A review by ceallaighsbooks
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


“‘I will go,’ he said. ‘I will go to Troy.’ The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or greying; all crisp. He was spring, golden and bright. Envious Death would drink his blood, and grow young again.” 
TITLE—The Song of Achilles 
AUTHOR—Madeline Miller 
GENRE—mythology retelling; literary historical fiction 
SETTING—ancient Greece and Troy 
MAIN THEMES/SUBJECTS—love, Greek mythology, war, destiny, legacy, MM romance, death, grief 
WRITING STYLE—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
CHARACTERS—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️—SO many great characters but Chiron and Odysseus have to be my favorite 🥰 
PLOT—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️—This was the story we have always wanted. 
BONUS ELEMENT/S—The writing style in this was just 😚👌🏻 so beautiful and so perfectly suited to the story being told. 
“It is right to seek peace for the dead. You and I both know there is no peace for those who live after.” 
Ok well *that* certainly lived up to the hype. I loved Circe and The Song of Achilles was *just* as good. Damn. 
Ok the thing about this story, and why it *resonates* so. frking. much. with my little queer heart, is that *this* is the story that I have always sought out in the annals of human history. This is the revealed truth of queer love and life hidden/buried/destroyed/denied through TIME in all of its raw tragedy and staggering beauty and my soul drank this in like it was water and I had been dying of thirst my whole entire LIFE. 
Miller wrote the story we have always wanted—the story that our hearts and our dreams have always told us lies hidden in the lines of Homer’s epic saga. We got to see it finally and I felt like I was holding hands with Achilles and Patroclus through their whole journey together, laughing alongside them, my heart breaking alongside and for them, and I felt my mind, heart, and soul claiming Miller’s interpretation as more real than anything I’ve ever read or learned in any of my history classes. 
As a retelling this story is particularly well served by the incorporation of the themes of destiny and prophecy, so even though the reader most likely knows the ending, Miller uses that to her advantage in the way she treats her themes and develops her characters, rather than as a problem she needs to work around cleverly. 
Whether you consider this story a work of reclamation, revisionism, or mythological retelling, Miller accomplishes each with remarkable flair and an uncommonly penetrating insight into the (queer!) human heart. She has written the perfect love story. 🥰 
“We were like gods, at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.” 

TW // bullying, transphobia, death, grief, sexual content, sexual coercion, animal and human sacrifice, ableism, war, rape, sexual slavery 
Further Reading— 
  • Circe, by Madeline Miller
  • Galatea, by Madeline Miller—her other novel published bw SOA and C that I have heard absolutely nothing about?—TBR

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