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Archive: Other Books > Circe by Madeline Miller -- 4 stars

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Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Circe by Madeline Miller
4 stars

I love Greek mythology. But it has been a while since I really read/studied much of it, and I don't know that I have ever been overly familiar with the story of Circe. And, while I enjoyed "learning" (you know, in a historical fiction kind of way), what I enjoyed even more was that Miller took a more unfamiliar nymph and used her story to weave in very popular stories.

The tension between the Titans and the Olympians. Prometheus. Scylla. The Minotaur. Daedalus and Icarus. Jason and Medea. Odysseus and Penelope. With guest appearances by Helios, Athena, and Hermes. Miller takes kernels from lost Greek stories—like the Telegony—and expands upon them.

Bottom line: it worked.

My one critique is that Miller is not great at writing about love. She attempted it with Achilles and Patroclus in The Song of Achilles. She wanted us to believe in this all encompassing love that started wars, and I personally thought she failed. She tries again with Circe, having her fall in love with several of the male characters, but none of them is very convincing. BUT, it did not upend the story here as it did with Achilles, because you ultimately think that Circe may not truly love any of them.

The audio was well done, but man was it hard to start because there are a lot of characters! In fact, I think several of them could have been cut from the story and it still would have worked. And, I have not heard many of the names out loud in a long time so it took me a while to realize that I was actually familiar with that specific character. Case in point: Scylla.

Ultimately, I like it. A lot. I would even go so far as to say that it is better than The Song of Achilles, but still shy of the elusive five stars.

Magdalena | 414 comments Great review! You got me I love Greek mythology.

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Magdalena wrote: "Great review! You got me I love Greek mythology."

If you are a fan of Greek mythology then I think you will like it! But, be warned that it is not a strict retelling, Miller takes a lot of liberties with the stories that you may already be familiar with.

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Circe (other topics)

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Madeline Miller (other topics)