Circe – Madeline Miller

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.56.32 PMPublisher: Little, Brown and Company

Publication Date: April 10th, 2018

Page Count: 400 (Hardcover)

From the Jacket:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

I am hesitant to do a review for this book because I loved it so much that I’m not sure I can do it any justice with my words. I’m going to try to jot some coherent thoughts down, but what I really want to do is smash the keyboard for a few minutes to try to convey my excitement.

You guys, this book!

This. Book.

 

I loved every word of it. Every page. Every second I spent reading it. The writing is so incredibly beautiful and extremely quotable. I am going to return to Circe time and time again and lose myself in Miller’s words. I tried to start another book today and read the first sentence about ten times before giving up and closing it. Then I went onto Amazon and purchased Miller’s first book, The Song of Achilles, so I could immerse myself again in her work.

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 10.21.03 PM.png

Then I learned that I could bend the world to my will, as a bow is bent for an arrow. I would have done that toil a thousand times to keep such power in my hands.

Many of the reviews called out fans of Greek mythology as a target audience. I studied Greek mythology in school so I recognized many of the names and stories of the Gods, Titans, heroes, and monsters. While it was fun to recognize and revisit so many of their tales, not having any prior knowledge would not have detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I think anyone who is looking for an epic story full of magic, betrayal, love, revenge, adventure, and intrigue would enjoy the hell out of this.

 

It is a common saying that women are delicate creatures, flowers, eggs, anything that may be crushed in a moment’s carelessness. If I had ever believed it, I no longer did.

 

Circe is one of the most compelling and relatable protagonists I’ve read in a long time. She is flawed in so many ways, but somehow manages to turn those into great strengths throughout her life. Her development from a weak child who is an outcast in her own family, to fierce, brave, and powerful witch, ready to do anything to protect what she loves, was a sheer delight to read. And while my love for her would have been enough to make this book shine, I fell in love with so many of the secondary characters as well. There are countless minor storylines happening at once, a backdrop to the main focus of Circe and her daily life, but the threads are never lost. In this, Miller is truly gifted and weaves pure magic with her words.

As I neared the end, I started to panic a little. My enjoyment had built up into something huge and I started reading it more slowly to savor it as long as possible. I was delaying the inevitable, anxious that the ending wouldn’t meet my expectations, but I needn’t have worried. I closed the book with tears in my eyes and could not have hoped for a more perfect conclusion.

Please read this book. Then come back and tell me how much you loved it. And if you’ve already read it, tell me your thoughts in the comments. I’d really love to gush about this one with you.

 

Rating: Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AMFive enthusiastic as hell stars.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Circe – Madeline Miller

  1. annelogan17 says:

    This seems like a ‘must read book’ for 2018, I’ve been seeing glowing reviews for it everywhere! I’m glad to see you don’t need prior knowledge of greek mythology, because i have none 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s