Saturday, 22 September 2012

HISTORICAL FICTION: THe Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Release Date: 12/04/12


WINNER OF THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012 Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


I’m a fan of the old epics and whilst this is a new take on a small part of the Iliad, it’s a story that deals with the life and love of Achilles as told by Patroclus, his lover and whose death brings the hero back into the Trojan war. The story is mainly the love story between the two but when backed by the history alongside the authors love for getting the story across to the modern reader, makes it something that is readable.

Personally I prefer David Gemmell’s telling of the whole saga, but if you want a more personal telling of Achilles part delving into the minutiae of the characters life, then this is the book for you. Finally add to the mix that the author clearly loves the time period and has done a reasonable job of bringing it over to the reader then this could be a book worthy of your time.

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