“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

March 6, 2012  |  369 pages
(Read from Feb 16, 2017 to Feb 24, 2017)
Grade: B    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 60% Literature, 40% Entertainment
Writing Quality:
Low High
Low High

Low High
Movie Potential:
Low High

Low High
Sequel Potential:
Low High
Miller lets mythological canon drive the plot of this novel, but her emphasis is on motives and emotions rather than gods and wars. It makes the story incredibly accessible (and somehow very modern) while giving her flexibility to craft the main characters into actors with real agency. Certain elements are clumsy (like the way time passes in the novel) and although Miller's writing style is effective and true to her subject material, it's so restrained that it can almost feel lethargic.  (+2 votes)