The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

Book - 2012
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Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.
Publisher: New York :, Ecco,, [2012]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062060617
0062060619
9780062060624
0062060627
9780062126122
0062126121
Characteristics: 378 pages ; 24 cm

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Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Dec 11, 2018

I picked this up after reading -- and loving to a painful degree -- Miller's second book, Circe, this summer, and went into it certain I couldn't love this as much as I loved that one. And while I think that that is, ultimately, true, I still loved this quite a bit. It's the story of the Trojan War and Achilles' role in it, told through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles' closest friend and, in this version at least, his lover. Miller's writing is so beautiful, and I'm so impressed by the way she takes a familiar story and makes it feel new and exciting. Furthermore, despite knowing just how sadly this was going to end for all involved, I found myself racing through it, eager to see what would happen next. It's romantic and action-packed and sad and just lovely.

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lpreston214
Nov 14, 2018

A novelization of the Iliad. Going into it I knew nothing of the story, never having read the Iliad but I loved this book. Reminiscent of Mary Renault novelizations of history and historic figures, all of which I read many years ago. Wonderful writing and characters. One of those books you just know you're going to love from the first page. One of my favorites of the year.

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isora1994
Oct 09, 2018

I had no idea going into this book other than the fact that it was on greek mythology and I should give it a read before reading Circe. I have never read Illiad or Odyssey but had seen movies 'Helen of Troy' and 'Troy'. I knew Achilles to be a great warrior, egotistical, and honorable. This story is a beautiful narrative on Achilles' character beyond the great warrior. The whole story is told from the eyes of a Patroclus, his lover and you get to see how two boys in that ancient era grew up, were thrown into a war as teenagers, and navigated through all the chaos to stay together. I really loved it. Highly recommended it.

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gmap516
Sep 24, 2018

What else can I say besides "WOW!"

I had thought I was reading another historical fiction similar to David Gemmell: filled with action in the likes of the 300 movie.

While I enjoy gritty action and adventure (Gemmell among my favorite authors) I was so happy to be wrong in my presumptions of The Song of Achilles.

Miller has a way with words to convey the deep bond and love between Patroclus and Achilles. She does an incredible job of showing us just how enamored Patroclus is with Achilles. I found my heart aching for them throughout the book, knowing their fates and the tragedy that lies ahead for them.

As others have said, most readers know how the story of Achilles ends, but Miller finds a way to make it feel fresh and raw that I found myself tearing up at the end.

KateHillier Aug 16, 2018

I'm very late to the party on this one but I'm so glad I got a chance to read this. You know the story, you know how it ends. Even if you don't there are enough hints to tell you. Everything is still raw and emotional and cruel. The gods especially along with the humans involved too.

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xiaojunbpl12
Jul 30, 2018

Sourced from, inspired by, defying, and rising above the traditional content in classics. Deeply moving story rendered in beautiful poetry.

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WoodneathAlexa
Jul 14, 2018

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
Madeline Miller has a gift for writing in a way that seems complicated and sophisticated, yet feels so simple and clean. Miller has a background in classical literature and stories, and uses it to write beautiful prose about our favorite characters in mythology. This book is narrated by Patroclus, a character who is not as well know in the myths. However, Miller uses him to paint the Iliad and the character Achilles in a way we might not be used to.

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lola_jane
Jul 03, 2018

Song of Achilles is thoroughly transporting - Miller brings mythology to life with beautiful writing and memorable characters.

VictoriaJ_OshLib Jun 18, 2018

A beautiful book based off of Homer's Iliad. This novel shows the importance of love, the faulty in pride, and what heroes are willing to risk for honor. Miller truly brings Greek mythology to life with realistic human characters.

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kountzcl
Jun 02, 2018

The novel performed the useful service of sending me to Homer's Iliad itself and Vergil's Aeneid to see the original legends and poetry from which this is drawn. I quibble over some of the conversations here, such as Patroclus with Thetis, yet I admire the author's accomplishment and look forward to reading Circe.

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christieqiu1
Mar 19, 2017

christieqiu1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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wickedivine
Dec 30, 2015

wickedivine thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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VV12
Aug 21, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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mariajgaitan1
Jun 26, 2015

mariajgaitan1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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algerich
Jan 05, 2014

algerich thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 69 and 96

wonderlands Apr 24, 2013

wonderlands thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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becker
Aug 22, 2012

becker thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Quotes

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indigo_horse_424
Jul 21, 2018

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

b
bangbangtangdyn
Dec 08, 2017

"Our man liked conquest, they did not trust a man who was conquered himself" (pg 176)

d
danielle0308
Aug 27, 2016

"Go, he waits for you."

d
danielle0308
Aug 27, 2016

"This and this and this."

e
eloisal
Jun 07, 2015

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

b
becker
Aug 23, 2012

"She used to be known as the most beautiful woman in our kingdoms. Now they say she's the most beautiful woman in the world.....A thousand ships have sailed for her"

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