Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Published August 28th 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, LGBT,
“Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to 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 cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.”
I hate to speak negatively about books a lot of people like, for fear of retaliation. But I did not really get why this book is so popular.
It is very well-written. I am not here to slander Miller’s writing because I think that her writing is amazing.
Books that are this heavily researched usually read like a history textbook. This read like an actual story. Miller used period-accurate wording. She also just wrote really well.
But it was not enough to keep me interested.
I got this book because so many people recommended this book off of TikTok. They said this was one of the saddest books ever. It held them captivated. People were able to read it in one day.
I shed no tears. It took me three months to read. And I honestly was not interested.
The major thing that threw me off from this book was a sex scene between minors. I understand that at the time being 14 was probably of age, but they continually referenced in the book how they were just children, and then I had a very pornographic scene of them having sex. I know, me being mad about spice? How could I? But I don’t want to hear about people under the age of 18 having sex in graphic detail. It is just not my cup of tea.
The next thing that bugged me was just that I was bored. The book covers the span of like 27 years in 369 pages. I just got bored. If you are into huge time jumps or whole years of life being summed up, then that’s great. I just hated how the book read so slow but also was jumping so quickly through their lives.
Again, not my cup of tea.
I thought there was a lot of background knowledge that you needed to have to read this book. Thankfully for people not versed in the Greek culture, there was a lot of information on the back. I knew most of what they referenced in the story, but some things were hard to understand.
I don’t want to say this book was bad. I thought that the writing was good. The ending was also okay. The last 60 pages made up for some of the slowness in the beginning but not much.
In no way do I think that is the writer’s fault; I just don’t think I liked the book.
I do want to give it a decent score though, so I am giving it a 3 star because I do think it was written well.
As always, thanks for reading,
Star Rating: 3.0