Monday, August 13, 2012

The Song of Achilles

by Madeleine Miller
New York : Ecco, c2012.

Patroclus is the son of a king, but early on he knew he disappointed his father. He could never match up to Achilles, the son of a goddess and the one destined to be the greatest Greek fighter ever. When Patroclus accidentally kills a boy, he is exiled to Achilles' father's kingdom. As these boys become friends and companions, Patroclus narrates their story leading up to events that will be familiar to anyone who knows their Greek mythology.

Full confession: I still haven't read The Iliad and The Odyssey. I still could see where events were going, to some extent, but I couldn't tell you where the author diverges from or imagines additions to the original story. While I didn't always like what happened, I never could imagine things differently, one of the highest compliments I can give to a story. The writing was wonderfully evocative, and I think this is the sort of book that I might have rated in my mind lower directly after finishing it, but it will linger in my mind awhile longer and come out as a stronger read several months later when I've had time to fully digest it. At the very least, it made me eager to pick up some of the original Greek myths.

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