Madeline Miller has more than delivered on her much anticipated follow up to the award winning best seller The Song of Achilles which is basically a retelling of the Iliad. I actually have not read the first book but I plan on it now! Miller is a truly gifted storyteller. Circe is basically a retelling of the Odyssey.
The powerful witch Circe was one of 3 Children that came from Helios the Titan Sun God and his union with Perse the beautiful nymph daughter of Oceanos. It becomes clear that she suffers lower status than her siblings and other nymphs because she has the voice of a mortal and the yellow eyes of a hawk. After her first meeting with a mortal the fisherman Glaucos, she falls in love and turns him into a god. When Glaucos tires of Circe’s attention, he turns toward the beautiful sea nymph Scylla. Circe, enraged, turns her witchcraft upon the nymph, and is exiled by Zeus to a beautiful, unpeopled island. It is here, on Aiaia, that Odysseus finds her, happily surrounded by tame wolves and lions and swine – the latter are earlier visitors that she has bewitched after an unwise sea captain attempts to rape her. As with her previous novel, the great skill here is the way Miller gives voice to a previously muted perspective in the classics, forging a great romance from the scraps left to us by the ancients.
Written in compelling prose that ripples with hyperbole there is nothing ancient or unaccessible in the story of the ever resilient Circe as told by Miller. Whether you are a true fan of these mythologies or not, there is something for everyone in these completely engaging relevant tales.— Kim B
April 2018 Indie Next List
“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller's telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”
— Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL