Book Review: The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller

04 Dec


I usually would have waited till after the feeling had overwhelmed me, and for my head to have cleared out before starting to write a certain review. But in the case of “The Song Of Achilles”, I find myself unable to hold back the surge of emotion and longing.

I close the book with tears literally covering my face, not because of the tragedy of the book, but because of the peace I had found in it. I hug the book, close to my heart, and wish I would sleep and dream of the land of proud heroes and resentful gods.

“The Song Of Achilles” is a book unlike everything I had read for several reasons. One of those being that even though I had called myself a fan of Greek and ancient mythology, never had I experienced so thoroughly a love experience that had happened during those time. And never have I ever read a book so honest and elaborate about the love not only between a man and a woman, but in the case of this book, the love between two men.

Prince Patroclus is exiled to the kingdom of Phthia, where he meets young Prince Achilles, the son of a sea-goddess. A friendship begins which later develops into a love story. Angry and wrathful, the evil sea goddess mother tries her best to separate the two men, only to find herself failing at her every attempt.

The Trojan war breaks, and Achilles must go fight alongside the Greeks to earn his fame and fulfill his destiny. Patroclus accompanies his beloved, and on the shorelines of Troy, all they hold dear comes to its ultimate test.

Written from the point of view of Patroclus, who at first seems even to us feeble and well not worthy the love of the beautiful and powerful Achilles, yet his kind-heartedness and love for Achilles (whom we instantly fall in love with) perhaps allow us to forgive his cowardice and passivity.

The book concludes with a sorrowful yet peaceful tone, with these two lovers proving the ultimate power of love, the destructive nature of pride, and the role each one of us plays in fulfilling the destiny of those we cherish.

Beautifully written, sensual and musical in its tone, “The Song Of Achilles” succeeds in resurrecting the magnificence of ancient Greece. Madeline Miller proves to be an extraordinary new-comer to the literary scene with her ability to evoke a setting so gorgeously painted that it will literally leave you yearning and longing for not only a time long gone but to a love so rare and against all odds, yet so strong to break the boundaries of time and the hearts of nations.

“The Song of Achilles” is not only for fans of Homer’s Illiad, or ancient Greece, but to every person who trully believes in the human heart. It is a book you will want to read. A book that will leave its mark and find its way on your shelf settled and awaiting to be read many a times, all the while Achilles’ lyre playing the soundtrack in your mind leaving you in a state of terrifyingly beautiful emotions that you would want to experience over and over again.

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Book Reviews


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