The Song of Achilles | A Review

Hey everyone, today I’ll be reviewing The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. If you’ve been on booktok lately, you’d know that this book has been trending for quite a while. But did it live up to the hype? Read on to find out!

(Synopsis from goodreads)

Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to 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 cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

I really adored the original premise! I’m very new to greek mythology, so I was intrigued to see how the book would play out. At first, the story was much too confusing. There were a lot of greek mythology terms used that I simply didn’t understand. Yes, I could have looked at the glossary. But in all honestly, I didn’t notice it until after I finished the book – which is entirely a fault on my part. However, I just wish the world was built in a way that readers could go into the book with no prior knowledge of Greek mythology. 

Alright, so let’s talk about the characters. When reading the title, I assumed The Song of Achilles would be about, well, Achilles. However, it was told through Patrolclus’ point of view. Luckily, I loved that! Patroclus is such a likable character. He’s empathetic and goes through a lot of growth throughout the story. He also had such an intuitive nature. He was kind and determined in such a powerful yet quiet way. Unfortunately though, I was not fond of Achilles. He was selfish. Achilles did anything he could to protect his honour, even if it meant hurting the ones he loved. To me, there is nothing honourable about that. Also, I disliked the way women were portrayed in the book. They were constantly seen as ‘lesser beings’. It made me very uncomfortable, and definitely affected my overall enjoyment of the story. On a better note, I absolutely loved Briseis!! She was such a charming character, and is basically the female version of Patroclus, but much more inquisitive. Moreover, I loved seeing the different relationships Patroclus had with the characters. Achilles and Patroclus had such a unique dynamic, they worked so well together.

“Her safety for my honour. Are you happy with your trade?” “There is no honour in betraying your friends.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

Luckily, I adored the dialogue! It really tugged on my heartstrings. The dialogue carried so much emotion. One thing I loved about the story, was how intense the character interactions were. It could literally just be Patroclus and some random side character – but the way Madeline Miller executes these scenes elevates the book to a whole new level. 

The writing in The Song of Achilles was impeccable! The prose was amazing. Madeline Miller’s writing style is truly captivating and beautiful. However, the pacing was very uneven. Within the span of a couple of pages, many years pass. This affected my overall enjoyment of the story, because it left no time for me to wonder what would happen next. Something minor that also annoyed me a teensy bit, was how often the words ‘swollen bellies’ were used. I believe it was used as a synonym for pregnant, but it was simply too repetitive. 

“And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

Overall, The Song of Achilles was a unique experience. It was out of my comfort zone, so I’m really happy I read it! While I couldn’t overlook some aspects of the story, I definitely recommend this novel to new historical fiction fans. However, if you’re new to greek mythology like me, be sure to read the glossary at the back of the book. I’m sure my reading experience would have been better if I could connect more with the wold building. Also, the ending was also incredibly frustrating. Nevertheless, it sure is an unforgettable story. 🙂

Age Rating: 16 and up

TW: For the full list of trigger warnings, I suggest this site.

Final Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 stars, or 8.5/10

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for reading!

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My Most Anticipated Releases of 2022!

Hi everyone! Here are my most anticipated releases of 2022! There are so many new releases I’m excited for, so it was difficult to narrow the list down to just twenty. Anyways, let’s get into it!

(PS: Click on the book covers for the Goodreads links.)

1. Golden Girls by Reem Faruqi

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

If there’s any indication as to how I look like in real life, it’s the girl on the cover; Aafiyah! Well, at least they look like me as a kid. 😆

Publication Date: February 22nd, 2022

2. Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf

I’ve actually been in Scrabble competitions before, and adore the game. So when I found out there’d be a Scrabble mystery with a Muslim MC coming out this year, I was extremely excited!

Publication Date: April 19th, 2022

3. Salaam, with Love by Sara Sharaf Beg

I’ve been in a big book hangover since SK Ali’s Love From A to Z. It was just too good! So I’m hoping this’ll be as amazing too.

Publication Date: January 4th, 2022

4. Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas

I’ve been anticipating Squire for over a year now, so I can’t wait for it’s release! It’s also a graphic novel, which makes me even more excited!

Publication Date: March 8th, 2022

5. So This Is Ever After by F. T. Lukens

After loving the author’s book In Deeper Waters, I was incredibly happy to know that F.T. Lukens would be releasing a new book. The cover is giving me major Merlin vibes, and I’m loving it! I also interviewed the author, you can find that post here!

Publication Date: March 29th, 2022

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6. Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales, so I’m beyond excited for this YA retelling of it! Not to mention that it also had desi representation too!

Publication Date: May 10th, 2022

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7. Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney

Last year I read Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by the author, and I can’t wait for this one as well. Also, isn’t Joya Goffney the queen of book titles?

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022

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8. You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See

This book has disabled representation, which is something don’t see very often in YA novels. I know I say this with every book on this list, but I am so excited for this!!

Publication Date: May 31st, 2022

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9. As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh

This seems like such a heartbreaking book. I just know I’m going to love it!

Publication Date: September 2022

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10. Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee

I mean, who doesn’t love books about books?

Publication Date: July 26th, 2022

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11. Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey

Ahhh this looks amazing! We love seeing powerful women!!

Publication Date: June 14th, 2022

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12. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

This sounds so heartwrenching. Akwaeke Emezi is such a unique writer, I can’t wait to read this one!

Publication Date: May 24th, 2022

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13. Circling Back to You by Julie Tieu

This cover is everything to me! I’m always a sucker for a good contemporary, and this seems right up my alley.

Publication Date: July 12th, 2022

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14. One for All by Lillie Lainoff

The Three Musketeers was my favorite story as a child, so I cannot wait to read this one! Also, just look at that stunning cover!

Publication Date: March 8th, 2022

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15. Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson

Last year, I read Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson, and I still think it today. It was such an amazing book, so naturally I’m interested in this one too!

Publication Date: March 29th, 2022

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16. Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood

I adore books set in winter, and this one seems perfectly winter-y~.

Publication Date: July 5th, 2022

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17. The Girl in White by Lindsay Currie

I’ve read two books by Lindsay Currie now, so of course I have to read this one too! I adore their writing style, it’s so amazingly eerie.

Publication Date: September 2022

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18. An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan

 

Retellings are my thing! So I can’t wait for this Romeo and Juliet retelling! Also, I’ve been wanting to get into different types of mythologies. So when I found out this book was inspired by Chinese Mythology, I was so excited!

Publication Date: April 12th, 2022

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19. Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

Any book with Sunny in the title catches my attention instantly. 😆 I mean, my nickname is Sunny — it’s also part of my blog name. Jokes aside, I’ve been warning to read more books with desi representation, and this one seems really fun!

Publication Date: February 8th, 2022

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20. The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid by Nita Prose

Mysteries and thrillers are one of my favorite genres, and The Maid just looks so intriguing. I also adore this cover! It’s so simplistic yet eye-catching.

Publication Date: January 4th, 2022

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Alrighty folks, those are my most anticipated releases of the year! If you want to buddy read any of these, do let me know! Buddy reads are always so fun.

What are your most anticipated reads of 2022? Let me know in the comments! Have a fabulous day!

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