Author : Madeline Miller ISBN : 0062060619 Publisher : Ecco

Summary:
Ancient Greece, Eon of the gods: Following the expulsion of the shame-struck prince, Patroclus, to the Kingdom of Phthia, he is left with no one to hold him close, and the fallen prince is merely an underdog dwelling in the shadows of King Peleus and his time-honored, triumphant son, Achilles. Zooming in on the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, there exists an evident paradox as the extremes come close - the insecure and the preeminent; the resulting collision sparks love over a highly fertile ground. Achilles leads Patroclus to Chiron, the tutor centaur, a master of the art of war and medicine, and their friendship thickens as they soon begin to understand the nature of the bond between them. And, despite the spite of Achilles' mother Thetis, a dreadful sea goddess, they grow to become the simple expressions of each other's love.

In due time, word comes to the king that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped by the Trojan hero, Hector, following which the kingdom prepares to wage a brutal war on Troy. Achilles, enchanted by the glory he foresees, joins the battle for a cause that only appears to be crystal-clear, and Patroclus, whose heart traces back to that of Achilles, follows him into the battle, with little knowing of what destiny holds for them and their friendship. Intension seeps in, as an array of characters come together to contribute to the legend of a happening - Achilles, Briseis, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Ajax, Hector, Paris, Helen, Hector, Penolope, Athena, Apollo, Patroclus, Zeus, and Thetis. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a heart-warming story of a legend retold, illustrating the essence of love, belonging, attachment, ego, deviation, falling apart, cruelty, betrayal, loyalty, and the resulting sum.

Review:
History repeats itself, this time, through an expression of artistic literature. Madeline Miller retells the Iliad, the epic of Trojan war, with prominent originality in the re-expression of the renowned Greek mythology. Throughout the book, the scope is fixed upon the friendship and the by-standing interwoven complexities between Achilles and Patroclus, leaking the serum of love over the barren lands, marking their fertilization, a progression. She takes you for a walk through the scenes of ancient Greece; the narration characterized by uniqueness and vividness invites us, or in fact drags us into her imagination, with the complete picture taking form of an evident visualization. Making ideal use of the preconceived notions of Greek mythology, and adding few innovative essentials sums up to this epitome of storytelling.

The novel also sheds light over the clash between the gods and the kings of ancient Greece, illustrating their non-compliance with moral principles, at the same time focusing on the progression of the story, marking the characters' compliance with the happening - a paradox. As you move towards the end of this book, you are bound to encounter the salubrious scent of new life in a legend that has been told multiple times. The characterization of Achilles and Patroclus seems compelling enough to comprehend the author's degree of involvement in storytelling. Song of Achilles is indeed an experience that shows characteristics of a black hole, as it yawns-in the readers unto a scholarly imagination.

Nhut Pham

Nhut Pham

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