Circe by Madeline Miller | Book Review

by - 09:00



Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
Released: 2018
Genre: Adult Fantasy and Mythology
Rating: ★★★★☆

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In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. 

When love drives Circe to case a dark spell, vengeful Zeus banishes her to the remote islands of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe's place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. 

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe's independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from or the mortals she has come to love. 

Blurb from UK hardcover edition

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I always say that Greek mythology interests me and I want to know more, but apart from a few of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, I haven't read anything to do with them. Until now. And I have to admit that Greek mythology is a lot darker than my naive imagination thought it was. 

Madeline Miller was able to capture so many details of Greek mythology in her book, some rather shocking to do with cows but I'll let you read about that one if you don't know already, and I felt drawn into this ancient world. 

Circe herself is not a character I have heard a lot about, most likely because I am not well read around the subject, but that goes to show that if you only know the bare basics of mythology, you can still greatly enjoy this book and gain a lot from it. Circe is a lonely girl who you get to see grow into a strong, independent woman capable of defending her island from the worst sort of people. 

This is a greatly raved about book and whilst it does credit most of those raves, my only negative is that it has a slow start, and despite a lot happening, the pace was slow. But I think this is more to the nature of this book, it is a retelling of course and whilst things can be told from different angles, things cannot be invented. So whilst I might have enjoyed it more if it had a quicker pace, I don't entirely blame that on the book itself or Miller's writing. 

As this is a retelling, and as I have said, I am not at all in the know on mythology, I was constantly thinking throughout the book how accurate it was. Which bits were new to Circes story, if anything, and what had been written before. Reading this book made me want to read more into mythology than I ever have before and has definitely heightened my original interest.

Not only is this about mythology, but about the love, betrayal, magic and monsters that come with such incredible and interwoven stories. If you are at all interested in a beautifully written retelling of any of these things, pick up Circe as soon as you can! It is a beautiful book inside and out (have you seen this cover?) and I will be picking up Miller's first book as soon as I have enough money to buy it!

I would love to know what you thought as always so please feel free to comment below or find me on any social media to have a chat!


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2 comments

  1. I recently read "The Song of Achilles" by Miller and really enjoyed it! This one sounds just as good and I'm excited to pick it up and have a read. x Nikita

    BLOG//Jasmine Loves

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    1. I still have to read that but I really want to get to it soon! It sounds so good! :)

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