The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

The song of Achilles is a beautifully written historical fiction novel that gives new life to the story of Achilles and Patroclus of the Homeric epic Iliad. Though Iliad doesn’t state explicitly that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers, you cannot call anyone wrong if they think to interpret so. Even in the Hollywood portrayal of this story ( The Troy), you can see glimpses of their deep bond.

If you are someone like me who at times gets lost in the fathomless sea of non-fiction this book can be coming home. Madeline Miller has done a great job in finely weaving the story with all the elements that are in the literature yet giving a fresh look. Even in this 21st century where same-sex relationships are frowned at, I was curious about how Achilles and Patroclus’s relationship was viewed and accepted at that time. Madeline choose to portray it as something much easier, maybe it was. The purity of the love that holds and evolves between Achilles and Patroclus is the one thing that stayed with me even after finishing this book.

The overall story is painful yet feel-good and is a light read to clear up your head and bring in some fresh air. I found the fact that the author has chosen to write the novel through the eyes of Patroclus than Achilles particularly appealing. As most of the stories are often written from the perspective of the hero. Also, it would have been better if some more depth was added to Achilles’s character.

Favorite quotes from The Song of Achilles

“I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.
If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it, to hold that swelling truth.
As if he had heard me, he reached for my hand. I did not need to look; his fingers were etched into my memory, slender and petal-veined, strong and quick and never wrong.
“Patroclus,” he said. He was always better with words than I.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

“I feel like I could eat the world raw.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

“There was more to say, but for once we did not say it. There would be other times for speaking, tonight and tomorrow and all the days after that. He let go of my hand.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

Final thoughts

A different perspective of the legend of Achilles. Romance, kings, war, and of course the Gods. Recommend for those who are in for a plot twist and some deep romance.

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