Circe by Madeline Miller Review

Title: Circe

Author: Madeline Miller

Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company

Format: eBook

Publication Date: April 10th, 2018

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Libby (Overdrive)

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

I am SO happy with the way this book was written. It’s always a toss up when it comes to mythology stories because the characters are either to human or they are so remote and cannot be sympathetic, but this one hits the mark. It is the PERFECT mix of the two. Circe is not someone that I gave much thought to. She was always just a character in Odysseus’s journey, and I was content to leave her there. Until this book.This book was wonderful, maddening, and just like the gods. It was absolutely brilliant. The writing was completely beautiful, and I cannot emphasize that enough. This book covers Circe’s life in detail. We see her growing up with her absentee and neglectful parents, and her 3 siblings. All of whom are wily, cunning, and cruel in their own ways. The journey that Circe goes on to become the person she wants to be was fantastically written. You will get to see some of your favorite hero’s/gods/goddess’s. They show up at Circe’s island of Aiaia for a multitude of reasons. Hermes, Athena, Medea, Odysseus, Penelope, Telegonus, Telemachus, Daedalus, Icarus, Minos, etc. I could keep going but you get the point. All the great players are here.What truly stands out about this book, is that Circe is allowed to be a gray character. She is not selfless, she is not particularly kind, and she is not weak. Alternately, she risks herself to help someone in pain, she tries to help sailors who come to her island, and she finds herself at the mercy of others. She is a fierce mother to a wild child, and she will do anything to protect him, but she also holds him to close to the point he feel smothered. Circe is made up of all the flaws that we are ourselves are and the writing makes you feel those emotions with her.

I could keep gushing, but I just really loved this book and I hope others are inspired to go pick it up. If you’ve ever enjoyed mythology or just looking for a book that will capture you, I would tell you to pick up this book and plan an afternoon off. 5 out of 5 stars.


**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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“So many years I had spent as a child sifting his bright features for his thoughts, trying to glimpse among them one that bore my name. But he was a harp with only one string, and the note it played was himself.
“You have always been the worst of my children,” he said. “Be sure to not dishonor me.”
“I have a better idea. I will do as I please, and when you count your children, leave me out.”
― Madeline Miller, Circe