Monday, 30 April 2018

Circe


Author: Madeline Miller
Genre: Historical Fiction
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 394
Source: Local Public Library
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
First Published: April 10, 2018
First Line: "When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist."

Book Description from GoodReadsIn the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.


My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review: Madeline Miller's Circe is a very hot (I'm talking Helios hot!) commodity for book lovers, and especially fans of her previous book The Song of Achilles. While I unfortunately can't boast about reading Achilles, I was eager to dust off my knowledge of Titans and Greek gods.

Circe, the daughter of the Titan sun god, Helios, is mentioned in quite a few myths but choosing a woman who is banished to an island made her a unique choice for a main character. Not a lot happens to Circe which leaves much of the book relying on other characters (gods, goddesses, heroes) to retell the adventures and exploits they've had or have heard of second and even third-hand.  

The cover is striking, and I figured the knowledge I gained from my Mythology course in university would finally come in handy. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with famous characters but particularly liked the underlying theme of female strength as we witness Circe's transformation to a wiser, stronger and more confident woman.  

But, I can't ignore the fact that this was a hard book to stick with, mainly due to the languid pacing. There were exciting bits (mainly with Scylla, Pasiphae and Daedelus) but overall, the story didn't have enough going on to keep me glued to the pages. Not much happens when you're on an island, usually alone, with a bunch of wild pigs. Just sayin'.

While it didn't quite get to the level of an 'epic' read for me, it was still enjoyable to get wrapped up in the myths and their famous characters. I think this is a good pick for people who enjoy Greek mythology and a slower paced read.

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