The Song of Achilles


How did I get it?:
I bought it

WINNER OF THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012 Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfil his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


I was surprised to find when I started this book, that I was reading a debut novel. Madeline Miller is a talented writer and I think one to look out for in the future. I think it’s probably important to mention that my knowledge of Ancient Greece is not that great, so I don’t know whether what Madeline has written has changed significantly from the Greek mythology.

I thought The Song of Achilles started really wonderfully. I was gripped from the start and thought the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles was developed beautifully. The book is an accessible way to read a Greek classic, although the reader has to be aware that the author puts their own spin on it, so if you want to read something more factual then this book isn’t for you.

The main themes in the Song Of Achilles are love and war. The relationship between Patroclus and Achilles is the book’s main focus developing from a crush to deep love which Madeline makes believable, which is impressive as Patroclus is made out to be unattractive with nothing going for him. Madeline Miller made me want the relationship to work despite the war going on around them. The battles scenes in the book were good, but not very graphic so if you don’t like war and battle scenes don’t be put off by this book.

I would recommend this book to those that have studied Ancient Greece, but also those, like me, that have little knowledge of Ancient Greece and just fancy a different kind of love story. Essentially, that is what this book has the heart of it. An epic love story.

Would I recommend it?:

Reading next:
Specials- Scott Westerfield

One thought on “The Song of Achilles

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