The Song Of Achilles – Madeline Miller [BOOK REVIEW]

Book Review


The Song Of Achilles became a part of my TBR list right after I finished reading Circe. I loved Circe and it is one of my favorite books of 2018. I also enjoyed The Song of Achilles, but not nearly as much.

For the ones out there who love greek mythology, this is a book that covers Achilles’s life told from Patroclus’s point of view. It is more or less accurate, and covers a lot of details from the early lives of these two princes. This is a story about one great friendship that turns into something more, a lot of challenges, a lot of doubts, and a lot of choices to be made during a time of war.

The story is very fast paced, and I was skipping through the pages as fast as Achilles was killing Trojan warriors. From their childhood, to their growing up, to their adventures and the war, this book will never keep you calm, because every chapter something unexpected happens. Well, sometimes not too much, as I know the story, but even still, I was surprised a lot.

Book Cover

A thing that bothered me a lot throughout the whole book was the inaccuracy at some points, and hiding information.

Now, we all know that Achilles was immortal. And we all know the story that his mother Thetis, a goddess of water dipped his body into the water in the river Styx. However, she was holding him by the heel, so his heel was the only place where he was vulnerable. This will be the reason of his death, when Apollo would direct Paris’s spear into Achilles’ heel.

Now – if this is such a common fact, and everybody who heard about Achilles knows it – why wouldn’t the author include it in the book. It wasn’t mentioned once.. Not once… I found this really upsetting.

Moving forward to the characters, we have Patroclus presented as the weaker one, the coward, the person that is mocked by everyone, not loved even by his parents and unworthy. ( Another point that bothered me is that this is not entirely true – according to Homer, Patroclus was apparently wiser than Achilles)

On the other hand, we have the opposite – a wise, brave, strong and handsome man, loved by everyone, immortal and a son of a goddess. We have a perfect example for a leader.

While fate connect these two to meet from their very early years, they also build a love relationship which they try to hide it at first. This relationship will cause them hatred from Thetis (Achilles’ mom) and will prompt them to make choices that might not be necessarily good ones. Now, Homer never mentioned a pederasty in his works between these two, but Miller does. And I am not sure how I feel about it. Not about the fact that they are gay, but the fact that this is Achilles.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. It is a great retelling of the story and a great time capture of the past. It wasn’t anything special, and I didn’t feel heartbroken in the end, but it was definitely worth reading it. I give it three stars – ★★★ . 

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16 thoughts on “The Song Of Achilles – Madeline Miller [BOOK REVIEW]

  1. Bibi @ Bibi's Book Blog July 19, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    What an interesting review! This is one of my all time favourite books and while I might disagree with a few things, I really found your review to be interesting in the things you’ve mentioned that didn’t work for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • innah96 July 19, 2018 / 1:52 pm

      I am glad you liked it Bibi. I enjoyed the book a lot, but not strongly enough so it can be my favourite… I am glad you loved it though

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rainybookreviews July 19, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    I think that a lot of the things you mentioned could be attributed to artistic license. The author has to make the book different enough from the traditional myth to get readers so perhaps that’s why those changes were made

    Liked by 1 person

    • innah96 July 19, 2018 / 6:05 pm

      I agree with that point… Maybe I just didn’t like her retelling of this story…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whispering Stories July 19, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    I’ve not heard of the book before but it sure sounds very interesting. However, I’m not a great love of re-tellings so I doubt I would pick it up. Great review

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Empress DJ July 19, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    It looked so promising…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bewitched Reader Book Blog July 19, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Interesting review. I would have probably had the same thoughts in relation to the differences in Achilles’ story if I had been reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Katie @ Book Ink Reviews July 20, 2018 / 2:28 am

    I’ve been wanting to pick this one up but I’m still hesitant. If I go in knowing the story already, it better be a fantastic retelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • innah96 July 20, 2018 / 6:08 am

      Yes, that happened to me. I expected the same things to happen, but the scenes are different than what I knew.. It disappointed me. But hey, maybe you’ll like it..


  7. bookwormscornerblogspot July 20, 2018 / 5:38 am

    Great review. I have not read this or Circe

    Liked by 1 person

  8. finitha July 20, 2018 / 6:58 am

    Great review! I was planning to read Circe and now will add this one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Katiria Rodriguez July 30, 2018 / 12:31 am

    Great review, I really need to read this book and Circe hopefully I can buy these two books for my birthday in Aug so I can read both these books at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

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