{ARC} Review: Circe by Madeline Miller || Greek mythology, complex heroines, betrayal and magic


Madeline Miller


The daring, dazzling and highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Song of Achilles 

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018

“An epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner.” – Ann Patchett

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.With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Published: April 10th 2018



ARC Disclaimer Netgalley (2)

Trigger Warning





Rape, Graphic Violence, Parental/Physical/Child Abuse, Torture, Mentions of Beastiality/Incest, Thoughts of Suicide 

“When I was born, the word for what I was did not exist.” 

Let it be known that I don’t know much about Circe other than her small piece in The Odyssey, though I do know she was is other stories as well—though I haven’t read them. Let it also be known that I want this book on my shelf because it was beautiful. This story read like a tale passed down from generations to generations. Was it long? Yes. Did I take a few breaks? Maybe. But was I enthralled in the story? Yeah.

We’re following Circe throughout her life, learning how she got to her exile, what made her into the witch that turned Odysseus’ men into pigs, allowing the reader to understand her actions and origin.

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“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.” 

There’s a big theme on love in this story. Love of self, of found family, of those whose soul brushes yours if only for a short moment. Because Circe’s life has been lacking love. An outsider in her own family and eventually in her community, isolated with just her anger as company, this is her journey of becoming the self assured, feared witch that she was destined to become. And it was glorious. 

I put off reading this one wishing I could listen to it via audiobook. However, I am satisfied with reading it physically, I was able to soak everything in. Still, the story is slow in its pacing. Because consequently, all of the action was told from a secondhand source, considering Circe is confined to an island— it makes sense she’d get her information from those visiting the island. And I understand this story is solely based on Circe’s internal journey and such, but it does make the story a bit slow and stagnant in some parts.

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“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.” 

There’s also the thing with Circe’s immortality, I’m never worried about her well-being. I don’t have to worry about her being killed… she can’t die. But Circe as a character was someone I loved.

It did weigh on me the injustices in her life and I empathized and rooted for her. Her words, the writing, her lyricism of it lulled me into the progression of the characters and the plot arc and when the end came, I was ultimately satisfied.

27 thoughts on “{ARC} Review: Circe by Madeline Miller || Greek mythology, complex heroines, betrayal and magic”

  1. I loooooved TSoA, and I’m glad this one made you want to read it, too! I definitely want to check Circe out. “Beautiful” really just is the most apt way to describe Madeline Miller’s writing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am excited! I don’t think I’m going to read it by the time she comes but I’m so excited to meet her! It’s probably going to be humongous because it’s going to be set in a auditorium. Trust me I’m not super outgoing either so I’m going to be a bit nervous. But I hope to make new friends!

        Liked by 1 person

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