“Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.“
I’ve seen this book pop up everywhere and I finally picked it up a few weeks ago, why have I only got to this book now?! This novel is a emotional whirlwind, most people I know said they cried over it, I didn’t but I think that’s only because it was too hot to cry but my heart hurt a lot after and I just wanted to start reading it all over again once I’ve finished and I’m not much of a re-reader.
This is the story of Achilles and Patroclus, not the one you may know, the end but we do get that eventually. This story starts as Patroclus has been exiled for killing a boy (not on purpose I may add) and is sent to live with King Peleus. In a chance meeting Achilles, who is destined for greatness, meets Patroclus and it is the the start of a beautiful friendship, one that will last the rest of their lives.
It honestly felt so pure to read in the beginning two boys growing together and slowly but surely falling in love with each other and the trials they must face – for Patroclus his exile and quieter nature, for Achilles the demands of his Goddess mother (who hates Patroclus) and his impending greatness.
I had to look up more about the story and, yes of course there is some creative license here but the two men were closely linked as friends and as many thought, lovers. Now, this book gets sexy. There are a lot of steamy moments for both character where you may need to take a minute after reading, if you catch my drift.
Miller is an incredible writer, I could quite easily see the the story in my head, I won’t lie reading in a heatwave made it much easier to imagine I was in Greece. She manages to make the story tender, while also making these boys, and later men, so real in their actions and emotions. I also had a few gasp out loud moments where I sent messages in all caps to my friend who has read and recommended it to me.
I gave this book 4.5 stars, it is brilliantly written and it hits you in the heart, if anything I wish it were longer. I adore Achilles and Patroclus and I think they have a place in my heart as two of my favourite characters that I’ve read about this year. I’m also eager to read Circe by the same author as I’ve heard both are fantastic and I’ll also be diving into some more myth and legend inspired novels too.
Have you read any of Madeline Miller’s books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!