The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller has been gaining traction recently, for good reason.

Greek mythology tales are always interesting. More specifically, the retellings of their wars. They are action-packed, thrilling, and they always seem to throw in a tragedy. If any of this sounds enjoyable, try reading The Song Of Achilles. This novel is absolutely beautiful, and amazingly well written.

The Song of Achilles, written by Madeline Miller, is a thrilling retelling of the Trojan War through the eyes of Patroclus. The novel begins when Patroclus is a boy and is exiled by his father. He is sent to live with King Pelus, a king of a nearby kingdom, and meets King Pelus’ son, Achilles. The boys become friends and grow up together. Then, Helen, the wife of Menelaus, is taken to Troy by a prince named Paris, and the Trojan War begins. Both boys are called to fight in the war. The two age from young teen boys to adult men on the battlefield. Tragedy strikes Achilles and Patroclus on the battlefield, and the two no longer fight. The war ceases, and without Achilles fighting, everyone else must figure out what to do. Orpheus leaves and brings in a new hero to finish what Achilles could not. This new hero eventually ends the war and becomes the hero Achilles was unable to be.

This novel was a roller coaster of emotions. Others who have read the book say it was amazing, and I personally think this book was a beautiful, heart-wrenching Greek tragedy. The amount of sheer detail in the book is absolutely wonderful. Miller went into detail about every little thing a reader could ever imagine. The only bad thing I could think of while reading this masterpiece though, was how Hector was portrayed in a bad light. In this book, Hector is portrayed as rude and irresponsible. In reality, Hector was said to be one of the most honorable war heroes during the War of Troy. It is said he died for honor and for his reputation. It is said that Achilles chose to fight for Patroclus and to get revenge. He died for his revenge and let his personal life get in the way of the war.

One more thing that I think should be touched on is how much pride is emphasized in this novel. For example, the reason Achilles goes to fight in the war is because of his pride. He had something to uphold. His pride. And in war, he pushes aside Patroclus’ needs to uphold his pride and ego because as long as he battled, he was a hero.

Other than that, The Song of Achilles has got to be one of my favorite books I have ever read. To anyone who enjoys retellings of stories or myths, slightly romantic novels, or a good heart wrencher, it is highly recommended to try The Song Of Achilles. This novel is by Madeline Miller, and is available online or in stores.