By: Madeline Miller
Standalone | 394 Pages | Pub. 2018
Circe At a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★★
- Heroine: Mad witch skills
- Brutality: We needed some trigger warnings
- Steaminess: Not sending Helios a thank you card for the bestiality
- Emotional: One glistening tear
Pairs Well With
- ¼ cup coconut rum
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- Splash of grenadine
Beware…spoilers are coming!
This was an immediate purchase for us because our English and History major hearts almost exploded on sight. The interesting thing about Circe is that she is a lesser-known mythological character, but interacted with many of the heavy hitters. Miller stuck to history while writing this and turned it into a beautiful storyline. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.
As far as a plot is concerned, there is no overarching storyline, which was irritating at times. It read more as a collection of stories or a biography than a novel. This made it easier to put down and to push down our TBR list over and over again. It took a few months for us to get through Circe because you have to be in the right mood. This isn’t a book that you will devour in one sitting, but read off and on over time.
The language and flow was exquisite. We could read her talking about the waves and islands all day long, it is so well written. It has been hard to find fantasy that is written in a more literary style and while we certainly don’t want all of them to read as literature, we truly enjoyed this style.
True to form, we experienced the pure brutality of the Greek gods and goddesses. Maybe even more than we were prepared for. It is easy to read myths and gloss over how evil the gods are because those stories are so short. Here we met the full brunt of their power and ire. Helios bans his daughter to please Zeus, Athena tries to kill Circe’s son, and countless others discard Circe as though she is beneath them. With family like hers, I would rather be abandoned and forgotten on an island, too.
Circe meets an interesting cast of characters so we will go through them really quick.
- Glaucus – The definition of a fuckboy. Good riddance, she didn’t need him anyway.
- Daedelus – I really wanted them to run off into the sunset together. Poor inventor.
- Hermes – I can still only picture the blue guy from Hercules. I can’t take him seriously ever.
- Pasiphae – Holy bestiality, batman! We were not ready for that and did not need those descriptions. Nope.
- Odysseus – We saw so many sides to Odysseus. I have to say, we are good with what happened to him.
- Aeetes – What a terrible brother. We hope your zombies eat you.
- Telemachus – What a reasonable human. That’s pretty much it.
Reading this book hurt. Our hearts are a little broken, but if you are familiar with mythology, you won’t be surprised. There are some triggers in this as well so be aware of that. But Circe does revenge and she does it well. We were pleased with the ending even if we thought that relationship was a little weird. We would definitely recommend you read it, just don’t pressure yourself to do it in one sitting!
Have you read Circe? Let us know what you thought in the comments!