The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Actual rating: All the stars in the sky. Infinite stars.


This book...this fucking book. I will never forget it. To say I had high expectations was an understatement. I was never this excited to read a book ever. And my expectations were met.


This book made me feel all the emotions. I smiled at the sweet, romantic moments and cried at the deaths. T

here is one scene where Achilles says "What has Hector ever done to me?" and I started bawling because I knew what was coming.

(show spoiler)

If you know the story of The Illiad, of the Trojan Wars, you know what's going to happen. This story made my heart ache. It is sad and beautiful and tragic.


The characters are so complex, imo. I read some one-star reviews saying Patroclus is boring, and I guess I can see why they say that. Patroclus is no great hero, he's just an ordinary guy. But to me, that makes him better. He's ordinary but in the end he has more power than he knows. Achilles is also very intriguing. I've always thought of Achilles as a mighty warrior, winning battle after battle. Killing and fighting. But in Song of Achilles, we see a softer side to him. We see Achilles as a musician, as playful and mischievous, as a lover. Also, Thetis. I didn't like her at all (she is an antagonist, in a way), but she was a rather interesting character.


I thought the writing was beautiful. Some reviews complain that it is purple prose, but I actually really liked the writing.


A word of advice: I think your experience reading this will be more enjoyable if you have at least a little bit of knowledge about Greek mythology.


Tl;dr version- Ugh, what else can I say about this book? I can't adequately express how much I loved it. It is a new favorite. It's tragic but beautiful. You need to read this book. It is fantastic. And I will never forget it.


Just wanted to share a list of songs that remind me of this book:
1. Achilles Last Stand by Led Zeppelin (obviously :)
2. Night Travels by Ashley Davis
3. Candle on the Water (from the film Pete's Dragon)
4. Dying Day by Gin Wigmore
5. A Quiet Darkness by Houses
6. Lover's Wreck by Gaelic Storm