Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Posted June 10, 2019 by Stephanie in Uncategorized / 11 Comments

Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller

Publication: April 4th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 
Genre: Mythology, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5β˜…

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 her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island 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.

It took me over four weeks to finish Circe, which is a very long time for me, but I’m glad I took my sweet time with it because it turned out to be a phenomenal read. Before starting it I was already pretty familiar with the mythology about Circe so I was really excited to see how Madeline Miller would end up writing her story. I was fairly sure I wouldn’t be disappointed by it and I’m so glad I was right about that. I’ve been reading quite a few mythology retellings this year but I must say that this one is probably my favorite out of them all.

This book is a mythology retelling but it’s still set in ancient times and I love how the story was steeped in girl power and feminism because the ancient world, especially ancient Greece, isn’t really known for that. And that was one my favorite things in this book. I really love Madeline Miller for writing it like that.

I’m sad to say I haven’t read The Song of Achilles yet because they only had Circe at the bookstore at the time so I could only buy that one but right now it’s the highest on my wishlist. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it so I’m very excited to read that book this year too. I really can’t get enough of all the mythology retellings lately.

I’m honestly not sure what more I can say about this amazing book that a million other readers haven’t said already. The writing is simply magical. There’s no other word for it. The prose was gorgeous, deep and really hooked me to the story and Circe’s strong character. It took Greek mythology to a whole other level. And I loved it.

About the author:

Madeline Miller grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She has taught and tutored Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for the past twenty years.

She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms.

The Song of Achilles, her first novel, was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times Bestseller. It has been translated into over twenty-five languages including Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and Greek. Madeline was also shortlisted for the 2012 Stonewall Writer of the Year. Her second novel, Circe, was an instant number 1 New York Times bestseller, is currently short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and won the Indies Choice Best Adult Fiction of the Year Award and the the Indies Choice Best Audiobook of the Year Award. It was also given The Red Tentacle Award, an American Library Association Alex Award (adult books of special interest to teen readers), and the 2018 Elle Big Book Award. Madeline’s essays have appeared in a number of publications including the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Telegraph, Lapham’s Quarterly and She currently lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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11 responses to “Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

  1. How fantastic that this one has some feminist qualities to it! It is not something that I would associate with ancient Greece, either. I do love it when a book causes you to slow down and enjoy it. Sounds like a fascinating read! πŸ™‚

  2. Ash

    I haven't even heard of this but it sounds like a great read. I'll add it to my book list.

    Ash |

  3. Melissa's fandom world

    I've heard many great things about this author and this book in particular! I own a copy of the Song of Achilles, and hope to get to it soon. I plan on buying and reading this one sometime in the future as well. Lovely review!

  4. I am so so happy you loved this one! I thought you would do as well. You know I absolutely adored it and this month I just read Song of Achilles as well. Both so good and her writing is amazing.

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