Circe by Madeline Miller
Publication Date: 10th April 2018
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
An ARC of Circe was sent to me by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. It was the first time I’ve ever emailed to request a book that I’m so excited for that I know I’ll love, and I’m so thankful I received a copy. So thank you Bloomsbury!
If you’re familiar with my blog you’ll know that if I had to stan any book, I would choose Song of Achilles, always. I love the writing, the setting, the characters. Everything. So, when I saw that Madeline Miller was finally releasing a novel on the life of another person from Ancient Greece I was OVER THE MOON. OVER THE GODDESS CELENE HERSELF.
Circe is considered one of the first ‘witches’ of western civilisation, the goddess of witchcraft and magic, if you will. I know absolutely nothing about Greek mythology and seemingly only get my education from Miller’s novels which, I know, shouldn’t be my only source of information but what these novels do do is give me an introduction to the subject and let me google the crap out of everything else afterwards. So, I thank Madeline Miller for making Ancient Greece so vivid and immersive and making me hungry for more about mythology!
So, Circe is born to sea nymph Perse and the God Helios, who was literally the sun, and basically has a terrible life in Helios’ halls. She’s belittled by her siblings, ignored by her father, and straight up despised by her mother. An eternal life cannot really get much better than bored and fickle gods, but it was empowering to watch Circe grow into an amazing goddess who genuinely loved humans. But above all, she loved herself – and to me that’s so important within a story, especially when it comes to characters who are beaten down so much. I loved the way we saw Circe conquer, even if it was from a small island that paid no mind to anyone, she made it her own, moulded a life she wanted despite the elements and her past.
I loved every moment of Circe and I know it’ll become a modern classic when it’s released in April.
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