The Song of Achilles | Book Review


By: Madeline Miller

Standalone | 352 Pages | Pub. 2011

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The Song of Achilles at a Glance

  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★
  • Hero: My sweet cinnamon roll
  • Emotional: *sobs for days
  • Steaminess: where there is smoke there is fire
  • Brutality: This IS ancient Greece

Pairs Well With

Wine all the way

Spoilers below… If you haven’t read The Iliad or seen Troy…Stop now….


“Name one hero who was happy.”

I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back.

“You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.

“I can’t.”

“I know. They never let you be famous AND happy.”


I have read The Iliad and I have seen Troy. I even took an entire mythology course at my university.I knew what was going to happen.

That made no difference.

I’m heartbroken. It was rough. But totally worth it.

I read Circe last year, falling completely in love with Miller’s writing. The language, scenery, characters and history are extremely well-developed and beautifully written. There is no good excuse for waiting this long to read The Song of Achilles, so if you, like me, postponed it. READ IT NOW.

This story gorgeous and comforting. We know the end. We don’t like the end, but we know how it will happen. I found comfort in that knowledge and want to hug this book when I see it, which is generally my reasoning for giving something five stars.

The Iliad has always been my favorite piece of mythology. I remember reading it between 11 & 12th grade and my 16 year old self LOVED the brutality and beauty of the war. It may have even kicked off my love of tragedies. But I am also one of those people who likes when people die in books (if it has a purpose.)

This story follows Patroclus from his childhood, banishment and life with Prince Achilles as his companion. Those of us who have read The Iliad know that it is the death of Patroclus that triggers Achilles’ re-emergence in the war and leads to his death. This made me extremely curious as to how the ending would work because… Patroclus is our narrator… but of course the ending was perfect and poetic and beautiful. I won’t give that away, just know you will sob.

Miller’s take on the boys’ childhoods and teenage years was so much fun to read. I was only familiar with their time in the war, specifically the end, and growing up with them was bright and sunny. Yes, that is a strange way to describe it, but they filled me with so much hope and optimism that it was hard to remind myself that the ending was coming. Every once in a while Achilles would make a comment that just broke my heart; well, every time he mentioned Hector.

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this to be such an intense love story. But now, I am living for this story. The devotion and friendship between the two is #relationshipgoals. Yeah, they have some ups and downs, but Achilles and Patroclus are forever and ever.

Cue My Endless Love.

“He is half of my soul, as the poets say.”

Ugh, my HEART. I am not a crier, but this story broke me into pieces and rebuilt me. I still want to hug the book.

Have you read The Song of Achilles? Let us know what you thought in the comments!


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12 thoughts on “The Song of Achilles | Book Review

  1. So glad you enjoyed this one! I cried so much when I read it. Yes, that line: “What has Hector ever done to me?” I JUST CAN’T DEAL WITH. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! And I love your review 😊 I’m planning on reading it later this year after I read The Iliad, so hopefully I love it just as much. Though, anything with gorgeous writing and an intense gay romance sounds right up my alley, so I’m sure this’ll become a new favourite when I do finally get to it :))

    Liked by 1 person

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