Sorcery and Self-Discovery
"Circe" by Madeline Miller is a mesmerizing reimagining of the Greek mythological character, Circe. Banished to a remote island for defying the gods, Circe's journey unfolds through enchanting prose as she discovers her own power and identity. With vivid storytelling and encounters with legendary figures, including Odysseus, the novel explores themes of strength, transformation, and belonging. "Circe" is a captivating blend of mythology and human emotion that offers an unforgettable reading experience.
Reviews with the most likes.
After seeing Circe as the Goodread readers choice for best fantasy book of 2018, I knew I would need to check it out. The story itself follows Circe, a Greek goddess, nymph, and daughter of Helios. The prose is also striking. Each scene feels epic in nature somehow – partially from prose, but also because they're populated with familiar characters - Charybdis, Odysseus, Daedalus and too many others to name.
If you have an interest in Greek Mythology you will enjoy Circe immensely. Madeline Miller knows here classics and weaves a tale of many different gods and men together into something completely new and original while staying true to the characters. It's a retelling of the same history, but from a new point of view – shedding light on areas often passed over. If you're interested in Greek Mythology, you will likely love this one as much as I did.
My bestie recommended this back to me when it came out, and I have no idea why I didn't just read it immediately! She and I are literary "twin flames" (thanks, Megan Fox, for the parlance), so she was 100% accurate in her educated guess I would love this. 10/10; no notes. Read the last third really slowly because I didn't want it to end!! Epic, intimate, searing.
I don't think this quote from the final pages can be captured in its full glory out of context, but it was rattling around in my head for days afterward and came up in another book club when someone was talking about the tightrope between nihilistic despair and hope: "A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations.... How can I live on beneath such a burden of doom?.... Circe, he says, it will be alright.... He does not mean that it does not hurt. He does not mean that we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive."
Best book I've read this year so far, so good I read it twice. Exciting and heartbreaking. Couldn't put it down!
I didn't expect to be so captivated with yet-another-greek-mythology-retelling, but I'm extremely glad I listened to my friends and gave this a shot. I look forward to trying out some of her other books. I also listened to this in audiobook format, and thought the narrator was a perfect fit for the characters.
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