We love reading almost as much as eating food (almost :P) so we thought it would be a good idea to engage you all with a brilliant book for the weekend 🙂
Name: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Publication: September 20, 2011 by Bloomsbury
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’s 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.
The Song of Achilles is a moving retelling of the renowned epic ‘Iliad’ by Homer that sheds a new light on the Ancient Greek narrative by focusing on the romantic element between star warrior Achilles and exiled prince Patroclus. Having not read the original text ourselves, we were apprehensive about going into this book as our knowledge was restricted to the basic plot line of the epic. But this did not stand as a barrier as we turned the pages.
In order to make this a review without spoilers, we will not delve into the tragic aspects but a mention has to be made about how heart-wrenching this read is. Anybody who is familiar with the epic knows how the story concludes but yet there is a strange foreboding as the events take place.
This book is not fast-paced but doesn’t drag either. It has a beautiful rhythm to it which flows like a song making the title appropriate. It held our attention from beginning to end. It is written in first person narrative from Patroclus’ point of view. His perception of ‘Aristos Achaion’ (Achilles) and his actions are compelling as they show a different side of him to the readers that hasn’t been thought of before.
Throughout the book we experienced a plethora of emotions and the plot twist completely took us by surprise. It was fascinating to read about Greek mythology and particularly about the Gods and their scheming and plotting for vengeance.
The Song of Achilles won the celebrated Orange Prize in 2012 and is one that we highly recommend you pick up soon. Travel back to the Achaean lands to be a witness to an amorous love story set in the context of a bloody war.
Stay happy, keep smilng and keep reading 😀