as he did after hearing of Patroclus’ death. And because one knows that this is what the novel is building towards it added extra tragedy to their growing relationship.
For me this was a very quick read. The writing made it so tempting to continue reading that I put it down only once, to get some sleep, and the next day I just continued until it was finished. I liked it even a bit more the Circe, and I can’t wait to read whatever Miller publishes next.
The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller