Book review: Circe — by Madeline Miller

(Lee Boudreaux Books)
Circe, as readers of “The Odyssey” will know, is the sorceress (goddess) who was exiled to the island Aeaea by her father, Helios, the god of the sun. Circe was renowned for her vast knowledge of potions and herbs. When rogue bands of sailors came on shore, she turned them into pigs, and that is what she did to the men who came with Odysseus, but he forced her to reverse the spell. A mythical cast of characters — Hermes, Helios, Perse, her brother Aeetes, the keeper of the Golden Fleece, Scylla, Penelope and Telemachus, her sister Pasiphae, wife of King Minos and mother of the Minotaur, and Daedalus — all feature prominently in the story, each torn between mortals and gods. Circe herself is complicated, passionate, unnerving, vulnerable, selfish, hotheaded — all traits to love in a fictional, mythical character. I devoured “The Song of Achilles” when it came out a few years ago and have been waiting, not so patiently, for the incredibly talented author Madeline Miller to publish again! “Circe” is smart, fresh and authentic; a beautiful literary Greek mythology tale. I loved every word. Miller’s depth of knowledge makes it possible for her to spin a rich and believable tale that readers will love.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury
Rich Mythological Fiction
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp
House of Names by Colm Tóibín
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

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