Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller (2011)

5 stars

I kept hearing about this book all over tumblr and when I saw it might be becoming a miniseries I decided to buy it to understand what all the love was about, I know absolutely get it.

This book is amazing, just so amazing, it is told from Patroclus' perspective from when he was a child up until his death and even afterwards. It chronicles his relationship with Achilles and it is written so beautifully that it made me emotional during the happy parts as well as the sad which is unusual for me. It's not like the plot is anything new or amazing, most people know what will happen in the end, it's really the way the author wrote it that makes it so engrossing and special. My favourite character was Patroclus, it was hard not to have an attachment to him when his perspective is so lovely and reveals so much about his emotions. I would recommend this to any romance fans, or anyone who likes greek mythology or the movie troy.

The book starts when Patroclus first sees Achilles when he is 5 and he comes to a competition his father is holding, even from that first childhood experience you learn that Patroclus is gay, and he thinks Achilles is amazing. You then learn about Patroclus being a suitor for Helen when he was younger than 10 years old and really just putting his father's name forth without him having to cheat on his simple wife, this means he has to agree to the oath to protect Helen is any harm ever comes to her. Patroclus accidently kills a nobleman's son when he is 10 and is then disowed and exiled to Pthia where he meets Achilles. Patroclus doesn't talk to any of the other orphan boys and he sits at a table by himself just looking at Achilles at every meal until one day Achilles sits at his table, they soon become the closest of friends and Patroclus becomes Achilles companion, a brother-in-arms type position. They kiss on the beach one day and Achilles mother, a sea goddess, basically threatens them in case they do it again. They ignore her and soon become lovers and Patroclus is heartbroken when Achilles must go off with Chiron to train to become a hero, he decides he will follow them as there is nothing for him in Pthia without Achilles. Achilles made his party stop in the forest as he knew Patroclus would follow and they go to Chiron's mountain together and stay there for many years. After they return to Pthia the Trojan war is just beginning and Achilles' father wants him to go and lead their army, Achilles refuses and soon after Patroclus can't find him after he didn't return from one morning with his mother. Patroclus learns that his mother has hid him on an island and he goes to find him to find he has been married and gotten Deidameia pregnant. Achilles regrets having to do it and Patroclus forgives him, they must then go to war as Odysseus and Menelaus come find Achilles and command him to come lead their army. The war rages on for ten years where Achilles refuses to kill Hector as his mother told him that he will die after Hector has died and Achilles is the only person skilled enough to kill him. It eventually comes to a point where they are about to lose if Achilles does not swallow his pride from an argument with Agamemmnon so Patroclus convinces him to let him wear his armor and fight the trojans to give hope back to their army. Patroclus is then killed by Hector which drives Achilles into a fury where he kills Hector and then everyone else until he is finally killed by Paris. Achilles' son Pyrrhus then arrives and wants to avenge his father, he refuses to let his father's honour be tarnished by being buried with Patroclus so even though their ashes are buried together the grave is only marked with Achilles' name and Patroclus can't find rest until his spirit convinces Thetis, Achilles' mother, to mark the grave with his name as well, then Achilles and Patroclus reunite in the afterlife.

No comments:

Post a Comment