Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Have you ever finished a book, closed the cover, and just let out a sigh of relief? For the first time in my life, I managed to find a book that had me flying through the pages faster than Helios pulling his chariot across the sky. Hi, I'm Caleb, and this is a review of:
Circe by Madeline Miller
While some of you may be familiar with the name, Circe, from the classic tale of The Oddessy, I'm here to tell you that you've never experienced the witchcraft of this spellbinding tale. Miller is an absolute powerhouse in the realm of weaving together epic after epic through the eyes of an exiled goddess, living her life on the forgotten isle of Aiaia. Some of you may recognize Miller from her previous 2012 novel, The Song of Achilles, wherein she explores the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles as they grow under the thumb of King Peleus.
But, her island doesn't stay forgotten for too long. Men and gods alike soon find Circe on her isle, stringing together the magic of words and nature's bounty to create devastating draughts and potions that would make any mortal, let alone god, tremble with fear. I will be the first to tell you that this novel contains a vast cast of characters that even the earliest lovers of Greek mythos can enjoy. From the gods and titans of ancient times to heroes like Jason and Odysseus himself, to the monsters Scylla and the Minotaur, there's not a page of this novel that doesn't breed excitement and intrigue.
Now that I've gotten the formal review out of the way (because who enjoys that), let me lay down my real feelings about this book.
There was so much about Circe's life that I didn't know. The many pies that she's placed her magical fingers in. The number of creatures that she breathed into the world. The stories she could tell by firelight to wayward sailors just before metamorphosing them into swine. This was one. bad. witch. I literally could not put down the book at times because the stories within were so thrilling to me, I had to know what was going to happen next and would soon find myself under the solitary lamplight of my living room with more questions than answers.
While I don't want to keep you all away from your weekend for too long, I will say this. Circe, in its totality, is one of the easiest reads that I've picked up over the last few months. Its pages sped past like the hundreds of years Circe spent on her somewhat lonely island. If you have any interest in Greek mythology, love, tragedy, witchcraft, or just a fantastic, new book that's unlike any I've read since my days of Rick Riordan's novels, then I recommend you purchase, borrow, or check out this book as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading! Look out for more reviews and posts as I continue to find more films, games, books, and more to give my two-cents on!