Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Song of Achilles

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeleine Miller

Number of pages: 368

Started: 16 September 2012

Finished: 23 September 2012

Opening words:

My father was a king and the son of kings. He was a short man, as most of us were, and built like a bull, all shoulders. He married my mother when she was fourteen and sworn by the priestess to be fruitful. It was a good match: she was an only child, and her father’s fortune would go to her husband.

Read a longer extract here

Plot summary:

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. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, 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's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

What I thought:

The Song of Achilles is another book I have read recently that has garnered much praise.  This is not really my favourite genre of literature, but, on the whole, the book was very good.

It was the tale of Achilles and Patroclus, fighting together side by side - and sharing a love for each other even to the death.  A moving tale, including the rather sad ending.  I know a couple of people who have read this who have gone on to read The Iliad.  I can’t say that it has inspired me to do that, but it was a good read nonetheless.

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