Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


What a beautiful love story. Because at the core, this is a love story. Because anyone who knows Greek mythology knows that Patroclus was Achilles’ lover, not “friend.”

Millers’ love for Greek mythology shines in this book. And she knows the ins and outs of it. She captures the Ancient Greek culture and society so well, including the Ancient Greek definition of honor, that I felt like I was being transported back to my three years of Latin class. Everything stays true to Homer, even her creative liberties.

And Miller’s writing is just beautiful, even when it’s brutual; she doesn’t sugarcoat the Trojan War. Even her similes are steeped in the culture, and Patroclus often compares things to olives (which makes my half-Greek self happy!)

I think writing from Patroclus’ POV was a brave choice, but it worked really well for the story as a whole. And I loved how Miller filled in the gaps of he and Achilles’s story. And their relationship is really the shining star of the book. Miller just poured emotion and chemistry and characterization into them.

The only thing that bothered me ***(small spoiler, but really, this story has been around forever) is that Achilles’ heel was taken from the story, and he dies in a different way. I understand why Miller changed it, but I think it’s such an iconic part of Achilles’ story that it felt a little off.

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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