Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Blurb:

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.

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.

AnnaScott’s Review:

Ever since high school I’ve had a weird obsession with Ancient Greece. Their mythology, philosophy, literature, culture, all of it. I loved reading the Percy Jackson series, and really the best way to describe Circe is by saying it’s kind of like Percy Jackson for grownups (minus the sassy teens and modern setting of course).

Miller did an amazing job novelizing this Greek myth. She added all of the elements that we love about modern writing but kept the overall feeling in line with ancient writings. I definitely fangirled every time a Greek god, goddess, or hero showed up, and loved being able to connect the dots between how everyone was related (their family tree is complicated to say the least).

The one part I didn’t love as much was just the fact that Circe had such a hard life. I can hardly fault Miller for it, but it was sad to read at times. There were also several morally questionable choices made throughout the story by different characters, but if you know anything about the Greek gods, this is hardly surprising. Overall, though, it is an excellent read for those of us with a niche interest in Greek mythology.


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