As a fiend for all things related to Greek mythology, it was only a matter of time before I read this book. I was a bit worried as I have been stung by overhyped books before. Thankfully, Circe was not only able to live up to the hype, but I thought it was better than promised.
Circe by Madeline Miller is a retelling of The Odyssey but from Circe’s perspective. We follow her as she grows up, discovers witchcraft and her own power and becomes the badass we all know and love. Yes, that includes turning men into pigs. Though if we are being honest, that isn’t too bad considering the fates heroes tend to face. But I digress.
The story also covers minor events from other Greek myths, since all Greek myths are interconnected in some way or another. I enjoyed seeing all these different characters popping up. It’s always interesting to see another writers take on these classic tales. That’s the best part about Greek myth adaptations, at least in my humble opinion.
Circe is perhaps one of my favourite characters in Greek mythology, not including any gods or goddesses. I loved Miller’s take on her. We see her develop from a shy and meek black sheep of the family into a mighty and feared witch. She is charming, resourceful and witty but above all, she is cunning. Seeing her face trials and surviving, only getting stronger with each one wasn’t just captivating storytelling, I found it pretty inspiring.
Do you need to know anything about Greek mythology to enjoy this book? Nope! Miller did a wonderful job of explaining the lore in an organic way that will fill you in. It might add to your experience but overall isn’t needed. She also perfectly captures the nature of the gods. How petty they are and how they deem themselves above all others. Hermes pops up the most, being one of the more personable gods for the most part.
This novel is absolutely spellbinding, I couldn’t put it down. No, seriously. When I was about halfway through, I didn’t want to stop so I kept reading. By the time I finished it, it was one in the morning. Worth it.
I managed to grab Song of Achilles, her first book from the library recently, I am a bit nervous to read that one since I have been warned by everyone who has read it that I will cry my eyes out.
I highly recommend Circe. It’s a story about betrayal, power struggles and adapting to survive if not thrive. Filled with drama, bloodshed and heartbreak. It is magical in more ways than one. A must-read for lovers of Greek mythology.
Mythology is always fascinating. Somehow Greek and Norse mythology always felt more approachable, like these god-creatures aren’t so difficult to understand after all. Just take all the traits of mediocre mid level and department managers, give them powers and put them in charge of the world.
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