Publisher and Publication Date: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company. Trade paperback edition 2020.
Genre: Fiction. Greek mythology.
Audience: Readers of Greek mythology, women in literature, and adventure.
To read more information about the book through the publisher website: Circe.
Miller’s author page at Goodreads
I’d read a previous book written by Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles. The highlighted link is my review. I gave this book an excellent review. I fell in love with the story. It’s a story that I became enwrapped. I just fell in and couldn’t get back out until the last page. I have the same feeling about Circe.
Circe is pronounced in the Greek as Keerkee.
Website for Madeline Miller.
Have you read Homer’s Greek mythology books? They are The Iliad and The Odyssey. The Iliad focuses on a few weeks time during the ten-year Trojan war. The war was between the Achaeans/Greeks and the Trojans. The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’s ten-year journey home to Ithaca after the Trojan war was over. If you’ve read The Odyssey then you are familiar with the character Circe.
I’ve read The Odyssey. I’m currently reading The Iliad, then I’ll re-read The Odyssey.
Circe is a daughter of Helios who is the god of the sun. He is a Titan. Circe‘s mother is Perse. Circe is the first born. She has other siblings born afterwards. From the beginning, Circe is remarkably different in looks and character.
When the story begins I felt drawn to her because I have empathy in her plight. No one understands her. No one has compassion and kindness. She lives in a domain where trust is absent. She comes across as easy to ignore (especially is you agree with the other character’s opinions.)
After Circe uses pharmaka, Zeus punishes Circe by banishing her to the isle of Aiaia. She will live in a beautiful home that has a wide porch and is surrounded by a forest and beyond that the sea.
She will enrich her life by learning the art of herbs and sorcery.
In Circe‘s story, she will meet other Greek gods, the Minotaur, Medea, and Odysseus.
If you are not familiar with Greek mythology, the book shares an illustration of the isle of Aiaia and cast of characters. I believe a newbie will not become lost in the genre and story.
I loved several things about the book.
•Even though Circe is not mortal, she has traits and experiences that I identify and understand.
•Her character and story pulled at my heart.
•True to form in a Greek mythology. The experiences/adventures of Circe are huge, sweeping, and memorable.
•Odysseus is not perfect. He is shown as an imperfect mortal. This hero is not so heroic.
•No matter what is going on in the story. No matter how many other characters are swirling around. Circe is the center point. The lens of the story never leaves her.
•Circe is a character who rises above her situation. She is a character who has a transformation.
•Circe‘s story in this book doesn’t end at a particular event, it is the story of her life.
Does Circe‘s story stay true to what has been written in Greek mythology?
Yes, but to a point. Miller takes what has been written and magnifies Circe with her (Miller’s) own adaption.