My father was a king and the son of kings.
I honestly wouldn’t expect me to be very coherent in this review. It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished The Song of Achilles, and I’m still having a breakdown over it. Thanks a lot, Tatum.
I both love and hate Tatum for sending me this. she knows how I love my mythology, and how Ancient History tends to ruin my life, and yet she still decided to go right ahead with recommending this one. And yep, my post-Spartacus life is officially ruined. I haven’t read the epic poem (yet!) but this makes me even more desperate to check it out. Right. Now.
The Song of Achilles tells Achilles’ life story through the eyes of Patroclus. Since I don’t read book synopses for fear of spoilers, I wasn’t expecting this, and was immediately intrigued by Miller’s approach to the tale since this book is not told from the point of view of the classic hero. As the novel moves forward, it follows both Achilles and Patroclus from when they are children, right up until the very end.
Patroclus and Achilles have one of the most beautiful relationships I have ever read about. There are some ups and downs, and each time those downs came around my heart broke in half. It was quickly melded back together, though, because the pair actually work things out. The love and trust and respect they hold for each other – all for different reasons – is beautiful. I don’t know what else to say about it, really, other than it’s one of my favourite relationships and I’m actually struggling to think of one that can top it.
For once, I wasn’t craving ALL THE ACTION. I know, isn’t it shocking?! I must talk all the time about how I want more action in books, more fight scenes, for fire fights… but in this, Patroclus and Achilles were enough. I was happy reading about what the two were going through with their families, with the war, with their enemies… and I was probably too overcome with emotions about their epic love to crave anything other than the two of them.
Miller has a really captivating writing style that fits with the setting and the time. I’m very impressed. I especially enjoyed how she wrote the love scenes between Achilles and Patroclus. I was concerned that these scenes would be jarring before they came about, considering how the rest of the story is told, but they were actually tender and sweet rather than erotic and in-your-face.
The ending absolutely slaughtered me. No one warned me about it, although to be fair I knew I was going to be devastated one way or another since I knew how Achilles’ story ends. What I wasn’t sure about was Patroclus. When the ending came around it shattered my heart into a million pieces.
I’d recommend this to every reader out there, no question. If you’re looking for two characters that will have a huge impact and move you, then The Song of Achilles is what you need. Just… just read it! It deserves all the awards. The book pushing starts now.
(Hey, who said I was only going to be recommending books in this section, hmm?)