I love Greek mythology, so after reading some glowing reviews I was excited to read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. The novel follows young Patroclus, a prince who has been exiled from his homeland for accidentally killing a local boy who was threatening him. He is sent to Pthia to be fostered by King Peleus, and it is there where he meets Peleus’s son, the boy who is destined to become The Best of the Greeks, Achilles. While Patroclus is small and weak, Achilles is everything that a prince should be: handsome, strong, and even a half-god. Despite this, Achilles sees something in Patroclus and takes him under his wing. The two quickly bond and spend all of their time together, growing close during their studies. But when Menelaus’s beautiful wife Helen is stolen from him by the Trojan prince Paris, a promise that Patroculs made in his youth comes back to haunt him, and he and Achilles are thrown into a war that neither of them expected.
Even those familiar with The Iliad and Greek mythology, despite knowing how the story will end, won’t be bored reading it. At its heart is the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles; the characters have been made complex and intriguing by Miller, and it makes their story incredibly moving and heartfelt. It is a beautiful story of war, love, and loss that you won’t be able to put down.