BOOK REVIEW: The Song of Achilles

I think I am off to a good start with my resolutions; of reading the books on my ever growing list. This was one of them –

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller.

The story was so captivating I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again and I finished it in just over two days! I know very little of Greek mythology and had no idea about this love story perhaps overlooked by the tales of war in Troy. It is such a tragic but beautiful love story between Achilles and Patroclus, all written in the perspective of the latter. Of the little I knew in Greek mythology, I had heard that Achilles was arrogant and selfish, Miller’s story tells a very different, sensitive side to this legend really examining the ways of human nature, about our motivations, fears and hopes and how they drive us to our fates. It is almost paralleled with Shakespeare, following a similar course to Romeo and Juliet and examining the complexities of human nature.

Overall I would highly recommend this book whether you are a Greek mythology newbie like me, or have a passion and are well read in it, I think that you would enjoy this book if you want a story of love, of pride, of fate, of what it means to be a ‘man’ and of war, this is for you. I have, however, come away with a renewed interest in wanting to learn more about Greek mythology and this part of history.

I am now about to read her second book ‘Circe’ which so many people have been raving about recently – apparently it’s a feminist take on this Greek myth. Have you read it? What did you think?

Join my #bookclub on Instagram and let me know what you are currently reading on instagram 👇

Published by Accalia Smith

I am a student in the UK studying English Literature at RHUL and an aspiring writer.

18 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Song of Achilles

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed this book. it is one of my favs. I thought it was a very fresh twist on Greek Mythology and it ensnared me from the very first page. have you had a chance to read Circe yet?


      1. Yes I loved it, I want her to write even more books but i guess they take a long time to research as there is such a big gap between Song of Achilles and Circe. I’ve read one of her short stories which is based on another myth Galatea, that was a very interesting perspective because it left you to make your own mind up about the char.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some of them are hard to get hold of but defo let me know what you think about Galatea if you read it! Nobody else I know has read it and I’m dying to get someone else’s take on it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I will! I love her writing style but will probably have to check it out in a few weeks time as I’m sitting exams at the moment – I’ve even put my blog to the side a bit these last few months x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Good luck with the exams, I hope they aren’t too strenuous! At least you have only put it aside temporarily, it will still be here when you come back 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thank you so much, I started library volunteering a few weeks ago and I get through a lot of books and thought why not do a little blog. I didn’t think people would be too interested to be honest but I’ve had some uptake. Yes Please is such an amazing book. I don’t read bios often but hers really spoke to me. I think it really hit home for me about what it is like being a woman in society at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yeah i thinks it’s really nice seeing lots of honest, real reviews of books otherwise you never really know which ones are actually good aha. I don’t often read bios either but you’re right -it’s so relevant and personal x

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      7. I feel like you have to be a very brave person to out yourself out there in the way that she does. I love seeing what other people think of books I’ve read, they may have seen something I may have missed and such. I think it’s important for people to be honest and not be concerned about pleasing other people in that respect.

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      8. Yess I totally agree, that’s why I love blogging because it’s a space to publish thoughts and opinions about an array of subjects and I love seeing that in books- the braver and bolder the better. I’ve always loved reading as well and most people I know are not such big fans so it’s great getting the opinions of people who do on these sorts of platforms x

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      9. I’m trying to keep my blog to just books but I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts so I’m considering doing a post on the best ones to listen to in my experience. I do love hearing the bolder thoughts, the likelihood is, someone has had the same thought and even if they haven’t it’s a good way to debate. Reading has really been a constant thing throughout my life. Not many people I know do read which is a bit of a shame really, books should be way more popular than they are!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yeah it’s such a shame that they aren’t! It gives you so much more perspective of so many things. Ooo true crime seems to be a really popular subject at the moment – I bet loads of people would want to read that! I love the idea of a podcast but can never really find the right time to listen to them. I tend to write quite a few more politically orientated posts so there can be quite a bit of debate haha x

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I’ve seen a few of your political posts and I think in this day and age we need a bit of debate! True Crime is really popular! – I’ve read a few articles on why and it’s been interesting to see the difference of opinion it. I listen to podcasts in work or at the gym, I do listen to a political podcast as well which manages to be interesting and teaches me more about the UK political system. I wish reading was more popular and it does give such a fantastic perceptive on things, it can really make you consider a different view!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Haha yess we need to keep talking about politics! Maybe I need to start listening to more podcasts although don’t know if I could replace music haha. Let’s start the reading revolution! x

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Politic definitely needs to be a conversation! There’s so many different facets of it! I do listen to music too! But i dip in and out. I prefer podcasts at the gym because otherwise I get bored and my mind really wanders, podcasts keep it occupied. I run a physical monthly book club at the library I volunteer at and I love it, hopefully that contributes to keeping the reading revolution going.


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