Mike Reviews: The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller


This is a story that’s set in classical Greece, in a world where deities of the Greek pantheon actually exist.

It follows the story about a young prince called Patroclus, who is exiled by his father, the king, and is taken in by the king of another kingdom, Pelius, and meets the king’s young son, Achilles.

Patroclus is taken under Achilles wing and protection, and the two grow up to become young men, and lovers.

But Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a goddess of water, has plans of her own for her son, and they don’t include Paroclus.

Achilles is sent away to the mountains to be trained by Chiron, a centaur. Patroclus follows him, against the wishes and consent of the Kingdom, but it’s agreed by Chiron that they can be trained together.

It isn’t long before war comes calling when Helen of Troy is kidnapped. Achilles is forced to choose between eternal glory and mediocrity, but with greatness comes a price that Achilles and Patroclus will both have to pay.

It’s a sweet story, most readers will be familiar with many of the key characters and events, that have been adopted for this gay romantic spin of a classical story.

I didn’t love this one, but I do feel it’s worth reading. The end had me feeling quite emotional. It would have been a better read if Achilles was a character that I could get behind, but in all formats I am familiar with him in, I’ve never found him a sympathetic character. I don’t do well with characters in fiction who live first and foremost for their reputation, or “fame”. That said, I probably would have done the same thing as Achilles if I had been wronged like that – I won’t elaborate, in case you decide to read it for yourself.

Sweet, sweet Patroclus saves the story for me, as as unsympathetic I am to Achilles’s character, I feel the opposite towards Patroclus.

Goodreads rating: 4.4

Mike’s rating: 3.5

Page count: 378

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