The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

January 21, 20242 min read

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Song of Achilles is a moving tale offering a new perspective on Homer’s The Iliad. It weaves through the origin of Achilles, seen through the eyes of his companion and lover Patroclus. It is a tale that reads like a story around a campfire, rich with motifs, Gods, and tragedy.

Miller focuses on Patroclus as the main narrator and protagonist, who born as a prince, was exiled from his land and forced to reside in Phthia. It’s there he met Achilles, and their friendship began. The writing is sensitive and pure, and we can see the budding love of friendship, switch to romance as they explore each other.

The story leads on from there to focus on the Trojan War, and riddling prophecies that crystallise into tragedy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and really recommend it, for a read that keeps you turning the page.

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.

The room turned grey, then white. The bed felt cold without him, and too large. I heard no sounds, and the stillness frightened me. It is like a tomb. I rose and rubbed my limbs, slapped them awake, trying to ward off a rising hysteria. This is what it will be, every day, without him. I felt a wide-eyed tightness in my chest like a scream. Every day, without him.

I listened to every word, imagining it was a story only. As if it were dark figures on an urn he spoke of instead of men.

 In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.

Read on 20th of January 2024

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Apurva Shukla

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