Audio Book Review: The Song of Achilles: A Novel by Madeline Miller

Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Harper Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 11 hours 15 minutes
Narrator: Frazer Douglas
Genre: Fiction/Classic
Buy: Audible | Kindle  | Paperback


The legend begins...

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. "The best of all the Greeks"-strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess-Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine-much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles' mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.


I haven't read the Illiad or the Odyssey since 5th grade so it was nice to revisit this modernized tale.  This is the love story between Patroclus and Achilles, of war and oaths, of destiny. This story is beautifully told the narrator really brings the characters alive and Miller's beautiful prose helps guide the story along.

The fate of these two beautiful characters is well known but it still was devastating to my heart. I love how Miller really updated this story.  Bringing forth the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Even though it was sort of alluded to in the Illiad it was never really fleshed out so this modernized version really tugs at your heart.

The downfall of pride is really prevalent in this story. Both Achilles and his mother were very prideful and so was Achilles son who was raised by his mother. This pride led to devastating consequences and ultimately was the the downfall of both Achilles and his mother (from the loss of her son). In the end it seems she learned a bit of humility but the ending was pretty rough going there for a while.

I've had this book on my TBR list for a long time and I'm not sure what took me so long to actually get to it but I am so happy I did. Makes me intrigued to read her more recent book Circe