Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Iliad has always been my favorite, though not for the love of Greece but of Troy. The mighty Hector is close to my heart, and I pity his fate and of the Trojans who were only casualties from a war brewed by the senseless pride of the gods. I cannot stress enough how much I hated Achilles for killing Hector. Hector, my mighty Hector, tamer of horses, and the most pious Prince. I have loved how he was one of the champions in mythology who was often told to act for the greater good. The Greeks in the Iliad were mostly depicted as barbarians. I think the Iliad, although a tale of Greece, was always made to highlight the tragedy of Troy.
This book has surprised me. I must be honest that I do not usually read books with themes as such, but this.. this one I recommend to others like me who are fans of mythology.
I am sorry, Hector, but this has given new light to Achilles and of why he is considered as one of Greek Mythology’s mightiest heroes, next to Perseus and Heracles. It was told from Patroclus’s point of view, and it made me understand him better. The writing style is light and yet it takes you back to the old age when gods would interfere with mortal matters. I admire the storytelling involved. Most people shun books that use words that are not common and hard to comprehend, but I did not have trouble with this.
Miller has mastered how to connect with the readers. She has made Achilles is much more than how Hollywood depicted him to be on countless movies about him. He is a true Demigod. I love how this mighty hero cannot be wavered by all or anything but his love for Patroclus. I have felt how pure and genuine their love was for each other, how Patroclus is what grounds Achilles to his mortality. I also want to note that how despite of war they had tried their best to keep their dignities somehow intact. The character developments are exciting as they are spiral and they add spices to the story, even minor ones like the other soldiers in the war.
But of course, my opinion might be based on how Achilles was so much like Percy in this book. The bravery, the invincibility, the hubris, and of course, the loyalty to Patroclus- all traits of a great Greek Demigod.