They say love happens randomly. Some say love is a gradual process. What if its both at once? Random but gradual, familiar but unfamiliar? And what if all of this growing love was to occur in the backdrop of war? Patroclus and Achilles’s story treads along the same path.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Song of Achilles is a Greek tale of the son of the cruel sea goddess Theis and the king Peleus – Achilles. Finding each other in their difficult times, this story follows the path of Achilles and Patroclus – a bond that is testament to time and trust.
Achilles and Patroclus are trained together by the centaur Chiron, away from the palace and its bustle. When Helen of Sparta is kidnapped all the kings and heroes of Greece come together under the leering greed of glory and destiny. Swayed by this very same lair, Achilles too finds himself leaving Patroclus behind and joining the quest for glory. He finds himself torn between his love for his friend and the desires of his heart. Little do they both know that there is much more to be tested in the world.
Of the many beautiful themes of this book, the most fascinating are:
● First Love : Achilles and Patroclus find each other when they are quite young and the bond they form is very pure
● LGBTQIA+ representation : the love story between patroclus and Achilles is written in such honesty that the readers begin to understand where the characters are coming from.
● War and Fear : one of the most prominent themes is that of war, death and the fear of death. Young heroes leaving behind their families go unto saving their lands. But within themselves they carry a lot of fear about the uncertainty of their life.
This book centers mostly around Achilles and Patroclus. Achilles is a son of a sea goddess and a king and comes with that power and recognition. On the other hand Patroclus is an awkward young prince trying to understand himself as he goes.
Song of Achilles boasts itself for its beautiful lines and quotes. Some of the best and most hyped lines are:
– “I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
– “In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”
– “I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he would let me.
If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it, to hold that swelling truth.
As if he had heard me, he reached for my hand. I did not need to look; his fingers were etched into my memory, slender and petal-veined, strong and quick and never wrong.
“Patroclus,” he said. He was always better with words than I.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Madeline Miller was an English student throughout. She grew up in New York and Philadelphia and attended Brown University. Her other book “Circe” won a lot of praise for its rendition of yet another story of Greece. This is her most hyped book so far.
Song of Achilles is a story that focuses on many things. Beautiful relationships, first love, respect, honor, pride and so much more. By introducing us to the world through the eyes of two young boys we understand their perspectives and ideas better. If you are looking for a book to sob to, this must be in your TBR (to be read).