AUTHOR: Miller, Madeline
RELEASED: April 10, 2018
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company
GENRE: Historical Fiction
GOODREADS RATING: 4.28
TRIGGERS: Attempted rape, rape, murder, animal death
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
I honestly didn’t think I’d read Circe as quick as I have, but the #WinterMagicalReadathon gave me a prompt – orange cover – that had me reaching for this book anyway! So.. Let’s see whether I ended up loving, liking, disliking or hating it, okay? It was a gamble for sure since I don’t tend to like historical fiction, but all the raving reviews had me intrigued. Time to take the plunge!
I adored the feminist feel of this book. I know it’s mentioned in other reviews, and in a way that influenced me to paying more attention to it but.. the truth is there’s feminism present in a way that can only be applauded. Not to mention the way Circe takes care of certain.. let’s say “pigs”.
Content-wise, I liked the story and its flow. Things kept happening, but it never felt like too much. On the contrary. We were simply following Circe’s life from start to – sort of – finish. Being able to see the progress of her life and her character was.. amazing? I guess? You felt like you truly knew her, all while feeling you didn’t because who in the world knows a goddess. Right?!
But due to the story being told this way, you did get a very developed character, a fleshed out one like I have barely seen before. Because of that, we didn’t get very much insight in other characters. We only knew what Circe knew and saw so we were automatically prejudiced and incapable of foreseeing their actions. That made certain events and twists unpredictable.
Talking about those twists.. Those never felt like huge explosions of drama like other books have them. Something unique to Madeline Miller’s writing for sure. It simply isn’t about those events, it’s about Circe’s character, her growing, her becoming the woman she needs to be. It made reading this story unique and left such an impression on me as well.
I thought once that gods are the opposite of death, but I see now they are more dead than anything, for they are unchanging, and can hold nothing in their hands.
The one thing I struggled with for a bit at the start of this book, is how there didn’t seem to be any goal or ending regarding Circe’s story. I’m simply not used to that, which is why I thought it weird. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something I wanted to mention so others are aware of it! Reading this book really is about the entire journey of reading the book and now finding out how it ends and, as such, the ending. Every word, every page is so very important and that was something I didn’t realize when I started reading.
I really cannot fault this book for anything, other than my not being used to this kind of book, so it only makes sense to give it an appropriate rating! I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to reading more of Madeline’s writing!
Are there books that are obviously also about the journey instead of how it ends?
How do you feel about books like that?
What’s a book like this one you might recommend as well?