The Song of Achilles Review

This one came as a recommendation from a friend, "this is a finish all of it in a single weekend read" she told me. Well with multiple glowing reviews I couldn't resist.

Having never read the Illiad, I went in with little context about who Achilles was as a character and the knowledge of Troy as a Greek battle, but not a lot else. The book takes that epic tale and puts a laser focus on the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus specifically from Patroclus' narrow view. To backfill my own knowledge, I educated myself on the history and context of the larger story. If you're expecting a complete re-telling of the Illiad you're in the wrong place. If you haven't read the Illiad, maybe take the time to do that first. I wish I had. I expect I would have enjoyed this retelling even more.

What you will find is a beautiful love story. The romance is incredible. It feels a lot more genuine than other LGBT romance stories I've read. I appreciate how Miller's storytelling makes it clear that homosexuality was widespread in ancient Greece. The romance is told from Patroclus' perspective and the reader sees Achilles through those rose-colored glasses. Miller does an incredible job of using the love characters have for each other to humanize even literal gods.

It is no small feat for an author to take on the Illiad and many other literary and film retellings have fallen incredibly flat (looking at you Hollywood) but this one comes out beautiful. The characters feel real and the end was heartwarming.


Greek Mythology
Historical Fiction