The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

Book - 2012
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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' 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.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller's page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2012
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780062126122
Characteristics: 378 p


From Library Staff

List - Beachy Reads
BakerStreetIrregular Apr 09, 2015

The Trojan War and the events leading up to it as told by Patroclus - best friend and confidant to legendary hero Achilles.

BakerStreetIrregular Jun 09, 2012

I absolutely loved this novel and look forward to many more books by author Madeline Miller. The love story between Patroclus and Achilles is so well-woven into the well-known story of the Trojan War. The Song of Achilles was a joy to read even though it often left me sad. I highly recommend t... Read More »

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Feb 16, 2020

I couldn't put this book down even though I knew exactly where we would end up. The story was so bittersweet and really showed off the flaws that the characters have while making you want them to be happy even if history tells us they won't be.

Jan 22, 2020

Her latest book, "Circe," is also very good. Ancient Greece comes alive!

Dec 22, 2019

Told from Patroclus' POV, a very sympathetic retelling of the events leading to and through the Trojan War. Reads swiftly as javelin plummeting from the pure purple of the Aegean eve. The tears that almost flow, the clenched jaws as the strong beards on the strong jaws of strong men turn from smoldering coals in the brazier; the flush running over a lover as a hand brushes against a beloved, leaving the the head swimming... all very passionate.

And, I liked it very much.

There are curious choices: sometimes sensibilities are ancient, sometimes modern, and I imagine this bothers some readers as it has me on other occasions. Here it did not. Also the balance between early years at the court, training with Chiron, hiding from the war and the war itself - with fewer than 400 pages decisions must be made about what to cut, what to highlight. Largely I'm happy with Miller's choices, but I'm sure many readers would find reason to argue over this.

For those that enjoy Mary Renault, of course. For the rest of, most likely.

Dec 03, 2019

Song was unexpectedly romantic without being cloying and many times more captivating than Circe IMHO.

PawsFurBooks Dec 03, 2019

Such a gorgeous book. If you love Greek mythology or books set in ancient Greece, this is a book for you. The writing is compelling and so well done.

Nov 09, 2019

Great book. Has predictably tragic ending but is very sweet.

Oct 24, 2019

The Song of Achilles is the most beautifully written book I've ever read.

Aug 14, 2019

I read this author's newest book, Circe, and absolutely loved it. Head over heels! So I decided to pick up her first novel and give it a go.. and I was not disappointed. The tale of Patroclus and Achilles' developing love and friendship is heartwarming to say the least. It's a moving tale of life, love, and loss. While it is a long book, it is far more entertaining than the alternative - Homer's The Iliad (which, to be completely honest, I truly loved in High School). Definitely a fan of Miller's captivating storytelling!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin May 29, 2019

I read this after having read (and loved) Circe by the same author. So, so good. For those who like old stories retold. Miller is particularly gifted at creating rich characters with realistic motivations from plot material that is often lacking in both of those things!

RomanceAddict May 18, 2019

I read this book when it was first published in 2012, and it made Madeline Miller an auto-buy author for me. "The Song of Achilles" is lyrical and deeply romantic, telling the story of Achilles and Patroclus from "The Iliad" from Patroclus' perspective. It took Miller ten years to write this book, and the end result is stunning. She has the rich detail and depth of Mary Renault. Once you read this, read "Circe", and then move on to Renault's work (especially her Alexander trilogy, starting with "Fire from Heaven").

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Aug 22, 2012

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Add a Quote
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.”

Dec 08, 2017

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

Aug 27, 2016

"Go, he waits for you."

Aug 27, 2016

"This and this and this."

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.

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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