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The Song of Achilles: The 10th Anniversary edition of the Women's Prize-winning bestseller

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It’s not an accurate portrayal of the characters she claims to love so much, and it’s unintentionally homophobic at best. She’s a fascinating figure, a rape victim who never wanted children and fled from her abusive husband as soon as she could, but still loved her son and visited him whenever possible, trying to protect him from being conscripted into the war and then, when it was inevitable, pulling strings by exploiting her godly connections to convince Hephaestus to forge Achilles’s shield. The lads are trained by a centaur, Chiron, who is a pretty cool character, (fans of Harry Potter will recognize in Chiron the source for Hogwarts’ own Firenze, also a teacher of medicine, and overall good guy) and of course the gods can’t help but interfere with the doings of men, like early-version Koch Brothers with training in the Dark Arts.

Song of Achilles: Madeline Miller - AbeBooks The Song of Achilles: Madeline Miller - AbeBooks

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. However, not to be torn away from his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into the caves and remains with him for three years as the love between the two blossoms.

Thetis asks Patroclus to share his memories of Achilles, the ones unrelated to bloodshed, and Patroclus does. Madeline Miller definitely has a way with words and I loved how this story was written: Poetical with a lot of mythological facts and with so many details that it succeeded to make this a more than just intriguing journey.

The Song of Achilles - Bloomsbury Publishing

They were loyal, brave and kind to one another in a way that had me reaching for the tissues instead of choking down my mirth.As I mentioned, Achilles cried so loudly when Patroclus died that Thetis heard him from the ocean floor and came to the surface to console him. While the sequence of events does follow the Trojan war, war part only feels like a sub-plot which complements the main plot beautifully.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | Waterstones

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. When her gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. When he puts on Achilles’s armour to go into battle, no one thinks he’ll replace Achilles; everyone—Achilles included! While I have no philosophical issue with the same-sex element of the tale, I found the youthful pining and sex scenes mushy and maybe gag-worthy, but once the pairing is secured, the story is free to flow back to Homer’s tale.The romance plot in here is one of the truest and believable I’ve read to date: it was strong and real. This is a minor detail, but it bothered me: Miller’s Achilles is revolted by the concept of even touching a woman, but Achilles did like women, and in fact slept with at least two within the context of the Iliad. He recklessly fights hero after hero until he is finally killed by Paris, shot through the heart by a bow touched by Apollo. A book that has modernised the legendary work of Homer but stayed true to the core of the Iliad and Achilles homosexuality.

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