The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

Book - 2012
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Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.
Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 378 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780062060617
Branch Call Number: Mill


From the critics

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Jun 02, 2021

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a retelling of Homer's Iliad. The plot is about a young man named Patroclus who is an exiled prince living in the court of King Peleus with his son, Achilles. Patroclus and Achilles grow to become close friends and even something closer. However, everything changes when Helen of Troy is kidnapped and Achilles is sent to find her and get her back. Fearful for Achilles' life, Patroclus goes with Achilles to find her on a journey that will change their lives in unexpected ways. Overall, this book's plot was not that bad; it was just very slow and boring in parts. The main characters, Patroclus and Achilles' romance was sweet, but also could be annoying in some parts. Overall, this novel is for high schoolers who enjoy Greek mythology, romance, and a war story.

pacl_teens May 27, 2021

"The Song of Achilles is a story of a terrible war but one filled with heartache and love. The author, Madeline Miller, retold one of the Iliads' most well-known stories: the Trojan War. The novel followed Patroclus, a clumsy prince as he navigated the ways of his exile in a foreign city. After he accidentally killed a boy near his home at the palace, Patroclus was exiled to the home of Achilles. The two boys met and became friends, despite how Achilles was a warrior and Patroclus was reduced to nothing after his exile.

When Achilles was sent to study under Chiron, Patroclus followed. There, miles away from home, the two of them became much more than friends. After years of training, the call finally came. Achilles, who was prophesied to be the best warrior in all of Greece, was called to go fight in the Trojan War. The story continues as the boys grow up to be two amazing people on the battlefield. This book is one of my favorites and always will be. Madeline Miller uses amazing writing to really just capture the feeling of being in love in such a dangerous situation. I recommend this book to anyone who likes YA romance novels. Another great book by Miller is Circe, which I recommend for anyone whos already read the Song of Achilles." -Miren, Grade 9

May 26, 2021

Don't be discouraged to dive into the world of greek mythology. This was my first Madeline Miller and greek mythology read. It was surprisingly so easy to follow along and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't say too much without spoiling it but pick this read up to experience the love and heartbreak in Achillie's and Patroclus's love story.

May 24, 2021

If you've ever been curious about the Iliad but were put off the 12,000 lines of text, this touching story about the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus may be the push you need to finally crack it open. Following his exile from his homeland, Patroclus is sullen and shrouded by self-doubt and guilt... until he reluctantly befriends Achilles and is pulled into his radiance. Patroclus and Achilles' story is one for the ages, a devastating epic about brotherhood, growing up, and what it means to love someone to the ends of the earth.

May 17, 2021

The moment I read the first page of this book, I was certain that this book had me hooked. The story is told from the perspective of Patroclus who, exiled by his father to live in the court of Peleus, soon falls in love with his host's son, Achilles, who is a demigod. The two boys grow into adulthood and have a love affair that carries onto the Trojan War, as we read about their heart wrenching story in the war. I noticed that the society and beliefs shown in the story are very similar to traditional Greek myths, such as the time's inequality, how honor and fame are valued over life itself, and so on. I love how the gods are depicted in this novel, which I believe is really true to the myths; they're enigmatic and capricious, and vengeful. Madeline Miller did a fantastic job illustrating how far from human they are. Overall, I couldn't put it down because it was such a gripping book revolving around the time of the Trojan War!

May 03, 2021

Easy to read novel and interesting perspective on the Trojan War. I was glad I had read Stephen Fry's "Troy" prior to this which almost serves as a companion piece.

Apr 21, 2021

I knew this book was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be this good. Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles is a beautiful, devastating story of pride, war, and love, and I adored every page. I was astonished by how well Miller was able to take an ancient story, one that is widely known, and turn it into something so wonderfully new. It’s rare that I find characters from any sort of historical fiction to be so compelling, but these ones were—so much so that I spent most of the book terrified for their fate, desperately hoping for a happy ending. I won’t spoil anything, but… be prepared to cry. Despite the tears, this book is a hundred percent worth reading. The writing is absolutely stunning; vivid and poetic and expressive. Every line is gorgeously crafted, and the dialogue is so full of emotion. The Song of Achilles is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, and I’d give it 5/5 stars. @Ayama of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

The Song of Achilles was a fascinating read and a very imaginative spin on the original story it’s based on. I found the writing specifically to be enticing- Miller’s words flow like poetry, they’re incredibly descriptive and emotional. The storyline was captivating, the characters were likeable and the plot was good, but it wasn’t great. I was told this book would be heartbreaking, and while it was sad, I found the ending to be rather predictable and the novel overall to be overhyped. It was good, but I found myself wanting more. I wish the relationships had been further focused on and that there had been more explanation for the very end of the book as it felt disconnected from the rest of the story. That being said, I did enjoy this book- it really is a beautiful story, just not as much as I thought I would. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in greek mythology and some time to pass. Rate 4/5 stars.
@LadyCatherinePinkerton of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a beautiful story following Greek Hero Achilles and his lover and companion Patroclus. TSOA follows the two as they grow up together in friendship and learn to fight and heal, all the way to the end of the Battle of Troy, and their afterlife and story of love. Without any specific spoilers, The Song of Achilles is one of the most beautiful, well-written novels about the Greek story of Patroclus and Achilles. The book is poetic, descriptive, and full of meaning and care. It is tear-jerking and heartbreaking, but also happy, comedic, and satisfying throughout the whole story. I would recommend Miller’s novel to anyone interested in classics and Greek Mythology who may not be ready for the true Iliad or Odyssey. The Song of Achilles recounts the Trojan War in a more modern way, and instead of it being a story of just war, it is also of true love, friendship, loss, grief, and the afterlife. The novel itself is truly a work of art, and 100% worth the read (and the tears!). Besides anyone interested in classics and Greek Mythology, The Song of Achilles is a captivating and stunningly-written story that everyone should read. I give the novel 5/5 stars, and would give more if I could!
@readingmouse of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Apr 16, 2021

A superb novel.

ReadingAdviser_Dylan Apr 16, 2021

This is my favourite book of all time. It's got some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read, a once in a lifetime romance and retells a classic story with such a precise and tender hand.

I literally got a tattoo inspired by this book I love it so much.

Apr 12, 2021

Lovers of Greek Mythology, rejoice! A unique perspective of a legendary God. A bit slow at first, but we'll worth the time and effort. Miller sucks you in completely and weaves a delicious tale of the legend you thought you knew.

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Add a Quote
May 17, 2021

“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”

May 17, 2021

“And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.”

May 17, 2021

"I am made of memories"

I stopped watching for ridicule, the scorpion's tail hidden in his words. He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. Some people might have mistaken this for simplicity. But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart?

Jul 21, 2018

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

Dec 08, 2017

"Our man liked conquest, they did not trust a man who was conquered himself" (pg 176)

Aug 27, 2016

"Go, he waits for you."

Aug 27, 2016

"This and this and this."

Jun 07, 2015

We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.

Aug 23, 2012

"She used to be known as the most beautiful woman in our kingdoms. Now they say she's the most beautiful woman in the world.....A thousand ships have sailed for her"


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