Madeline Miller's writing is absolutely stunning. The way she crafts her words brings you to be standing alongside her characters, almost perfectly vi...moreMadeline Miller's writing is absolutely stunning. The way she crafts her words brings you to be standing alongside her characters, almost perfectly visualizing what the age of the Greek gods was like. From the castles to the mountains to the wall of Troy, Miller paints a most incredible picture. My love of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey drew to read this story and it was a good read. You very much feel for Patroclus as he by turns stumbles and is thrown into situations that would make most give up or at least weep. I thought his characterization was excellent. It would have been nice to spend a little more time with him as he explores his interest in medicine later on.
Thetis, Achilles' mother, drove me a little crazy. She just pops up out of nowhere every single time she appears, all snarly and toothy and after awhile I felt like saying, "Okay, okay! She hates everything, especially Patroclus. We get it. Sheesh."
I only gave it three stars because of Thetis and because the last forty pages (maybe not even that many) really threw me off. The descriptive language was still lovely, but for me the tone change didn't have the emotional impact I think Miller was going for. It just left me wishing I could have ended with the feeling I had before a certain event. If you wish to know which event, here's a spoiler: (view spoiler)[ Specifically, after Patroclus has died but the reader is with Achilles for two or so paragraphs before going back to Patroclus, but as a spirit and Miller goes for the ghost effect. I did appreciate Patroclus and Thetis having their begrudging goodbyes and what she does for him, but Ghost Patroclus didn't do it for me. (hide spoiler)]
Miller's writing was beautiful and I thought she did excellent characterizations for the most part. If you like Greek mythology, the Iliad/Odyssey, or the Patroclus/Achilles story, you'll probably enjoy The Song of Achilles. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The four main characters in Saiyuki are a hot mess, ya'll. Sanzo is a smoking, cursing priest who will fight you - more than likely to the death. Goku...moreThe four main characters in Saiyuki are a hot mess, ya'll. Sanzo is a smoking, cursing priest who will fight you - more than likely to the death. Goku is the Monkey King of mythology, devoted to Sanzo because the (cussing, smoking) priest freed him from a nightmarishly long imprisonment. Gojyo is a gambler and a womanizer and might be more or less than human. Hakkai has a dragon that turns into a Jeep and a past that will terrify you and break your heart. By turns bloody, humorous, perplexing and heartrending, Saiyuki is not your average fight-the-demons-til-their-dead manga.
Epic and lovely and heartbreaking and hopeful and just amazing! As I had the great fortune to read an advanced reader's copy (thank you, Britney!!) I...moreEpic and lovely and heartbreaking and hopeful and just amazing! As I had the great fortune to read an advanced reader's copy (thank you, Britney!!) I won't give details. Bitterblue, which comes out in May, is set eight years after Graceling and is related to the companion book Fire. If you haven't read Graceling or Fire, you have plenty of time to do so before Bitterblue's release and I highly recommend all three titles. Cashore's writing is stunning and she creates vibrant worlds and strong characters, most of which you will love with enormity. Bitterblue is an outstanding addition to her cannon and I can only hope Cashore will continue to grace us with her stories. (less)