Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Retelling
Warming: Possible Spoilers
Synopsis: 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 difference, 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’ 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 fulfill 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.
Firstly I’m sorry if I spelled their names differently cause that is the way I spell them in Classical Civilisation and there are many way to spell their name. Secondly sorry if I spoil anything for you 😛
The book was told in the point of view of Patroklos, and follow his life in childhood and teenage with Achilleus and later on in the Trojans War. We can see from Patroklos’ eyes that Achilleus is not that killing machine or that jerk who let all the Achaians died when Briseis was taken away. He is caring for Patroklos, we can see so much more in Achilleus’ personality. Achilleus don’t want to be the hero at first but he don’t really have choice and we can see that he is struggling about that.
For these who are familiar with the Iliad, you would know that Briseis (Achilleus’ prize when he sacked one of the city) was taken by Agamemnon which lead to Achilleus refuses to fight for the Achaians and lead to a chain event that happen in the Iliad. In the book, Briseis was friend with Patroklos and Achilleus and that create a emotional bond between Patrolkos, Achilleus and Briseis and that explain why Achilleus is mad when Agamemnon took Briseis away not only because of Agamemnon dishonour Achilleus but also because Briseis was a great friend with them.
*Spoiler Start Now*
Knowing that the book will not have a happy ending, somehow I really want to see how would the book play out after Patroklos’ death. And no, I did not cried while reading this book (To be honest I’m not a ‘book-cryer’) One thing I don’t like it that the book spent some much time on their childhood, I like reading about the childhood and at the Trojan War. But I feel like since this book is technically a retell of the Iliad which only took place in four days during the tenth year of the Trojan War. I think Miller should focus more on that time period as it contain the most important event and turning point in the Trojan War. Everything seems to be a little rush after Patroklos’ death. How they got into Troy and even the death of Achilleus seems to be rush.
One thing that kill me the most in book is not the death of any character, I know it will happen. It’s a quote that kill me that most, every time Patroklos ask Achilleus not to kill Hektor. Achilleus will reply as “What has Hektor ever done to me?” That kill me the most, knowing that Hektor is the one who kill Patroklos and Achilleus will avenge for him. There are something about that make me will to go into the book and stop this from happening.
*Spoiler End Now*
This book is awesome, it’s definitely come on the top 10 books I read this year. There are room of improvement (well being a horrible person, I sort of hope that the death of someone would be more detail and more scene of actual fighting and blood). If you enjoy the Iliad, you should 100% read it, if you enjoy this book and you haven’t read the Iliad yet, you should go read the Iliad right now. I don’t know what else I could say anymore so goodbye for now. ❤
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (4.5)