Reading has once again become a popular pastime talked about between friends and on social media again. More and more people are finding comfort in books as they have nothing else to do while staying inside their homes.
New authors are reaching bigger and bigger audiences nowadays. Holding a physical book in your hands has become a better feeling now even after the popularity of e-readers.
One such author with breakout books is Madeline Miller. Her two novels have become incredibly popular online and have circulated between dozens and dozens of readers. There are so many reasons to check out her two books; The Song of Achilles and Circe.
The Song of Achilles
📣THE SONG OF ACHILLES is now a #1 New York Times Bestseller!📣Congratulations to @MillerMadeline and thank you, thank you, thank you to the readers who have read this book, loved this book, and spread the word about this book. We're such fans of you. 😭💞https://t.co/MuRFye5PB1 pic.twitter.com/9ak4mNHEwo
— Ecco (@eccobooks) April 7, 2021
For many who trudged through high school and college literature classes, The Iliad often came up on many reading lists. The epic poem can be fairly boring and difficult to get through. Madeline Miller takes a completely different approach. Instead of following the story of the battle of Troy with Achilles and Paris, Miller chooses to write it mainly from the perspective of Patroclus.
This perspective provides a fresh take on The Iliad through the eyes of Patroclus. He served as Achilles’s right hand and was always with the warrior to provide counsel during the war. Not only that, many suspected that their relationship was a bit more than friendly. Miller capitalizes on this idea and portrays Achilles and Patroclus as lovers.
The result of this new narrative is an incredible story of the heroes of the Trojan War. While most of it does come from Patroclus’s point of view, there are other heroes and gods included making sure the story of the Trojan War is deep and enriched by the many actions taken before and after Patroclus and Achilles are killed.
The Song of Achilles began to circulate on the book side of TikTok, or “booktok”, a few months ago and has grown in popularity since then. It is available at Target and other large stores, Amazon, and at smaller bookstores near you!
The newest of Miller’s books, released in 2018, has resurged this year along with The Song of Achilles. Just as with The Iliad, many reading lists also saw The Odyssey on there. Miller once again took a different character from Odysseus’s journey and made them the focal point. In this case, it was the sorceress Circe and her island that Odysseus lands on during his journey home.
Coming from the young witch’s perspective, Circe opens up a whole new light on the story. Not only that, the narrative style of the novel is a delightful breathe of fresh air after so many years of the epic poetry of The Odyssey.
Circe is available at the same places as The Song of Achilles.
Miller has become a new name in the reading world, her novels are being praised for their narrative style and an incredible new take on the Greek stories of old. She reports that her next book will be a retelling of The Tempest by William Shakespeare. No doubt there will be lots of incredible retellings from this author in the future.
If you’re interested in reading these books, please consider finding them at local bookstores to support small businesses!