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Circe by Madeline Miller: Review

“In 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.” – Goodreads

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, read Miller’s The Song of Achilles, or are involved in the book blogging world you’ve probably seen a LOT of hype about Circe. Hi, I’m here to add to the hype.

The Good

I loved reading from Circe’s perspective, which is the most important factor for me in a first-person POV book. While I enjoyed Patroclus’ narration in The Song of Achilles, I found myself drawn to Circe far more. Her emotions and her way of telling her own story were highly compelling.

I also enjoyed the way the Titans and Olympians were written versus the mortals that Circe encounters. It’s difficult for writers to convey the completely alien way the gods think and behave. Circe nailed it. Miller was able to demonstrate the differences and the hierarchies present in the myths, while also still giving Circe her appropriate voice. I was incredibly impressed!

I also found the story well written. I went into the novel familiar with the myths being told, but the way they were told was so unique! The take on Odysseus especially I found interesting.

The Bad

I really don’t have a lot for this section. I know that there are plenty of readers out there who found the book to be overhyped, but I was not one of those people. I went into Circe excited, and I ended Circe pleased.

Perhaps one thing, in retrospect, was the way the beginning is written. I understand that as Circe comes into her powers as a witch and becomes herself, her style of storytelling and her personality would understandably change. I think the beginning, though important for setting up Circe’s backstory, went on for perhaps a bit too long versus the rest of the novel where events occurred with quick succession.

Final Thoughts

As I’ve said already, this book delighted me. It stood up to my expectations of Miller’s writing ability, the mythology I’m familiar with, and my desire for a unique and compelling take on those myths. Circe was engaging, hard to put down at times, and fulfilled all of my expectations. I fully recommend this book!

Check out my Instagram posts featuring the absolutely gorgeous cover of Circe!

By Catherine

I'm a lover of books, coffee, wine, and bees. Happy to join the ranks of book bloggers everywhere!

5 replies on “Circe by Madeline Miller: Review”

I’m kind of amazed that I haven’t heard about this book considering the hype. I’ve never read any greek mythology books (well I read the Odyssey as required reading in high school) but I’ve become increasingly more interested in learning the stories of the gods.

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