2021 · books · glbt · historical

Book Review: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller


Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

*Siri, play Achilles Come Down by Gang of Youths*

This was a very anticipated read for me and I’m glad I finally read it. I went into it knowing almost nothing about the story and I’m glad I read it that way.

I’ve always been a fan of Greek Mythology and I’ve read Illiad and The Oddysey for school as well as religiously watched Troy since I was a little kid. However, the fact that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers somehow didn’t catch my attention until now. The reason for that might be because they were cousins in the movie Troy (which is honestly such a shitty thing to do but okay, I guess people in early 2000s weren’t ready for such great gay energy). But nonetheless, it was one of my favorite childhood movies and I really must rewatch it.

From the first page, this book amazed me with it’s writing style. It has this very mythologycal feel to it with a touch of modern that makes everything so much more understandable. It’s so beautiful and I can see why many people like Madeline Miller.

When it comes to characters, my favorite by far was Patroclus. He was so selfless and loving, putting everyone before himself. Although a lot of people did him wrong, he was still so forgiving and honestly, has one of the kindest and purest hearts out of all the book characters ever.

I also liked Achilles, at least in the beginning. He was the golden boy who just wanted to have a normal life, but couldn’t because of everyone’s expectations. However, as the time passed, he got more and more power hungry and from that moment, my love for him stopped.

I loved Achilles and Patroclus romance in the beginning. This was a true friends-to-lovers romance. This also has some of the best sex scenes because it is not too descriptive in terms of talking about every single thing it happens, it’s mostly vague but it describes everything so beautifuly. This romance broke my heart but I can’t help but realize that Achilles is the reason it ended, his awful behaviour led to Patroclus’ death and eventually his own. I didn’t think you could go from hating to loving a character in a matter of few chapters, but Achilles proved me wrong.

Honestly, this book was very quick and sudden to me and although I loved it very much, I expected a bit more. The ending broke me but the last two sentences fixed me up pretty nicely. I will definitely be reading Circe because I really enjoyed Madeline Miller’s writing style and want to see how it progressed with time. As for this book, I’d say if you like lgbtq+ romance and mythology (and let’s be honest who doesn’t like that??) go for it!

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  1. Every time I hear about The Song of Achilles I am more and more curious! Everything you’ve described sounds perfectly heartbreaking — Achilles’ descent into villainy, Patroclus’ inevitable death — and I’m really intrigued by the way you’ve described Miller’s writing style as a blend of mythological and modern. I knew her writing is beautiful, but I ended up searching through quotes from the book because of your review and OH MY GOODNESS yes, yes, I need to read this. Your review gave me the *exact* push that I needed to add this to my official TBR — thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to frame this comment and put it on the wall because you couldn’t have explained it better! I’m soo excited to read your review when you read it 😍😍


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