The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


In Madeline Miller’s retelling of the Iliad, the story of the great Greek warrior, Achilles is told through the eyes of his friend Patroclus. After being exiled from his homeland, a young Patroclus meets Achilles. 

The Song of Achilles with a sunrise in the background.

We follow Patroclus and Achilles as they grow up, train together, and ultimately, join the quest to capture Troy in honor of the kidnapped Helen of Sparta. The pair form a strong bond and eventually become lovers. 

I loved the almost lyrically written style of the book and the tender, enduring relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is a memorable one. Everyone deserves to have someone in their life that adores and admires them as much as Patroclus does Achilles.

Even though I found the novel interesting and well-written, it took me longer than usual to finish it. I kept putting off reading it, yet when I picked it back up, the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles drew me back in. 

Despite my love for the connection between Patroclus and Achilles, I kept getting distracted because the plot meandered and the pacing was a little slow for my taste. As compelling as the romance was, there needed to be more to the story.

Although this book will not go down as one of my all-time favorites, I admire Miller’s achievements with The Song of Achilles. She found a fresh way to make Homer’s classic work and the myth of Achilles relevant to a new generation. 

I look forward to reading Circe, also by Madeline Miller. Circe is a favorite of my Classics scholar daughter. She read both and thought Circe was far superior to The Song of Achilles.

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