I would never have guessed that I would have liked Circe better than The Song of Achilles. What a pleasant surprise.
Miller has the ability to take an ancient story and make it feel modern without losing the original lore. The gods and their divinity, the unremarkable mortals, the legendary heroes; they all come to life within these pages.
For someone who spends most of their story exiled to an island, forever alone, Circe spends a lot of time searching. For herbs, magic, companionship, safety, and a place to belong. Century after century, as time trickles slowly through the hourglass, she feels every moment and eternity weighs heavily on her. An outcast among the gods, among her family, among mortals, and it seems she will never settle.
At least going into The Song of Achilles, I knew what to expect. Every page of Circe was a surprise – I knew not to expect too much happiness because hello, Greek mythology, but had no specifics. I absolutely loved every twist and every tale. It was like reading witchy folklore with surprise appearances by ‘gods and heroes you may know’.
Miller makes Circe a complex character, not just a minor goddess defined by her parentage, not a lonely woman defined by her lovers, not a wood witch defined by her sorcery, and not only a mother defined by her son. Circe is all of this and so much more. I could not recommend this book more highly.