The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
Date Published: 20 September 2011
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Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.
But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
I actually do not know how to start describing this book. I only just have one word in mind: Magnificent. I love historical books and for anyone out there like me, this is probably the book you’re looking for.
This book took place during (before and after too!) the Trojan War. We know how it ended, we know the characters, we know Troy’s predicament. But there’s actually a twist in the story- Achilles and Patroclus are lovers. Patroclus is this soft-hearted companion of Achilles. Their fates intertwined when Patroclus was exiled from his home. And ever since then, they knew to themselves that they have feelings for each other. This book is narrated by Patroclus and his words will definitely captivate the reader. You could actually feel how his heart hurts about this forbidden love that he had gotten himself into.
The writing style is amazing. It translated the character’s emotions and feelings onto the pages raw and whole and beautifully. The details in the battlefield are also captured vividly. But what got me is the romance between Achilles and Patroclus. There have been numerous speculations about whether Achilles was gay, and this book re-imagined the Trojan War that way. It’s about love during the time of war and pure chaos. The kingdom, the war, their parents, even the gods are trying to tear them apart.
This book made me cry — a lot. It’s like an emotional torture since I know the ending of Trojan war but I still want to go on but I’m contemplating since I know it will only break my heart (But I still finished it anyway).
It was truly an amazing experience to have read this book. It’s pretty accurate historically. I believe it is a great way to familiarize oneself of the Trojan war.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.