The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller

  • Release Date: 2012-03-06
  • Genre: Historical
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 1,071 Ratings)


“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.


  • Beautifully written

    By Sturdy ant
    I really love this book and the writing style is beautiful
  • Must read

    By kdhuntington
    Best book ever.
  • Caught Off-Guard By How Much I Connected To This Book

    By chrisnglaser
    When I bought this book a year-ish ago, I had a hunch I'd enjoy it, but I was caught off-guard with the ways I would eventually connect to this story. When I started reading, I was immediately reminded of a childhood friend with whom I shared a unique bond. I think our own experiences with isolation brought us together in friendship, in a similar vein to Patroclus and Achilles. I often think about that friendship, but I hadn't much felt the emotional impact it had on me in childhood until I read how Patroclus and Achilles form their own unique bond. It is something that, as a child, affected me greatly and, come to learn, still affects me now. Even the individual character traits of Patroclus and Achilles resonated. Patroclus is measured and introspective, but passionate. I often felt like Patroclus in childhood. It wasn't until other people went out of their way to gave me a chance at meaningful friendship and when I discovered my love of music that I was able to more easily branch out and connect with those around me, in a similar way that Patroclus discovers his passion for others through helping heal and advocate for them at Troy. Achilles is prideful and skilled, but down-to-earth. When I allow myself to recognize my own abilities and qualities, I feel like Achilles. Even in his most destructive pridefulness, I can relate to times when I let pride get the better of me, too. And he keeps allowing himself to be grounded by the person that Patroclus is, in the way that I try to remain grounded by my own meager attempts to truly understand others around me. Ultimately, Patroclus and Achilles embody human qualities that all of us can find meaning in. This is a real testament to the life and emotion that Madeline Miller brought to these characters. What really struck me, though, was the purity and tenderness of the companionship and love that Patroclus and Achilles shared. They meld into a close companionship as children and the years grow that bond into an infallible romance. They never really question why, which seems to be how a lot of love stories are written. Authors tend to want to explain why people come into love, probably because of the drama that creates. That also tends to create emotional absolutes: someone does one thing and now the other can never again be with them, etc. This story just makes love so. It just is and the typical things that create relationship drama that tend to drive people apart are just not strong enough to do that here. Sure, these things create challenges for both Patroclus and Achilles, but those challenges are always overcome. All of this forms a beautiful emotional buildup that keeps reiterating how completely fortified their bond really is. That buildup created emotion that spilled from me during the last couple of chapters, and it was strong. I loved their trueness. I loved how connected to each other they remained. It played directly into my own sense of optimism about life, the world, and love. Is this, in some ways, idealistic? Yes! But how Ancient Greek! And how cool to have something make one feel so hopeful and comforted by that idealism. There is so much more about this story that just links directly to my own personal experience. I don't even know if I'll ever be able to truly express those feelings in ways that would make sense outside of my own mind. But those feelings are there and I'm really glad I was able to find that in this story.
  • Great book!

    A very hard book to put down once I started reading. In fact I’ve read it two times now.
  • This book is great

    By king of spades (•3•)
    Ive seen a lot of negative reviews and it makes me sad that people say such rude things about this book. This is one of the most Beautiful things I’ve ever read and if you don’t agree, fine. But have YOU ever written anything as good as this? Don’t be too quick to judge. And if you don’t like it that doesn’t mean you can just comment it. The comments are to support the author and maybe a little feedback. Anyways This book is gre
  • One of my favorite books ever

    By PhoebeDay
    Amazing story! I read this so fast and was so terribly sad when it was over! I fell in love with these characters!! I will be reading another one of her books next!
  • The Love of Patroclus

    By peteheat
    What a beautiful story! It could be called the Love of Patroclus, for he is the one who shines in this tale as the true hero. His dedication and undying love for Achilles, plus his humility and kindness in a world full of callous men, makes him the real star. I was so moved by this telling of the story. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a great read!
  • wow.

    By Jadagundy
    Genuinely astounded by how much I truly loved this book. Madeline Miller took a tragedy and somehow made it into so much more, truly a great writer. She still managed to weave in the typical aspects of a tragedy, the fatal flaw for example, but shift it in a way so that it was not the true focus of the book, only the afterthought. You really get that this book is first a foremost, a love story. A book that I could easily read over and over again. Most definitely worth the read!
  • amazing

    By hoooowwwwww
    such a beautiful book. filled with poetic descriptions and details. i recommend 110%
  • Beautiful life journey of love and devotion

    By grantly7
    I was recommended this book after having read “Call Me By Your Name” twice. This goes so much deeper than that... In developing the primary, and ultimately all other characters of note, the author fills one with an unmistakable sense of dedication, devotion, and true love that is so incredibly and plainly alive between Achilles and Patroclus. You know the book is good when you stay up at night, reading under the covers, because you can’t bare to feel and watch come alive the little sweet nothings that happen between them day in and day out. I’m so glad I found this book and will read it time and time again...