The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.”
The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the life of Achilles through the point of view of his childhood friend Patroclus. Patroclus was a prince who made a mistake as a young boy and was exiled. He became friends with Achilles and the two were inseparable; they even both began training under Chiron the Centaur together even when Patroclus was not meant to be trained.
There had always been a strong connection between Achilles and Patroclus, but over time friendship grew to love, and love into passion. Though their relationship may anger some, the two do not care, they only wished to be together. But then war against Troy comes calling, for both of them. And they must face fate, together.
“He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.”
I picked up this book because I went to a book signing for author Taylor Jenkins Reid and she recommended this book to the crowd. After hearing her rave about it I was curious. I work in a library and requested it, and when another coworker saw I was going to read it she freaked out and became so excited because she loved this book. So basically at that point I had to read it.
This book completely blew me away. I normally don’t read contemporary fiction, at least not anymore. But this book is something special. I love retellings, even if the story isn’t exact because I love other people’s interpretations. Plus I am a sucker for the male/male romance. Beautifully written, poetic, I fell in love with both characters despite their faults.
And if you’ve read The Iliad, or seen any movies based on it, you know the outcome. Yet knowing what would happen, Miller still put her own unique spin on it and it was like reading a new ending. So so many feels, and I may have let a tiny tear escape (A TINY ONE). I will hold these men in my heart very dearly, their story is one I could never forget.
“Name one hero who was happy.”
I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back.
“You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
“I know. They never let you be famous AND happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.”
“Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this.
“I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Because you’re the reason. Swear it.”
“I swear it,” I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes.
“I swear it,” he echoed.
We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.
“I feel like I could eat the world raw.”