Book review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Source: Borrowed

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

It’s taken me a pretty long time to write this review because even a couple weeks after finishing Circe, I wasn’t quite sure what to say about it. This is a book that I actually took the time to read slowly (over five days, which is almost unheard of for me!) instead of marathoning. It wasn’t because I disliked it, but more because there was just so much over such a long time period that I had to take some time to let it soak in.

One thing that I should probably mention is that while I know the basics of Greek mythology, I was never really super into it. I had a brief phase when I was younger when I wanted to learn all about the gods and goddesses, but it didn’t last very long before I moved on to something else. While I don’t think that extensive knowledge of Greek mythology is required to enjoy this book, it probably helps. I still liked it a lot with what I knew, but I wonder if I could have liked it even more.

Beyond what I’ve just written, I’m not sure what else I can say about this book. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was extremely well-written and I was so impressed by the author’s ability to write a book like this. I think that I’ll probably read The Song of Achilles at some point, although I’ll wait until I’m in the right mood for it.

Have you read Circe? Do you like Greek mythology?
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